New York Reform Party Case Decided; Curtis Sliwa Faction Wins

Ballot Access News

On October 27, a New York State Supreme Judge in Albany County ruled that the Reform Party’s organizational meeting of September 24, 2016, is valid. There are two factions in the Reform Party of New York. The faction that held the organizational meeting declined to choose any presidential elector candidates, and elected Curtis Sliwa as state chair. Sliwa is best known for having founded the anti-crime group Guardian Angels.

The other faction is beholden to the New York Republican Party and has generally nominated candidates for district and county office who are also Republican Party nominees.

The attendees at the Sliwa faction’s meeting had all been elected at the September 13, 2016 primary to the Reform Party state committee. The other faction challenged the meeting on the grounds that, potentially, there were 456 members of the party’s state committee that might have been elected in the September primary. But the decision points out that the 2015 party rules did not say the party needs to elect a state committee in every single district in the state. Because 16 of the 18 actual members of the State Committee participated in the September 24 meeting, which is more than the required two-thirds quorum, the judge said the meeting was valid.

The judge also said that the people who filed the lawsuit to invalidate the meeting had failed to serve one of the 18 members, and had failed to serve the Reform Party itself, which also means that the lawsuit should be dismissed. The case is Merrell v Sliwa, Albany Co., 5829-16. Thanks to Frank Morano for this news. UPDATE: here is a news story.

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