ALBANY, NY – The debate continues. Should former Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin’s name be taken off the ballot or not?
Lawmakers grapple with the question in the wake of Benjamin’s federal indictment and resignation.
The Governor now coming out in support of making changes.
NewsChannel 34’s Jamie DeLine explains what would need to done in order to make that happen.
Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday saying she’s in favor of the legislature changing the election law in order to take the former Lt. Governor’s name off the ballot.
“Its an extraordinary request when you think about it, but it’s also fixing a law that is very flawed.” “Sometimes circumstances happen in life and it puts a spot light on the deficiency in our laws. This has come up fairly recently, so this is out of the normal course of business for them to act with such haste. We had some very productive conversations and we will see what the outcome is.”
Some good government groups say it’s unfair to voters who might waste their vote on a candidate who no longer has the intention to serve in that role. NY Democratic Party Chair, Jay Jacobs is also in favor of making changes.
“There’s no good reason or benefit for voters to allow him to stay on the ballot, so I think that would be a good move. But that’s a legislative matter they are going to have to decide that up in Albany.”
In the Assembly, legislation has already been introduced to get a candidate off the ballot if they are indicted or have a life threatening illness.
“I know that many of my colleagues support this concept and I’m very hopeful that we will move forward. Clearly, we need both the assembly and senate to agree.”
There is currently not a bill in the Senate to do that.
Stewart-Cousins says the governor called her to speak about the issue.
She told Hochul she’d discuss it with her conference. On the GOP side, Republicans are strongly against the idea to make changes to the election law.
“We see this as a disgusting abuse of power by the Governor, Kathy Hochul, to try to ask the legislature to change the rules of our election, in the middle of the election.”
I’m told the deadline to make changes is May 4th.
Assemblymember Paulin tells me she thinks it can get done in time if the will is there.
Reporting in Albany, I’m Jamie DeLine.