Hirschfeld Loses Court Appeal
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ The state’s highest court today rejected an appeal by millionaire developer Abraham Hirschfeld to get his name on the ballot in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.
The ruling is a victory for Gov. Mario Cuomo, who wants to hand the lieutenant governor nomination to U.S. Rep. Stanley Lundine. Unless today’s ruling is reversed in federal court, Lundine will have no opponent on the ballot Sept. 9.
The Court of Appeals, ruling without comment, refused to hear Hirschfeld’s appeal of lower court rulings against him. Those courts found that Hirschfeld’s nominating petitions failed to properly group signatures according to congressional districts.
Hirschfeld, whose campaign slogan has been ″Don’t Give Up,″ would not say whether he would continue his fight in federal court, pending a news conference later in the day.
Cuomo ordered his forces to challenge the nominating petitions of Hirschfeld and other candidates competing against Lundine for the lieutenant governor nomination by contending the nominating petitions violated portions the state’s Election Law.
On Wednesday, the Court of Appeals refused to hear appeals from two other lieutenant governor hopefuls, lawyer-developer Gilbert DiLucia and college Professor Fernando Oliver, seeking to get on the ballot.
Commenting on today’s ruling, Cuomo campaign spokesman Gary Fryer said, ″The court made the right choice by applying the law equally.″
Hirschfeld said Wednesday: ″Lundine wants a majority of seven (Court of Appeals) judges to elect him lieutenant governor. What I want is for a majority of Democratic voters of New York to elect me to that office. Lundine chose the courts. I chose the ballot box.″
Oliver was one of three supporters of political extremist Lyndon LaRouche that the top New York court refused to order onto the Democratic primary ballot. The others were Judah Phillip Rubinstein, running for governor, and Webster Tarpley, seeking the U.S. Senate nomination.
Cuomo has been fighting hard to keep anyone from challenging Lundine. Should the governor’s choice for lieutenant governor be defeated in a primary, Cuomo’s chances of gaining his party’s 1988 presidential nomination could be reduced. While the governor has said that he has no plans to run for president, he has refused to rule out such a move.
Speculation that Cuomo will run for president also has created new interest in the lieutenant governor’s slot since whoever hold the office would become governor if Cuomo leaves in mid-term.
New York has been without a lieutenant governor since early last year when Alfred DelBello quit, complaining that he had nothing to do.