Cuomo campaign takes Zephyr Teachout to court over NY non-residency allegations

zephyrforgov/via Flickr
August 5, 2014

The challenger to Governor Andrew Cuomo for the state’s Democratic primary for governor, Zephyr Teachout, is facing a challenge of her own from the Cuomo campaign. Teachout will be asked in court to prove that she’s really been a resident of the state for the past five years.

New York law requires that candidates for governor reside in the state for at least five years before they are eligible to run for office. Governor Cuomo’s campaign says Zephyr Teachout has actually lived in Vermont for parts of the past half decade, saying they have papers showing she listed a Vermont address on some documents.

Teachout says she’s been a full time law professor at Fordham University since 2009, but she’s spent summers in Vermont, where her extended family lives. She says she sees the residency challenge  as a sign that her candidacy is being taken seriously by the well known and well funded Cuomo.

“What it shows is that Andrew Cuomo is much weaker than he appears,” Teachout said in an interview with public radio and television. “Because it doesn’t really make sense for a sitting incumbent governor to be attacking an underdog like me unless he’s really worried about something.” 

Teachout supporters are planning a rally outside the Brooklyn court room on August 7, the day the three-day proceeding starts, and she says family, friends and work colleagues lined up to testify on her behalf. 

Cuomo has been facing a wave of negative news stories lately about his staff’s potential meddling in an ethics probe.