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New York court tosses GOP governor candidate’s lawsuit

Wilson Zeldin WEB

A court in Albany dismissed a lawsuit by GOP gubernatorial candidate Harry Wilson alleging that one of his fellow primary hopefuls, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-01), had committed campaign finance violations.

In his order dismissing the case, Judge Richard McNally found Wilson’s lawsuit to have “no basis in law or fact”.

Wilson alleged that Zeldin violated the limits on funds that donors can contribute to a campaign ahead of a primary election, by transferring money from a joint account the Long Island congressman holds with lieutenant governor candidate Alison Esposito. The lawsuit also contended that Zeldin improperly raised funds through his federal campaign account for Congress, after he’d already declared his bid for governor.

“Harry Wilson had to have known this lawsuit was frivolous, dishonest and purely political when he brought the case,” Zeldin campaign spokesperson Katie Vincentz wrote in a statement.

Wilson maintained his argument that Zeldin’s actions should be considered a violation of campaign finance rules.

“We will continue to pursue a judgment in Court with respect to Lee Zeldin’s unlawful transfers and seek civil and criminal penalties against him through the Board of Elections, where we have already filed a formal complaint,” Wilson’s campaign wrote in a statement.

Wilson had asked the court to grant an injunction barring Zeldin from spending money that had been improperly raised ahead of the June 28 primary election. Early voting in the race began Saturday.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.