State appellate judge puts on hold one order to place Brown on November ballot; other order still stands for now

Regional News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WIVB) – A state appellate court has put on hold a ruling that puts Byron Brown on the November ballot.

However, a ruling from a federal judge along the same lines still stands, for now.

Judge Nancy Smith of the Fourth Department of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division has issued a stay of Judge Paul Wojtaszek’s order that Brown’s name be included on the ballot on the independent “Buffalo Party” line. Wojtaszek issued that decision last Friday, saying the state’s deadline for independent nominating petitions was “excessively early” and unconstitutional.

The deadline is 23 weeks prior to the election.

Smith has also ordered the Erie County Board of Elections not to certify it’s ballot for Mayor of Buffalo until the case can be further considered. A hearing has been scheduled for September 16. Elections officials had been set to certify the ballot during a 4 p.m. meeting Thursday.

“This is clearly a wise decision,” said Walton in a statement. “If everyday Buffalonians are late on rent, parking fees, or school assignments, they face consequences. There is no reason the rules should not apply to my GOP-backed opponent as well.”

Walton defeated Brown, the incumbent, in the Democratic primary back in June. At first, Brown announced he would effort a write-in campaign during the General Election. Then, he attempted to submit petitions to get on the ballot under the independent “Buffalo Party”, after the 23-week deadline. Elections officials deemed Brown’s submission to be late, prompting him to sue.

Brown was able to get both Wojtaszek and U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra to agree with him. Sinatra’s preliminary injunction is also being appealed by Walton. Supporters for Brown, who are the plaintiffs in the federal case, have been given until Friday by the 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals to present their case. Walton will then have until Monday to respond.


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