Cahill knocks challenger in 103rd Assembly race off the ballot
By Jay Braman Jr.
Longtime local Assemblyman Kevin Cahill has eliminated challenger Susan Zimet from the race.
In April, Zimet, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for the New York State Assembly’s 103rd District, which covers most of Ulster County and has been represented by current lawmaker Kevin Cahill, who is also a Democrat.
But on Monday Zimet dropped out, saying in a prepared statement that it was because Cahill mounted a legal challenge against her nominating petitions that she could not afford to fight.
Cahill, who is serving his ninth, two-year term in the Assembly, filed a lawsuit challenging her signatures three days before a Board of Elections hearing on the matter.
“We hired a lawyer for the Board of Elections hearing,” Zimet said in her prepared statement. “The people who took the time to carry petitions deserved that. However, we do not have the insurance and gas industry money that Cahill has to fight this. Our attorney estimates it would cost us tens of thousands of dollars to defend, since there is the court case and the appeals, which we are sure Cahill would pursue.”
Regardless, Zimet stands by the validity of her candidacy.
“With a handful of people, we got the signatures needed to be on the ballot,” Zimet said in statement. “While the majority of the signatures were good, there were flaws in the ‘witnessing signature’ section. Despite case law that has established those signatures should count, the state Board of Elections chose to ignore that.”
However, Cahill’s campaign office quickly issued a prepared statement denying the claim that the assemblyman had anything to do with Zimet’s fall. “Assemblyman Kevin Cahill did not challenge Zimet’s petitions at the state Board of Elections, in court or anywhere else,” the statement said. .”
With Zimet gone, Cahill still faces a challenge in the November election by Ulster County Legislator Kevin Roberts, a Republican from the Town of Plattekill.
Most recently Cahill was at the Peekamoose Restaurant in Big Indian to make a $50,000 grant award to the Phoenicia Library.