Governor Andrew Cuomo today set a date to set a date, sort of. Responding to questions concerning the scheduling of a special election in the 11th Congressional District, Cuomo said that “by Friday we’ll set the date.”
The congressional seat has been empty since Michael Grimm’s resignation on January 5th, with the governor solely empowered under state law to schedule a special election to fill such a vacancy. (A governor has limited scheduling ability however, as state law requires that such a special election be held between 70 and 80 days from the date of a formal proclamation by the governor.) Yesterday, Senior United States District Judge Jack B. Weinstein issued an order stating that if Governor Cuomo does not schedule an election by Friday, Judge Weinstein will issue an order setting such a date.
Governor Cuomo repeated earlier assertions that he is delaying such an election in order to reduce the costs to taxpayers. He noted that there may be a second elected office vacancy nearby soon, as NY State Assembly Member Karim Camara is expected to resign his seat and join the Cuomo administration, and suggested that special elections filling those two vacancies should occur on the same day.
Somewhat curiously, however, Cuomo hedged on when/whether Camara will resign and join the administration, saying that “we believe there may be … one more vacancy shortly” and “we’ll know that by Friday.”
Despite referencing the costs of holding an election as a reason for delay, Cuomo did not have any estimate of what such an election will cost.