NEW YORK CITY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced there would be a special election May 5 to fill seats left vacant earlier this year by former Rep. Michael Grimm and former Assemblyman Karim Camara, bowing to pressure from a judge who gave him until Friday to set a date.
U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein ruled earlier this week that Cuomo had not given a sufficient reason to delay a vote for Grimm's vacant seat, in response to a lawsuit by eight people who demanded proper representation.
Grimm resigned from his position in the 11th Congressional District — which covers Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn — on Jan. 5 after he pleaded guilty to tax fraud for hiding profits in an Upper East Side eatery he co-owned.
Also in January, Camara announced he would resign from his seat in the 43rd Assembly District — which covers south Crown Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and parts of East Flatbush — to join the Cuomo administration as executive director of the Office of Faith-Based Community Development Services.
By law, the governor has discretion for when to set a special election. Once a decision is made, the election must be within 70 to 90 days.
The Democratic Party has yet to announce a nomination, but Brooklyn Councilman Vincent Gentile, Staten Island Democratic Committee Chairman John Sollazzo, Brooklyn Assemblyman William Colton and others have been seeking the nod to run for Grimm's seat.
Another Brooklyn resident Amber Adler, 31, former chief of staff of the International Center for Autism Research and Education, also announced she's seeking the nomination to run for the seat this week.
“I would like to be the Democratic Candidate for NY’s Congressional District 11; to bring together the voices of both Brooklyn and Staten Island to Washington D.C. Together we can bring about a New American Dream, making District 11 an example of opportunity, innovation and prosperity for the nation," Adler said in a statement.
She added she would focus on education, research and innovation, and housing if elected and believes she could defeat Donovan if given the nomination.