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Trump-Supporting Democrat Eyes Run for State Assembly

By Nicholas Rizzi | June 8, 2016 5:24pm
 Richard Luthmann said he's considering running for State Assembly and has started to petition to get his name on the ballot.
Richard Luthmann said he's considering running for State Assembly and has started to petition to get his name on the ballot.
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STATEN ISLAND — A Democrat who supports Donald Trump is tossing his hat into the ring for the state Assembly seat currently held by Nicole Malliotakis.

Lawyer Richard Luthmann, who once unsuccessfully ran for Staten Island Borough President and claimed in court that the head of the borough's Democratic Party had sicced the mob on him, said he's considering a run against Republican Malliotakis in November's election.

He started to petition to get on the ballot Tuesday. The Democratic Party hasn't officially nominated anybody for the contest.

"I’m only looking at it now because I thought we would have somebody," Luthmann said. "It's a shame that we have a seat that we held not so long ago, it almost looks likes it's being abandoned. It's a very winnable seat."

However, Luthmann does have one issue stopping him from running, he doesn't live in the district, which includes the eastern shore of Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.

Luthmann currently lives on the border in Silver Lake but plans to sign a lease in September to move into the district and thinks he'll win a court battle to get on the ticket,

"There’ll probably be a legal challenge," he said. "I think that I have a very strong case that I can run for that seat."

He plans to self-fund his campaign and won't to take support from the borough's Democratic Party, whose boss he's feuded with in the past.

"I’ll be able to be a standard bearer for the Democratic party," Luthmann said, adding that he'll focus on transportation and social security issues if he runs.

"When you don't have a contested election there are no choices, nobody has to be held accountable."

Luthmann publicly endorsed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in a profile about the presidential candidate's Democratic supporters in the Staten Island Advance.

"I like Donald Trump because he's not beholden to anyone, he's not part of the political establishment," Luthmann told the paper.

"He's willing to throw punches, he's not going to hold back."

In 2013, Luthmann was kicked off the ballot for Borough President by the Board of Elections after it said he didn't have enough signatures on his petition.

In an unrelated discrimination case filed by a client in 2015, he told a  Brooklyn Federal Court judge that the mob was after him, potentially on the order of Staten Island Democratic Party Chair John Gulino, the Staten Island Advance reported.

Gulino's lawyer, Andrew Hoffman, told the paper the allegations were "baseless."

Despite bad blood between Gulino, Luthmann said his campaign was meant to help the Democratic party in an uncontested election and extolled the job Brooklyn Democratic Party county leader Frank Sedido has done.

"I’m not challenging the Democratic Party, I’m supporting the Democratic Party," Luthmann said.