Laurence F. Adamczyk's campaign for a Fillmore District Council seat in the upcoming Democratic Party primary came to an end Wednesday as the state's highest court refused to hear his appeal of a lower court ruling.
The decision ensures a two-candidate race that will pit incumbent David A. Franczyk against community activist Samuel A. Herbert.
"Mr. Adamczyk is no longer a candidate in the Fillmore District," said his lawyer, Timothy R. Lovallo, after Wednesday's brief Albany court session.
The Rochester tribunal had agreed that Adamczyk had not lived in the Fillmore District for the full year before the election as required under state election law.
Late last November, Adamczyk moved from Crescent Avenue to a Delaware Avenue home, which this past June was redistricted into the Fillmore District.
Franczyk's attorney claimed that Adamczyk's legal setback has made Mayor Byron W. Brown look "foolish."
Michael Kuzma, an attorney who appealed the court ruling that reinstated Adamczyk to the ballot, insisted that Adamczyk, a longtime friend and political ally of Brown, was the mayor's hand-picked candidate to try to unseat Franczyk, who is the current Council president.
"Without a doubt, the mayor was behind it," Kuzma said. "And the mayor got very bad legal advice."
Brown told The News he had "no comment" on Kuzma's claims, in a statement received through City Hall spokesman, Michael J. DeGeorge.
Meanwhile, Lovallo said he's disappointed the court refused to consider the case, claiming his client was knocked off the ballot on "very narrow technical grounds."
"This works to the detriment of voters who are now denied a choice in this election," Lovallo said.
Kuzma refuted the claim, pointing out that voters could still opt to write in Adamczyk's name in the September Democratic Primary.
Last week, the five-judge Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester ruled that Adamczyk did not meet residency requirements.
State Supreme Court Justice Donna M. Siwek on Aug. 11 returned both Adamczyk and Herbert to the primary ballot, overruling petition signature issues the Erie County Board of Elections cited in voiding both their candidacies.
Herbert has run for numerous elective offices over the past couple of decades. Four years ago, he lost a Democratic Primary challenge to Franczyk by less than 300 votes.
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