LaValle won’t get a free pass

Two political cliffhangers, one congressional and one regarding the State Legislature, were resolved this past week.

Through Tuesday’s primary, Congressman Tim Bishop now knows that Randy Altschuler will be his Republican challenger. And through a Sept. 8 court ruling, State Senator Kenneth LaValle has learned that he will indeed have an opponent in November.

State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Whelan ruled that Democrat Jennifer Maertz can stand between Mr. LaValle and an 18th two-year term. Several Brookhaven Republicans had challenged the Suffolk Democratic organization’s recent endorsement of Ms. Maertz, a Rocky Point attorney. She replaces Regina Calcaterra of New Suffolk, whose campaign came to an end last month when a court found her ineligible to run for office due to residency requirements she did not meet.

In a press release Ms. Maertz said the court “rejected the ridiculous and frivolous legal challenges by supporters of my opponent.” She called the ruling “an important win for democratic choice.”

An active member of the Brookhaven Democratic Party, Ms. Maertz had worked on Ms. Calcaterra’s campaign staff.

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