A federal court decision has set New York's primary for federal, non-presidential candidates on June 26.
That means that primary voters will go to the polls for the Matt Doheny vs. Rep. Bill Owens race on June 26.
That much, we know. But there are still a bunch of unanswered questions.
To wit: Because redistricting maps haven't even been released for federal candidates, the petition process could get all sorts of jumbled up in a compressed time frame. When it's happened before, the state Board of Elections cut the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot in half (to be eligible to get on a ballot in New York, you need to get a certain number of valid signatures from members of the party you're trying to get on).
That could be good news for outsider candidates like Kellie Greene, a Republican who is looking to take on Mr. Doheny. Mr. Doheny has the inside track on the Republican nomination, and would probably rather not have a primary at all. Itd be much easier for him, with institutional support and know-how and boots on the ground, to get the signatures required than it would be for Ms. Greene, an outsider. For her, the fewer signatures required, the better.
In other ways, though, an earlier primary could be better for Mr. Doheny. It would give Ms. Greene much less time to establish any sort of name recognition.
It also slims the already narrow chance of Doug Hoffman getting into the race. Can you really go from a stand-still to a primary victory in the matter of, at best, four months?
The federal court left it up to the Board of Elections to decide the election calendar. The BOE has to report back to the federal court within five days.
Also unclear is when primaries for state positions will be held. It's possible that the state could hold its primaries in September, as it always has, but that would mean three separate primaries, at a big cost to counties. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he's not going to approve three primaries.