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Cuomo says date to be set soon for Congressional special election

Governor Andrew Cuomo said an answer about the special election to fill the 25th Congressional district seat will be coming in the next couple of weeks. He spoke after a news conference in Rochester on May 3, 2018. (WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - Governor Andrew Cuomo said an answer about the special election to fill the 25th Congressional district seat will be coming in the next couple of weeks.

The seat was vacated after the death of Louise Slaughter, who held the position in Congress for 31 years.

After an announcement about a new software company coming to Rochester, Cuomo was asked about the special election.

"Elections are expensive," Cuomo said, before adding that there are several other vacancies across the state that need to be filled.

State election officials are talking to local governments to coordinate a date that would all of the open seats filled, according to the governor.

"We would rather get them coordinated so we get the most elections done on a single day," Cuomo said. "It's easier on voters, so you don't have to come out and vote five times. You come out once."

Cuomo added that there are difference between federal and state election calendars, which can complicate the planning process.

Last week, a lawsuit filed against the Monroe County Board of Elections, the New York State Board of Elections and Governor Cuomo was thrown out by a federal judge. Plaintiffs in the 25th Congressional District argued the defendants had violated voters' rights by not declaring a special election.

Several candidates are seeking the seat formerly held by Congresswoman Slaughter. Former television journalist Rachel Barnhart, Rochester City Councilmember Adam McFadden, Assemblyman Joe Morelle and Brighton Town Councilmember Robin Wilt are running under as Democrats, while Dr. Jim Maxwell is running as a Republican.

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