Rick Brand Portrait of Newsday reporter Rick Brand taken on

Rick Brand is a longtime Newsday reporter who writes about politics and government on Long Island.

Republicans have filed objections to knock Democratic Assembly candidate Deborah Slinkowsky off the ballot in her bid to take on GOP incumbent Al Grafin in his bid for re-election, elections officials said Monday.

Republican Maria Grassi, of Holbrook, said 124 of the 551 signatures on Slinkowsky’s nominating petitions were improper and should be disallowed, which would bring her below the 500-signature minimum to qualify for the ballot.

Former Suffolk Legis. Rick Montano, meanwhile, went to State Supreme Court seeking an order to have his petitions for 3d District State Senate validated. The seat is held by freshman Republican Tom Croci.

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Democrat John DeVito had filed general objections to Montano’s petitions, but had not filed specific objections as of Monday. Those objections could still come in the mail if postmarked by Monday at midnight.

Montano, a former Suffolk legislator from Brentwood, DeVito, of Shirley, who is law school student on leave, and Brentwood lawyer Joseph Fritz are all seeking to run a primary for the Democratic nomination.

Also, election officials said the number of competitive committee races for positions on the Suffolk Conservative committee has reached 501.

Warring party factions are vying for committee positions battling in the Sept. 13 primary. The winners will vote in the mid-September convention to choose a new county leader to replace convicted former Suffolk Conservative Chairman Edward Walsh.

Acting Suffolk Conservative Chairman Frank Tinari, also the Huntington Town Conservative leader, is vying with challenger Kenneth Auerbach, Brookhaven co-leader, for a two-year term as county chairman.