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.

Babylon Republicans in June did not bother to nominate an opponent to freshman Assemb. Kimberly Jean Pierre, but the party has decided to wage a campaign to get a write-in GOP candidate on the November ballot.

The party filed petitions with 1,100 signatures — 500 valid signatures are required — to mount what is known as an “opportunity to ballot,” which would allow Republicans to write in any name they want in the Sept. 13 primary.

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“It’s a Republican move,” said Anthony Pancella, Babylon GOP chairman. He said the party decided to wage a write-in effort after Democrat Jordan Wilson decided to challenge Jean Pierre in the primary.

Pancella said the party has not selected a candidate to run for the spot, but added the party would not back Wilson on the GOP line.