Congressional contender Jon Kaiman on Monday asked the state Board of Elections to throw opponent Thomas Suozzi off the Democratic primary ballot in the 3rd District, claiming more than half the petition signatures that Suozzi submitted were not valid.
Kaiman, a former North Hempstead Town supervisor, said that of the 2,417 petition signatures Suozzi filed for the June 28 primary, 1,256 were invalid. That left Suozzi, a former Nassau County executive, with 1,161 legitimate signatures — 89 names short of the minimum of 1,250 that are required, Kaiman said.
“The law is clear,” said Jeff Guillot, Kaiman’s campaign manager. “Suozzi did not submit the required number of valid signatures and thus is not eligible to run for Congress.”
The Suozzi campaign had no comment on the details of the challenge.
Although Suozzi and Kaiman were allies during their years as Nassau officials, Mike Florio, Suozzi’s campaign manager, remarked, “politics does strange things to people. This proves the old saying, ‘If you want a friend in politics, get a dog.’ ”
Kaiman and another Democratic primary contender, Suffolk Legis. Steve Stern of Dix Hills, also said Monday they had filed challenges to state Sen. Jack Martins’ Independence Party petitions in the 3rd District.
Kaiman and Stern said Martins, a Mineola Republican who needed a minimum of 900 signatures to qualify for the minor party line, only collected about 600.
E. O’Brien Murray, Martins’ campaign spokesman, said he had not seen any objections from other candidates. “Last I checked, the Democrats are going to have a divisive primary,” Murray said. “We will be happy to address their attacks then.”
Also, Stern has launched the first TV campaign ad in the congressional primary, in which he talks about his late mother, Idalee, who ran a T-shirt shop, as an inspiration.
“My mom was one of the first women business owners in our area,” says Stern in the ad. “She taught me to fight for what’s right like equal pay for equal work, standing up to bullies like Donald Trump and tea party extremists who want to defund Planned Parenthood and shut down the government.”
Also, a petition was filed at the Suffolk County Board of Elections to create an opportunity to ballot for the Women’s Equality party line in the 1st Congressional District on the East End, where Democrat Anna Throne-Holst has gotten the minor party’s nod.
Dan Dubois, a supporter of David Calone, who faces Throne-Holst in the Democratic primary, filed four signatures to open the contest to a write-in campaign; one signature was required to qualify. However, creating the opportunity to ballot also clears the way for incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Selden) to enroll new voters to compete as a write-in for the minor party’s nomination.
Calone’s campaign also said Monday that it has received the endorsement of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee.