Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

A top Conservative Party official has filed objections to petitions from GOP congressional contender Christopher Cox and tea party members seeking to wage a write-in Conservative Party primary in the first district.

Richard Johannesen, Brookhaven Conservative chairman, filed specific objections at the Suffolk Board of Elections in Yaphank, claiming that 726 of the 849 sigantures filed to mount what is formally known as an “Opportunity to Ballot” are invalid.

The Conservative line is important because it can provide 10 percent of the vote on Election Day. The peition drive is aimed against the Conservatives’ designated candidate, Republican Randy Altschuler, who is embroiled in a three-way GOP primary.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Johannesen said that about 130 of the signatures were improper because they were signed by people who arte not registered Conservatives. He said 180 had earlier signed other Conservative petitions. Johannesen also claimed that notaries who were used to get signatures failed to swear in voters as to their name, address, and who they were backing.

James Teese, Cox spokesman, said the campaign vowed to defend the petitions and is confident the petitions will survive. “We used a belt and suspenders approach,” Teese said, with separate written statements from voters, who signed for notaries, attesting to their identities.