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Nassau district attorney candidate Michael Scotto, who is attempting to qualify for a Democratic primary against Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas, said he will remain in the race after raising $20,000 in a three-day period that he plans to use on a new elections lawyer.
Scotto, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney's office, emailed supporters on Monday that he would have to drop out of the race if he didn't raise $50,000 in the next two days.
The campaign said it needed the money to pay for an attorney to fight objections by Nassau Democrats to his nominating petitions.
Scotto said the $20,000 he raised in recent days would be enough to pay for his new elections lawyer, Louis Rosenthal of Brooklyn. Scotto's first lawyer, Marty Connor of Brooklyn, moved onto another case because the candidate could not continue to pay him, the campaign said.
"We believe our petitions are valid," Scotto said. "They [Democrats] are trying to tie us up in court."
A Singas campaign spokesman declined to comment.
Earlier this month, Scotto submitted 6,355 petition signatures -- more than triple the number needed to get on the ballot.
Nassau Democrats immediately challenged the validity of the signatures, which Scotto said were collected largely in minority neighborhoods such as Freeport, Hempstead and Elmont. Scotto on Tuesday filed paperwork to officially validate the petitions.
Scotto's campaign reported having less than $1,400 in cash on hand last week after raising nearly $110,000 since January. Scotto said wants to raise another $100,000 for the remainder of the campaign.
Singas has collected $680,000 in political contributions since January while the GOP nominee, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, collected $643,000, with nearly half the total coming from her town campaign fund.