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Long IslandColumnistsRick Brand

Several candidates filing to create their own un-parties

Michael Raspantini is seen here on May 8,

Michael Raspantini is seen here on May 8, 2013. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Trying to capitalize on public unhappiness with major and minor parties, Kristen Slevin of Smithtown has filed petitions to run for town supervisor, using as her personal party label — “None of the Above.”

She is not alone in picking an unusual name for a ballot designation. Another candidate, Michael Raspantini, has filed petitions to run for Huntington town supervisor using as his un-party label, “Stop the Corruption in Huntington.”

Even some established major party contenders are also seeking a separate ballot designations with catchy names to attract voter attention. Backers of Ray Perini, who already has the Republican and Reform Party ballot lines, have filed for a separate “Stop the Fees” ballot designation. Republican Assemb. Chad Luppinacci, who is running as the GOP and Conservative candidate for Huntington supervisor, has circulated petitions to be the “Term Limit Now” candidate.

Libertarians, who are not a recognized political party statewide, have also filed petitions for a dozen candidates in Suffolk, including Stephen Ruth, an anti-red light camera activist who pleaded guilty to vandalizing cameras earlier this year. Libertarians circulated petitions to give their line to Democratic Huntington Supervisor candidate Tracey Edwards, but she declined.

County or townwide candidates had to collect at least 1,500 signatures to qualify for the ballot, though some still may face challenges on having enough qualified signatures.

With the number of existing political parties, election officials say those seeking an independent ballot line at best will be relegated to line I [that’s the letter “i”] or lower. Officials also say those with the ballot lines of two existing political parties will only get a mention of their “un-party” names on one of their current lines.

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