A feud between the Long Beach and Nassau County Democratic chairmen has led to separate slates of candidates for City Council and triggered a September primary.
Nassau Community College professor Anissa Moore, 45, and former firefighter David Yolinsky, 30, are collecting petition signatures to challenge the three county-nominated candidates.
The county Democratic Committee picked City Councilmen Anthony Eramo, Len Torres and real estate agent Karen Adamo during the May 26 convention, under the recommendation of Long Beach committee chairman Mike Zapson.
Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs tapped Moore and Yolinsky to run a week later. Jacobs said Eramo agreed to run on both tickets. Moore was on the initial submitted nominating sheet and at the convention, but she said she wasn't contacted by Jacobs to run until June 2, after Adamo was nominated.
The five candidates, who each requires a 500-signature petition, would face off in a Sept. 10 primary. Jacobs said Moore and Yolinsky have about 2,500 signatures each.
Jacobs on Friday called on Zapson to resign as city party chairman, citing a history of conflicts with the party and his dealings in city business.
"Numerous groups and people have called me as the county chairman to come into Long Beach to clean up the Democratic Party," Jacobs said.
Zapson said he has ignored repeated calls for him to step down since December.
"I'm working very hard to make sure the Democrats in Long Beach will be on the City Council," Zapson said.
He said Jacobs has been fixated on Long Beach and has diverted county campaign workers that hurt other struggling Nassau County Democrats, including Hempstead supervisor candidate Rita Kestenbaum, 19th District candidate Claudia Borecky and 5th District candidate Laura Curran.
Jacobs said the party has not diverted campaign funds to Long Beach from other Nassau County candidates. He said he didn't anticipate a primary until Councilwoman Fran Adelson announced she would not seek re-election.
Moore said she did not want to be part of Jacobs' and Zapson's feud, but ran on Jacobs' invitation to represent the North Park region of the city as the council's first African-American woman.
She said she is running on the Reform Party line with Yolinsky and Eramo to fight a culture of fear and retaliation. She said she wanted to run before Jacobs contacted her.
Yolinsky was among the five people laid off when the city restructured the fire department at the end of a federal grant.
Eramo and Yolinsky were unavailable for comment.