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Prospects for primary increase for Democrats in Nassau DA race

Prospects for a Democratic primary in the race for Nassau County district attorney appeared to increase Wednesday as former Manhattan prosecutor Michael Scotto submitted more than 6,000 petition signatures -- triple the number needed to get on the ballot against acting District Attorney Madeline Singas.

The Singas campaign said it plans to submit more than 25,000 signatures Thursday, the deadline for delivering nominating petitions to the county board of elections to secure a spot on the ballot for the Sept. 10 Democratic primary.

Singas and Scotto must each collect 2,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Scotto, who spent 22 years with the Manhattan district attorney's office, most recently as chief of the labor racketeering unit and rackets bureau, filed 6,355 signatures Tuesday, said campaign spokesman Warren Cohn.

Candidates typically collect three to four times the number of signatures needed as many names can be invalidated by court challenges.

Cohn said he is "extremely confident" the signatures will withstand a legal challenge.

"We've seen a lot of support," Cohn said. "People don't want the [Democratic] party to choose a candidate for them."

Singas campaign spokesman Isaac Goldberg declined to comment on the possibility of challenging Scotto's signatures.

Nassau Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs, who has endorsed Singas, said, "We will take a close look at the signatures and do what's appropriate under the law."

Singas, who previously served as Nassau's chief assistant prosecutor, took over the office in January after former District Attorney Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, was elected to in Congress.

The Democratic nominee will take on the GOP candidate, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, in November. Murray will submit 32,000 petition signatures Thursday, said Nassau Republican spokesman Anthony Santino.

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