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Long IslandPolitics

LI congressional primaries on June 26

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter King. (May 25, 2011) Credit: AP

Four Republican Party congressional contenders -- including Rep. Peter King -- are facing challenges for the GOP's nomination in this year's unusual June 26 state primary.

Veteran Queens Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks, who under reapportionment now has small parts of Nassau, including parts of Inwood, Valley Stream and Elmont, is facing a four-way Democratic primary. His best-known challenger is ex-city Councilman Allan W. Jennings Jr.

The potential primaries emerged in the past week when primary nominating petitions were due with at least 938 names -- less than the 1,000 normally required because of the shortened campaign season.

What makes this year unusual for New York politics is that there are three separate primaries: presidential, held Tuesday; congressional, scheduled for June 26; and the state legislative and party committee primaries, which will be held in September.

Pending congressional primaries and petition challenges:

1st District: Challenger George Demos has filed petitions with about 2,000 signatures for a GOP primary rematch against GOP and Conservative designee Randy Altschuler, who filed nearly 9,000 signatures. Altschuler lost to Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) by 596 votes two years ago.

2nd District: King (R-Seaford) is being challenged by Paul Mourino of West Sayville. Objections to Mourino's petitions were filed by Republican Charles T. Milone.

3rd District: GOP designee Steve Labate, a retirement counselor and Army veteran, is challenged by Manhasset's Robert Previdi, who has routinely run in GOP primaries since 1992, and Anthony Eric Tolda. a securities broker from Huntington. GOP elections aide Matthew Kiernan challenged both of their petitions. The winner will take on Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

4th District: Frank Scaturro of Hempstead is challenging Nassau Legis. Francis Becker of Lynbrook for the right to take on Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). Scaturro backer Robert Dann is objecting to Conservative designee Becker's GOP petitions, even though Becker filed more than 13,000 signatures. Kenneth Heino, a Valley Stream Conservative, is objecting to petitions filed to permit the Conservative Party to have an Opportunity to Ballot. If upheld, that petition would let Scaturro wage a write-in campaign for the Conservative line.

5th District: Meeks, of Far Rockaway, is facing Jennings, who in 2005 was censured and fined over sexual harassment complaints; Michael Scala, who worked for a hospice organization and is in his final year of law school; and Joseph Marthone, an accountant and activist.

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