The race for Oyster Bay Town supervisor is officially a five-man contest.
A legal challenge to the petitions filed by Jonathan Clarke has been withdrawn, and the final count to a write-in primary challenging John Mangelli, the Reform Party’s pick, failed to knock him off the ballot.
Clarke, a Jericho lawyer, submitted 2,447 signatures along with a slate of town board candidates calling itself the Progressive Moose party. The Nassau County Board of Elections invalidated 419 signatures, and court referees invalidated another 260, a Board of Elections official said. That still left Clarke with 1,768, more than the 1,500 signatures he needed to get on the ballot. Keith Corbett, an attorney at the Uniondale office of Harris Beach, represented David J. Ayres and two others challenging Clarke’s petitions.
“We had a good-faith basis to challenge the validity of the candidate’s petitions,” Corbett said Wednesday, the day he withdrew the court challenge. “At this time my clients have chosen not to go forward based on preliminary rulings by judicial hearing officers.”
Mangelli, a Bayville lawyer who two years ago lost to former Supervisor John Venditto by 99 votes, received 188 out of 263 votes in an “opportunity to ballot” primary, a Board of Elections official said. Under New York State election law, when a candidate’s nomination is uncontested, members of that political party can force a write-in primary by filing an “opportunity to ballot” petition with the Board of Elections. The board on Thursday finished its count of absentee and write-in votes, which left Mangelli as the Reform Party candidate.
Mangelli and Clarke will appear on the ballot with incumbent Republican Joseph Saladino, Democratic challenger Marc Herman and independent candidate Robert Ripp.