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Independence primary averted in North Hempstead council race

An Independence Party primary for a North Hempstead council seat was averted after the incumbents' petitions were ruled invalid.

Dina De Giorgio, the incumbent Republican, and Emily Beys, the Democratic challenger, received authorization from the Independence Party to compete in a September primary, said Essma Benkhoukha, chief clerk of the Nassau County Board of Elections.

But De Giorgio fell short of the required 61 petition signatures needed to compete in a primary for the seat, according to the Board of Elections, after 39 of the 83 she filed were ruled invalid.

"I'm better at being a public servant than at managing the backdoor politics," said De Giorgio, one of two Republicans on the Democratic-controlled, seven-member town board.

De Giorgio won the seat in 2011 after defeating incumbent Democrat Fred Pollack. De Giorgio ran an unsuccessful race for town supervisor in 2013, losing to Democrat Judi Bosworth, who is seeking a second term this fall.

The district, located primarily in Port Washington, is about 38 percent Democrat, 31 percent Republican, and about 4 percent of registered voters are Independence Party members, according to the board of elections.

Democratic incumbents seeking re-election in North Hempstead all have the Independence Party line in the November election. The 6th District council race was the only town contest in which the Democratic and Republican candidates had authorization from the Independence Party to compete for the line.

Nassau Independence Party chairman Rick Bellando did not respond to requests for comment.

Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs criticized North Hempstead Democrats last month for a $4,000 donation to the minor party, saying the contribution was "a waste of money."

It was the town Democrats' largest single contribution for that election cycle. North Hempstead chairman Gerard Terry and Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth have declined to comment.


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