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Linda Kabot write-in petitions thrown out

Linda Kabot, Republican candidate for Suffolk County Legislature

Linda Kabot, Republican candidate for Suffolk County Legislature District 2, poses for a portrait at the party's countywide political convention held at the Portuguese American Center in Farmingville on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. -- slVOTE -- Credit: James Escher

A state Supreme Court justice has thrown out Republican Linda Kabot’s bid to wage a write-in primary for the Independence Party line against Suffolk County Legis. Bridget Fleming (D-Noyack) for lack of valid petition signatures.

Justice John Leo ruled that 45 of the 172 signatures Kabot filed on her nominating petitions were invalid because signers either did not live in the district, were not members of the minor party or other reasons, said Lawrence Silverman, attorney for the Democrats. That left Kabot five signatures short of the 132 she needed to wage a write-in primary.

The ruling came after a bipartisan panel at the county Board of Elections found 38 of Kabot's signatures were ineligible. Republican and Democratic election commissioners split on seven other contested signatures that, if valid, would have left Kabot on the ballot.

Kabot, a former Southampton Town supervisor and town board member, has the GOP and Conservative ballot lines in the November election. In 2011, she got some 4,000 votes in an unsuccessful write-in bid for supervisor. Fleming got 1,129 votes on the Independence line when she won re-election in 2017.

Kabot said she would not appeal the court ruling. But she called Democrats "political bullies" for "attempting to block my efforts to let the people decide at the ballot box."

Said Fleming: “It’s troubling that Kabot would attempt to undermine the democratic process by swearing to and filing these petitions, when more than a quarter of the signatures were no good.” 

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