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Steve Bellone files signatures for Protect the Taxpayer ballot line

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat seeking

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat seeking re-election, has filed petition signatures to also run on the Protect the Taxpayer ballot line. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has filed more than 8,000 signatures to qualify for a second ballot line, called Protect the Taxpayer, in his bid for a third term this November.

The four volumes of petition signatures were filed by Jonathan Yedin, of New York City, at the Suffolk Board of Elections in Yaphank. Bellone needed 1,500 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The ballot line will appear on Row I.

Protect the Taxpayer is the ballot line created by Democratic Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman for his close but unsuccessful bid for Suffolk County comptroller last year.

Schneiderman, who also had the minor Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines, said his Protect the Taxpayer line appeared in the same space as his Democratic line.

“I don’t know how valuable it was, but it sent a message,” Schneiderman said of his line.

Bellone sought the extra ballot line after deciding not to seek the nomination of the Working Families Party, which had supported him in the past. Bellone took a stand against fusion voting, which allows two or more parties to nominate the same candidate, during the Suffolk Surrogate judge race last year.

Jesse Garcia, Suffolk GOP chairman, accused Bellone of using the “radical left progressive wing of the [Democratic] party to collect these bogus petitions … ”

Bellone spokesman Jason Elan said, “Jesse Garcia just lost his first political campaign out of the gate by supporting Richard Nixon’s son-in-law [Edward Cox], who just resigned as state GOP chairman. With a record like that, we’re excited with what November will bring for Suffolk Democrats."

Cox, son-in-law of the late Republican president, stepped down Monday as state GOP chairman, months after heavy electoral losses statewide led to calls for a leadership change. Long Island GOP leaders had stuck with Cox in the leadership fight.

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