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Candidates rejected for independent lines

A file photo of Ricardo Montano.

A file photo of Ricardo Montano. Credit: David Pokress, 2011

The Suffolk Board of Elections has rejected petitions of two candidates seeking independent ballot lines.

The board Wednesday rejected petitions of Jaime Martinez of Rocky Point seeking to join the open state Senate contest in the 4th District, in which Suffolk Legis. Ricardo Montano (D-Brentwood) is vying with Assemb. Philip Boyle (R-Bay Shore) for the seat held by retiring GOP incumbent Owen Johnson. Board officials say Martinez collected only 300 signatures, far short of the 3,000 required.

While Martinez also lives far outside the district, that was not an issue because candidates do not have to reside in the district in the year in which district lines are redrawn.

The board also rejected the petitions of Richard Witt of Greenport, who sought to run on the Libertarian ballot line against Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and his GOP challenger, Randy Altschuler, for a lack of signatures; 3,000 were again required.

Elsewhere, Libertarian candidates Dan Riina filed to run in the 2nd Congressional District, Michael McDermott filed petitions in the 3rd Congressional District and Catherine Autumn Wark filed in the 5th Congressional District.

Assemb. Philip Ramos' Republican opponent, Manuel Troche of Bay Shore, also filed petitions for an independent ballot line using the label "Cambio NY." Cambio means change in Spanish.

Ramos (D-Brentwood) said the line is an attempt by Republicans to make it appear as if there is a grassroots Latino movement for the GOP contender, where there is none. He said he is reviewing petitions for a possible challenge.

Babylon Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer along with two district court judges with major party cross-endorsements -- Republican James McDonaugh and Democrat Derrick Robinson -- also filed for independent lines labeled "The Schaffer Team."

In Riverhead, meanwhile, two candidates filed petitions to run for the town tax receiver job in the wake of the resignation last June of Maryann Heilbrunn, who stepped down after the deadline for major party candidates. As a result, Republican Laurie A. Zaneski of Aquebogue, Heilbrunn's deputy, is running on the Riverhead Taxpayers First ballot line, while Democrat Robert Gottschalk Jr. is running on the Riverhead Taxpayers Unite line.

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