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Brookhaven Republicans aim to oust town board member Kathleen Walsh from ballot

Kathleen Walsh, a Republican, is a Brookhaven Town

Kathleen Walsh, a Republican, is a Brookhaven Town councilwoman representing the 3rd District. (June 28, 2011) Credit: David Pokress

Brookhaven Republicans have filed objections to oust dissident GOP town board member Kathleen Walsh from the Sept. 10 primary ballot against party designee Kevin LaValle.

Walsh submitted 865 signatures — more than the 500 minimum needed — but the party maintains that 390 of them are bogus which would disqualify her, if accepted.

“I had plenty of signatures,” Walsh said. “It’s what I expected them to do.”

Jesse Garcia, Brookhaven GOP chairman, said many of Walsh’s signatures came from people who do not live in the district and are not Republicans. He also said many who carried petitions are not Republicans but members of the CSEA, a union in which her husband William is an official, and not eligible to gather petitions.

Kathy Walsh, who had been a Republican town board member, has re-registered in the Independence Party but that switch does not take effect until after Election Day, which makes her eligible to run a GOP primary. Walsh is also running on the Democratic line and earlier this year ran an unsuccessful campaign on the Democratic line for town highway superintendent.

LaValle is an aide to Suffolk Legis. Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) and brother of John Jay LaValle, Suffolk Republican chairman. He also has the Independence nomination.

Meanwhile, Republican sheriff primary challenger Sam Barreto is also facing a challenge aimed at removing him from the GOP primary ballot against Conservative Suffolk Sheriff Vincent DeMarco.

Barreto, a veteran Suffolk police officer from Holbrook, filed 3,331 signatures — more than the 2,000 minimum required — to qualify for the ballot. But Henry Barton, a veteran Brookhaven GOP official, has filed objections to 1,492 of Barreto’s signatures which, if accepted, would reduce Barretto’s total 1,839 and disqualify him.

In the legislature’s sixth district, backers of Jennifer Juengst have filed petitions to allow her to wage a write-in campaign for the Working Families Party line against the minor party’s designee, Legis. Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai). Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, accused Republicans of “trying to hijack” the nomination of the labor-based party. Garcia said he had nothing to do with the challenge but that Juengst was approached by party members seeking to back her.

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