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The Balancing Game of OB Town Politics

Independent Terry Kelly on Democratic Line As Republicans Keep Him Off Independence Line

Politics is a balancing game in this Democracy. Terrance Kelly of East Norwich, a candidate for a seat on the Oyster Bay Town Board got the news on Thursday, Aug. 18, that his name would not be on the Nov. 8 ballot on the Independence Party line – although he is a member of that group himself. His name will however be on the Democratic line.

Rick Bellando, the head of the Independence Party in Nassau County said, “I’m sorry to see Terrance Kelly off the Independent line. He is definitely a strong candidate. He has a great future ahead of him. I heard many people in Oyster Bay Town are very fond of him.

“I’m really going to stand behind him. I hope he does well. I know he is on the Democratic line and I know they will take very good care of him and they are a strong line. So, he is in good hands with them.”

Mr. Kelly’s original petition for the Independence Party line was challenged in court by Councilman Joseph Muscarella (who said it was a business as usual procedure) and the referees said that 27 of Mr. Kelly’s signatures did not look authentic. Mr. Kelly got affidavits from the people who signed the original petition but the judge didn’t accept them saying they had to appear in person; and he had to go to court again – on Aug. 16 to argue his case. The Democratic Party provided Mr. Kelly with a lawyer, Hale Yazicioglu with the Garden City law firm of Jaspan Schlesinger. The appeal was heard in the appellate court and the decision came down on Aug. 18 that only 13 of the signatures were accepted, not enough to be on the ballot. The result is there will be no primary on Sept. 13 where he and Mr. Macagnone would duke it out – which was going to be the next step, said Mr. Kelly.

Educational Experience

Running for office in the Town of Oyster Bay has been an educational experience said Terrance Kelly as he tries to jump the hurdles put before him. Getting on the Democratic Party line was a breeze, as they asked him to come aboard after he questioned the town board at a public meeting about their budget which raised taxes and questioned the cost of the new Public Safety Division. The Democrats presented him with his Wilson Pecula certificate with ease. The Wilson Pecula certificate is given to a person who is running on a different party line than they are registered for. “When I got it I looked it up on the Internet. The law established in 1947 stops fringe groups from taking over another party,” he explained.

Mr. Kelly said Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia and Councilman Joseph Muscarella and he received their Wilson Pakula certificates from the Independence party but Anthony Macagnone did not. All three got their petitions signed however.

That is what put Mr. Macagnone in position for a primary.

Now, that one line on the Independence Line will be empty.

Candidates see being listed on more than one line on the election ballot as bringing up their chances of winning. Pundits say that being first on a ballot gives that candidate 2 percent more of the vote.

Of all that is going on, Mr. Kelly said, “It’s eye-opening.”