Written by Victoria Caruso-Davis Friday, 07 August 2009 00:00
The election petitions filed by North Hempstead Town Councilman Robert Troiano and Pablo Sinclair, both candidates for a Democratic primary in the 2nd Legislative District (L.D.), have been challenged.
Josh Corbin, the son and campaign manager of incumbent Legislator Roger Corbin, filed objections to the 1,420 signatures submitted by Troiano while Hempstead resident Ramel Smith challenged the 822 signatures submitted by civic activist Sinclair. Candidates must have 500 valid signatures to remain on the ballot for the Sept. 15 primary.
Last month, general objections (filed within three days of a candidate’s petition) and specifications of objections (a line by line summary of alleged deficiencies, including address, residency, party registration, etc., filed within six days of the general objection) were filed against both Sinclair and Troiano with the Nassau County Board of Elections.
On July 31, a bi-partisan committee rendered its decision on Smith’s challenge of Sinclair’s petitions and, according to Democratic Elections Commissioner William Biamonte, ruled that a total of 726 of Sinclair’s 822 signatures were invalid based on numerous factors, including, but not limited to, incorrect address, non-registered voter, etc. With only 96 signatures deemed valid, Sinclair, under Election Law, does not have a sufficient number of signatures to remain on the ballot.
Letters notifying both Sinclair and his Committee on Vacancies of the decision were mailed out July 31. Sinclair told The Westbury Times that while he finds the “dishonest and disingenuous actions of his own party throwing members off the ballot shocking,” he has no intentions of taking this “lying down.” Sinclair said he is currently working to gather the more than 1,500 signatures needed to run in November as a member of the People First Party. Because People First is an independent party, those who sign Sinclair’s petitions can be affiliated with any political party so long as they are simply registered voters of the 2nd L.D.
“I am a fighter and this is the only way to give the people a choice. They don’t have to vote for me, but at least give them a choice of who they want to support,” said Sinclair, who added that actions such as those brought forth against him are among the many reasons why “people don’t want to get involved in politics.”
In regard to Troiano’s signatures, a decision by the board of elections’ bi-partisan committee had not yet been rendered at press time Monday. Calls to Corbin’s office were not returned.
Denise Thompson, the Westbury resident who launched the Draft Troiano (for Legislator) Team, told this newspaper that she was “disappointed that Mr. Corbin has chosen to take the campaign down this path instead of choosing to discuss the issues that are of real importance to the people of the 2nd L.D.” Thompson said she is “confident that the petitions will be held valid.”
Additionally, Greg Lewis, a Westbury attorney who also planned to primary Corbin, announced he had “filed a declination of acceptance of a place on the ballot for the 2nd LD Democratic primary [because he] did not want to be a ‘spoiler’ in a race involving two incumbents.”