Four Republicans from western Suffolk County are attempting to knock Republican George Demos off the ballot in a primary election against Republican Randy Altschuler in June.
Last week, four individuals filed general objections to Mr. Demos’s 2,000-signature Republican designating petition with the Suffolk County Board of Elections, according to an official within Democratic Commissioner Anita Katz’s office, who declined to give her name. Those individuals are James J. Jost of Nesconset, Mary Magnifico of Mt. Sinai, Marlene Wolke of Smithtown, and Jerome Rosen of Brookhaven.
Both Mr. Demos of Ronkonkoma, a former prosecutor for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Mr. Altschuler, a businessman from St. James, are competing for a chance to unseat Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Bishop in an election this November.
The individuals who filed objections have until the end of the day Wednesday, April 25, to file specific objections to the petition, the BOE official said. The BOE will then determine the validity of the objections.
Mr. Demos said the effort to block him from competing in the primary election was organized by Mr. Altschuler. “Randy Altschuler has a major problem, and that is that he knows that his outsourcing of American jobs to India is an impediment to his getting elected,” Mr. Demos said. “So, instead of facing the voters on the ballot, he would rather maneuver through back-room deals to try to get the only conservative thrown off the ballot.”
But Diana Weir, Mr. Altschuler’s spokeswoman, said the campaign had nothing to do with the objections.
“He’s flailing,” Ms. Weir said. “So he’ll say anything, do anything. I mean, he’s just basically throwing mud on the wall to see what will possibly stick. He really doesn’t have a chance.”
Mr. Demos said Mr. Altschuler instructed Brookhaven Town Republican Committee Chairman Jesse Garcia to ask at least one of the individuals, Mr. Rosen, who is a BOE employee, to file the objection. Mr. Garcia said he did no such thing, and added that Mr. Demos is a “failed candidate who only wants to act as a spoiler and is an extension of liberal Tim Bishop’s campaign.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Altschuler’s campaign touted gathering 9,000 petition signatures to qualify for the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties’s lines last week. According to a press release issued by his campaign last Friday, he collected signatures from 6,006 Republicans, 1,636 from Independence Party members, and 1,267 signatures from registered Conservatives.
“I can’t thank all the hardworking volunteers from the Republican, Conservative and Independence party enough for rallying in support of me and my positive message of fiscal responsibility and economic growth,” Mr. Altschuler stated in the release. “To collect so many signatures in such a condensed time frame truly demonstrates the passion, strength and unity in my campaign against Congressman Bishop.”