While Queens political junkies pegged November’s State Senate District 15 battle between incumbent Democrat Joseph Addabbo and Republican Anthony Como as one of the year’s most interesting races, the fireworks have started early.
Both campaigns have already waged battle over the ballots and what party lines the candidates will appear on in November.
Already, Addabbo has been removed from the Working Families Party Line after Como challenged his petitions, and Como is embroiled in his own ballot controversy after filling out petitions for a third party line – Tax Cuts Now – with the incorrect date.
The Como camp filed the signatures with the date for the primary instead of the general election, so Board of Election Commissioners, and the courts if need-be according to Como, will decide whether he can remain on that ballot line.
“The fact that this is a major issue now is kind of disappointing in a way,” Como said. “I think basically it’s just politics and ugly politics.”
Como said that there are prior cases that the board has ruled on that should help his cause, and he said he is confident that the signatures themselves – minus the wrong date – are good.
“We know there are enough signatures to withstand any challenge,” Como said.
However, Addabbo questioned whether all of the petition signers were legit saying he has heard stories of confusion.
“A number of people I spoke to said they were approached to sign petitions for Como and some of them thought it was for Andrew Cuomo, and they didn’t know what they were signing,” Addabbo said.
Meanwhile, Addabbo is still dealing with his own ballot issue, whether or not to appeal the court’s decision to boot him from the Working Families Party Line.
“I normally like to exhaust all legal remedies before closing a case or a matter,” Addabbo said.
With the Democrats currently holding a slim 32-30 majority in the State Senate, both parties are likely to sink a great deal of resources into this campaign, and the Board of Elections September 7 ruling on Como’s Tax Cuts Now ballot line could be critical.
“I don’t think it’s do or die; I don’t think it’s make or break,” Como said, acknowledging that it would definitely help and could have a big impact in a tight election with low voter turnout.