Thursday, February 5, 2009

Final Four

After BOE shake-up remaining candidates vie for 32nd Council seat

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 5:53 PM EST

Less than three weeks before Queens residents from Woodhaven to the Rockaways cast their ballots for State Senator Joe Addabbo, Jr.'s City Council replacement, the field of contenders has apparently been whittled down to four.

Conspicuously absent on polling lists throughout the 32nd Council District during the February 24 special election could be Community Board 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio. The self-proclaimed "known entity" with the most experience among the candidates, Gulluscio was widely considered the favorite to win the council spot. But his petitions for inclusion on the ballot - each candidate had to file 1,100 signatures by January 15 - were invalidated because they contained a star, an overt Democratic Party symbol according to a bipartisan Board of Elections (BOE) committee, sources at a February 3 BOE hearing said. In the special election, all candidates were to run as Independents.

"Our campaign continues to move forward towards victory on February 24," Gulluscio said in a statement, pledging to appeal the BOE ruling in court on February 9 and condemning the "cheap tricks" used by some of his opponents.

Also missing from voting registries will likely be Sam Di Bernardo, a former teacher and real estate executive, who, at 74, and without big-party backing, called himself "the underdog." Di Bernardo, too, was ruled out "on a technicality," he said, after the BOE and a conflict of interest board voted that they could not determine from his petitions what district he was running in. He plans to challenge the ruling.

Courtesy of The Queens Courier

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