Court upholds Thiele Independence nomination

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New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele’s Independence Party nomination was upheld in a State Supreme Court this week when a judge rejected the petition filed by his opponent to remove his name from the party line on the November ballot.

Mr. Thiele said State Supreme Court Justice Kevin Kerrigan rejected a petition filed by Richard Blumenthal of Westhampton Beach who will run against Mr. Thiele in the 2nd District. Mr. Blumenthal had claimed Mr. Thiele’s nomination to the Independence Party was invalid because of inaccuracies in his petition. Mr. Blumenthal claimed that enough of the signatures on Mr. Thiele’s petition were not legally registered with the Independence Party to invalidate the nomination.

Mr. Thiele’s petition was supported by the Suffolk County Board of Elections before it was also upheld by the court.

Mr. Thiele said on Monday that he would not be surprised if Mr. Blumenthal, who has also criticized Mr. Thiele for his Working Family Party nomination, filed an appeal.

“My opponent seems to have no qualms about clogging up the court system with baseless lawsuits,” he said.

Mr. Thiele’s name is the only one to appear on the district’s ballot for the Independence Party. Mr. Thiele said Mr. Blumenthal’s effort to invalidate his nomination was a move to disenfranchise voters.

“Ballot access is something that the courts encourage,” he said.

ERIN GEISMAR

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