Republican candidate Jonathan Judge was thrown off the ballot Tuesday for the special 44th District City Council election. State Supreme Court Judge Larry Martin ruled that Judge only had 750 valid signatures on his petitions, 15 short of the needed 765.The decision came about two weeks after the city’s Board of Elections (BOE) ruled that Judge had 786 valid signatures of his 1,221 signatures total collected.
Democratic candidate David Greenfield contested the signatures first at the BOE level and then in court. He had the backing of Kings County Democratic Party boss Vito Lopez and used noted election law attorney Carl Landicino, who Lopez often utilizes in such challenges.
“The ruling today is one absurdity on top of another. I had more than enough signatures,” said Judge. “This is the product of machinations of the Brooklyn Democratic machine under Vito Lopez and collusion with the Brooklyn Republican Party leadership and State Senator Marty Golden.”
Specifically, Judge maintained that the Board of Elections didn’t allow him to reinstate some 100 signatures collected by former Republican District leader Susan Cleary.
The signatures were disallowed by Diane Rudiano, chief clerk of the Brooklyn Board of Elections and the secretary of the Kings County Republican party.
The two worked together as poll site workers and yet Rudiano accepted the allegation that Cleary was not even a registered voter, said Judge.
Judge, who is appealing the decision on the state and possibly federal level, alleged Golden cut a deal with Lopez to support the liberal Greenfield in exchange for the Democratic Party boss to lay low in working for a Democrat to defeat Golden in the upcoming senatorial election.
Golden called the allegation one of the most ridiculous he’s heard in his life.
“Obviously he (Judge) didn’t do the work he should have and didn’t get enough signatures,” said Golden .
“He would have been a qualified candidate but he didn’t take responsibility for his own inactions,” he added.
Golden said he supported Greenfield two weeks before he found out any Republicans were running in the district and noted that Republican Kenneth Rice remains in the race.
Golden said three Democrats are running against him and he expects one to get the support of the Kings County Democratic Party.
The court decision comes as the Greenfield campaign continues to lose ground against Democrat Joe Lazar, who is also running for the seat.
Lazar picked up the endorsement of Comptroller John Liu and The Jewish Press last week.
Lazar, who has the strong backing of Assemblymember Dov Hikind, is alsogaining solid support and endorsements in the Borough Park end of the district, which has the largest voting block.
The district also includes Midwood and Bensonhurst.