State Assembly candidate Bob Friedrich claimed his opponent, Assemblyman David Weprin’s (D-Little Neck), is trying to knock him off the ballot and said the effort is a North Korean-style tactic.
But Weprin said he is not challenging Friedrich’s petitions and filed a general objection in order to see how many signatures Friedrich obtained.
Weprin, who defeated Friedrich in a special election earlier this year to fill out former Assemblyman Mark Weprin’s term, filed challenges to Friedrich’s petition signatures July 15.
Assembly candidates need 500 signatures to qualify for a ballot spot.
“It is shameful that David Weprin seeks to bring the North Korean example of elections to our Assembly district by robbing voters of choice in his attempt to knock his only opponent off the ballot so that he can run unopposed as he has done in every primary election,” Friedrich said in a statement.
But Weprin said when he saw Friedrich gathered about 1,100 to 1,200 signatures, his campaign decided not to challenge the petitions.
“It’s nothing like North Korea,” Weprin said. “It’s the United States of America, it’s a democracy and we’re not challenging his petitions.”
Weprin said if the petitions were signed by voters from, say, a Brooklyn address – only voters from the district can sign petitions for Weprin or Friedrich – it would have raised a red flag.
But Weprin said Friedrich’s signatures “looked O.K.”