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Rosasco’s write-in bid undone by state law

TimesLedger Newspapers

David Rosasco’s write-in campaign may be over before it began.

After a Queens civil court judge knocked him off the Democratic primary ballot earlier this month, the Woodside-based translator announced he was abandoning his appeal of the decision and hoped to pursue a write-in primary campaign to replace City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Sunnyside).

But it would appear state election law will again bar him from the ballot due to a missed deadline.

Rosasco, whose petition signatures were challenged on behalf of Democratic opponent Deirdre Feerick, cited the potential cost of the appeal and the 3 1/2 weeks the litigation has kept him from the campaign trail as the deciding factors.

“We wouldn’t have a decision with a yes or no until sometime next week,” he said of the appeals process. “That’s what they want. They want me to be in court.”

Instead, Rosasco will go back to knocking on doors, hoping to convince his supporters to write his name in on the primary election ballot.

“I know the mechanics of the write-in campaign are difficult, but this whole campaign has been difficult,” he said.

In order to accomplish this, Rosasco would have to file a new petition in order to establish a write-in slot on the primary ballot. But according to the 2009 state Board of Elections political calendar, the last day to file such an “opportunity to ballot” petition was July 30.

Write-in primaries have occurred in the past, such as in 1990 when former state Sen. Serphin Maltese successfully won the Republican ticket after feuding with the Queens Republican Party. In that race, however, the Queens GOP forwarded its own write-in candidate.

Rosasco has been an underdog in the race, raising $10,343 and spending $11,529, according to city Campaign Finance Board records. Council attorney Deirdre Feerick, the choice of the Queens Democratic Party, had raised $159,057 in donations and matching public funds by Aug. 14, according to city Campaign Finance Board records.

Long Island City attorney Brent O’Leary had raised $80,485 in combined funds. Queens Library External Affairs Director Jimmy Van Bramer had raised a combined $159,743.

Van Bramer led the pack in spending with $54,719 by Aug. 14. Feerick spent the second-most at $44,267, while O’Leary spent $36,144.

The primary election is Sept. 15.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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