By David Brand
Campaign officials working on behalf of Queens District Attorney candidate Mina Malik have filed general objections to ballot petitions submitted by three more candidates in the Democratic primary race to replace DA Richard Brown.
Election attorney Ali Najmi on Monday objected to the ballot petitions of former Judge Gregory Lasak, attorney Betty Lugo and former state Attorney General’s Office prosecutor Jose Nieves.
Last week, Najmi and another Malik campaign official filed an objection to the petitions filed by public defender Tiffany Cabán.
To qualify to appear on the June 25 primary ballot, candidates had to submit at least 4,000 valid signatures from registered Democrats residing in Queens by April 4. All seven candidates submitted far more than 4,000 signatures, but Malik’s campaign team questions whether those signatures are legitimate.
Malik’s spokesperson Antonya Jeffrey told the Eagle that the campaign filed the petition objections to “maintain the integrity of the election process.”
Malik’s campaign has until six days after filing each objection to submit a list of the specific signatures they object to. That means combing through voter rolls to find invalid names amid the tens of thousands of signatures that candidates filed with the Board of Elections.
The deadline to file specific objections to Cabán’s ballot is Wednesday at midnight. They have until Monday at midnight to file specific objections to Lasak, Lugo and Nieves’ ballots.
For their part, Lasak and Nieves say they aren’t concerned.
“We believe this is a misguided attempt to take the only qualified candidate out of the race,” said Lasak Campaign Chairperson Bill Driscoll. “We believe our petitions are valid and that they’ll withstand the challenge.”
“My campaign conducted a well organized petition campaign so I’m confident that I will qualify for the Democratic primary,” Nieves said.
Lugo did not respond to request for comment.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Councilmember Rory Lancman are also running in the Democratic primary for Queens DA.