Challenge to Unity Party

Amos Goodman, chairman of the East Hampton Town Republican Committee, has challenged petitions David Lys submitted to the Suffolk County Board of Elections last month to create the East Hampton Unity Party.

Mr. Lys, a town councilman appointed to his post in January, offered himself as a candidate for the new independent political party in an effort to ensure he remains on the Nov. 6 ballot even if he loses today’s Democratic primary.

Mr. Lys had changed his party registration from Republican to Democratic last year before being appointed to his post. He faces David Gruber, who formed a splinter group called the East Hampton Reform Democrats, in today’s primary. 

Mr. Goodman, who successfully challenged the East Hampton Independence Party’s petitions for Mr. Gruber to appear on its line on the November ballot, said on Tuesday that his challenge would not be settled before today’s primary election, but “by my count they’re short of what’s the statutory requirement.” The petition requires 320 valid signatures; Mr. Goodman charged that only about 260 of approximately 383 submitted are valid. 

Unlike his challenge to the Independence Party’s nominating petitions, in which he accused that party’s officials of fraud, Mr. Goodman said he is simply trying to ascertain the validity of the signatures. He described the move as “strictly a technical challenge,” referring to requirements including that signatories be residents of the town and that they have not signed another nominating petition.