Norma Gonsalves, the Nassau County Legislature’s presiding officer, was dismissed from the Conservative ballot on Aug. 1 after a Nassau County Supreme Court judge ruled her petition invalid.
According to Steve Schlesinger, a Garden City-based attorney who represented the “citizen objector” who challenged Gonsalves, the petition contained at least two signatures of deceased individuals, and signatures of people who lived out of state. Her petition, said Schlesinger, contained “signatures that were of dead people, people who moved to South Carolina, Florida, all sorts of all places.”
Once the invalid signatures were removed, Gonsalves, a Republican, no longer had the required number of signatures to remain on the Conservative ballot.
Schlesinger said he could not recall who the citizen objector was because his firm conducts 30 or 40 of election challenges at a time.
A county legislator since 1997, Gonsalves represents the 13th Legislative District, which includes East Meadow, Salisbury, and parts of North Merrick and North Bellmore. She became the Legislature’s presiding officer last November.
Gonsalves had no comment, but her attorney, Charles Casolaro, said, “On the part of our good friends in the Conservative party, there was some sloppiness in the acquisition of some signatures.”
Numerous phone calls to the Nassau County Conservative Party were not answered.
In the upcoming November election, Gonsalves is being challenged by Democratic candidate Ed Kraus, a North Bellmore Fire District Commissioner.