Two Republican Senate candidates running in closely watched Long Island battleground races failed to qualify for the Tax Revolt ballot line — providing new fodder for their Democratic opponents.
Republican candidate Elaine Phillips and incumbent Sen. Carl Marcellino both failed to submit the needed signatures to qualify for the ballot line, which was formed by Nassau County Republicans.
The margin of error for Republicans, especially on Long Island, is small considering the narrow divide of the chamber. Democrats hope to run competitive races in the Nassau County suburban districts as well as in races for Hudson Valley seats.
“Carl Marcellino has spent decades in Albany raising taxes on Long Island families and businesses, so it’s not surprising that taxpayers rejected his claims and kicked him off the Tax Revolt line,” Marcellino opponent Jim Gaughran said.
Phillips, the mayor of Flower Hill, is running to replace incumbent Jack Martins, who is running for Congress and leaving the Senate.
The district has been a swing seat for several cycles after it was flipped by Democrat Craig Johnson, who was unseated by Martins in 2010 in a close vote.
“Not only is Elaine Phillips trying to pull one over on the voters by hiding her abysmal record of raising their taxes, she is also trying to skirt around the rules,” said Adam Haber, Phillips’s Democratic opponent.