Today’s news:

Tabone’s challenge knocks Speranza off primary ballot

Former police officer Rob Speranza was knocked off the ballot last week in the race for state Assemblywoman Ann-Margaret Carrozza’s (D-Bayside) seat, leaving Republican Vince Tabone without a primary challenger.

A spokesman for the city Board of Elections confirmed Speranza was removed from the ballot last week.

Speranza, a retired police officer from Bayside who serves on Community Board 11 and the 111th Precinct Community Council, did not gather a sufficient number of legally valid required signatures in his bid, according to an Aug. 10 ruling from Queens Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Lebowitz.

His petition to get on the ballot was declared “invalid” and his name will not appear as a Republican candidate on voting machines during the Sept. 14 primary, the ruling said.

“I’m broken up about it,” said Speranza, who challenged Carrozza for her seat in 2008.

Tabone, an attorney for John Catsimitidis’s Manhattan-based Red Apple Group, is now the only Republican in the race to replace Carrozza. He has been endorsed by the Queens Republican Party.

Democrats in the race include Edward Braunstein, who works as a legislative aid for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan); Steve Behar, an attorney who ran last year in the race for then-City Councilman Tony Avella’s seat; John Duane, a former assemblyman in the district and brother of state Sen. Tom Duane (D-Manhattan); and Elio Forcina, a Whitestone attorney.

Carrozza announced earlier this year that she would not run for re-election. Her district covers Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, College Point and Whitestone.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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