Today’s news:

Paterson calls special election for Seminerio seat

Gov. David Paterson called a special election Friday to fill disgraced former Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio’s (D-Richmond Hill) for Sept. 15, the same day the city will be holding primary elections.

Seminerio pleaded guilty to corruption charges in June, a day before he abruptly resigned from his Assembly seat. The office has been vacant since then.

Six candidates set up campaign committees to run for the seat and five filed petitions with the state Board of Elections to get on the ballot.

But the petitions became moot after Paterson’s announcement.

Under special election rules, candidates are chosen by county party organizations and the corresponding district leaders in Seminerio’s district, which includes Seminerio himself.

Those not chosen by the borough’s party organizations can still get on the ballot by filing new petitions within 12 days of Paterson’s announcement, which gives them an Aug. 18 deadline.

The special election is scheduled to occur at the same time borough residents vote in primary elections for city offices.

Paterson’s announcement was not surprising after the general counsel for the city Board of Elections wrote in a July 21 e-mail that the governor intended to call a special election for Primary Day.

Seminerio was scheduled to be sentenced in October after admitting to setting up a fake consulting company to take in roughly $1 million in illegal payments, including $390,000 from Jamaica Hospital and its Medicaid-managed health care plan.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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