Buffalo developer Carl Paladino has filed petitions in his effort to force a Sept. 14 Republican primary against Rick Lazio.
Paladino was unable to muster enough support at the Republican state convention last month to secure an automatic spot on the primary ballot.
Paladino says today he collected 28,000 signatures, far more than the 15,000 required. The petitions are subject to possible challenges, though Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo said they were “bulletproof.”
A primary would be an unwelcome diversion for Lazio, a former congressman from Long Island who has lagged Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo in polls and fundraising.
Paladino’s campaign reports spending $1.7 million, mostly his own money.