By Madina Toure

Candidates running for state Senate and Assembly seats have started collecting petitions to get onto the ballot.

The primary will take place Sept. 13. A spokeswoman for the state Board of Elections said candidates must file their petitions with the board between July 11 and July 14.

In order for a candidate’s name to appear on a ballot, New York State requires state Senate candidates to gather a minimum of 1,000 signatures from registered voters who are members of the candidate’s party and reside in the candidate’s district. State Assembly candidates must gather 500 signatures.

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and S.J. Jung, former president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, are vying for the 16th Senate District seat. The district includes parts of Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone, Elmhurst, Woodside, Rego Park and Forest Hills.

And over in southeast Queens, three candidates are running for the 33rd Assembly District seat that was held by the late state Assemblywoman Barbara Clark: Roy Paul, lead organizer for Southeast Queens for Community Action; Leroy Gadsden, president of the NAACP’s Jamaica branch; and community advocate Clyde Vanel, who also previously served as chief of staff for state Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park). Vanel also ran against Clark in 2011 in an unsuccessful bid.

The district includes Cambria Heights, St. Albans, Queens Village, Hollis and Bellerose.

State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis) is also being challenged by a Republican, Jarret Freeman, for his 14th Senate District Seat, which covers neighborhoods such as Cambria Heights, Hollis, Queens Village, Laurelton, St. Albans, parts of Jamaica, Jamaica Estates and Briarwood.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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