BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray submitted more than 1,400 designating petitions to the state Board of Elections as he pushes for ballot access in New York's 26th Congressional District primary in June, which would take place after the special election this month.

However, a lawsuit brought by his potential opponent, state Sen. Tim Kennedy, and a voter claimed, at best, 382 of the signatures McMurray submitted are valid. That would put the candidate well below the minimum of 1,250 needed.

The primary argument in the lawsuit is the person McMurray contracted to help him collect the signatures, Desmond Abrams, of the firm Transformative Solutions, alegedly committed fraud. The lawsuit alleged Abrams signed off, saying he was present for all of the candidate's signatures.

Petitioners submitted affidavits from five people stating Abrams was in fact not there when they signed. They also claimed other reasons why ballots are invalid, including claiming 621 people are not registered to the address they put in the petitions and 685 are not enrolled in the Democratic Party.

They continued to point out McMurray is both a seasoned political candidate who has run in past congressional races and an attorney so he should know the rules. McMurray was unavailable for interview Tuesday but did offer a statement by text message.

"They are trying to stop a primary. That's it. They will do anything they can to prevent an open primary. Politicians suing other politicians to keep them off the ballot and prevent debate is not good for democracy or Western New York," he said.

McMurray said he plans to be in court Thursday afternoon for a hearing on the case.