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Suffolk Dems support incumbent legislators; hold off on DA, sheriff nominations

05/23/2017 5:55 AM |

The Suffolk County Democratic Committee renominated East End county legislators Al Krupski and Bridget Fleming Monday night, but held off on a decision on the high-profile positions of district attorney and sheriff.

Both those countywide offices will be left vacant by retiring incumbents.

“We have not come to a conclusion,” Democratic chairman Richard Schaefer said at the convention, which was held at the IBEW Local 25 Union Hall in Hauppauge. “We have seven people who’ve interviewed for district attorney and we haven’t had any candidates come forward for sheriff.”

He also said it’s possible that one of the district attorney candidates will seek the sheriff position instead.

Mr. Schaefer said Democrats will not cross endorse the Republican candidates for district attorney and sheriff, as has been done in the past. Suffolk Republicans will host their nominating convention June 5.

The Democratic committee has authorized Mr. Schaefer, in consultation with the screening committee, to name a candidate for sheriff and district attorney at a later date.

District Attorney Thomas Spota and Sheriff Vincent DeMarco have decided not to seek re-election. Both were originally elected with Democratic backing and received cross endorsements from Republicans.

Democratic contenders for district attorney include Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini, former Suffolk County Planning Commission chairman Dave Calone, Parents for Megan’s Law founder Laura Ahearn, and attorneys Maureen McCormick, Tad Schafenberg, Billy Wexler and James Chalifoux.

Prior to the convention, Mr. Sini, a former federal prosecutor, received the endorsement of former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara.

“As the Suffolk County Police Commissioner, he has worked tirelessly to restore professionalism and integrity to the leadership of the police department,” Mr. Bharara said in a statement. “As District Attorney, he will bring the culture of the Southern District of New York to the top law enforcement office in Suffolk County.”

The committee renominated all incumbent Democratic county legislators up for re-election and made no endorsement for the six seats currently held by Republicans.

Democrats hold a 12-6 majority in the Legislature, including Mr. Krupski of Cutchogue and Ms. Fleming of Sag Harbor. While the Democrats currently have a majority, three legislators — Kate Browning, Steve Stern and Lou D’Amaro — will leave office at the end of this year as the result of term limits. Nominations were made for their seats Monday night.

The Democrats also nominated Theresa Whelan of Wading River for Family Court judge and David Morris of Islip for county court judge.

Mr. Krupski said his top priorities include roads, energy conservation and wastewater treatment projects.

Ms. Fleming said she looks forward to continue building on recent progress with water quality issues, tick-borne illness and economic development.

“There’s still lots more to do and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to earn another term and get those things done,” she said.

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