Rick Brand Portrait of Newsday reporter Rick Brand taken on

Rick Brand is a longtime Newsday reporter who writes about politics and government on Long Island.

Republican Assemb. Al Graf has suspended his campaign for Suffolk County sheriff.

Graf, a lawyer who also served as a New York City police officer and as an upstate town supervisor, disclosed his decision in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon.

Graf said he will meet with state Sen. Philip Boyle, a Republican candidate for sheriff, whom Graf earlier denounced as the “most unqualified candidate“ to ever run for that job because of his lack of direct law enforcement experience.

“I look forward to sitting down with Senator Boyle and discussing the issues and the solutions that will help Suffolk County become a safer place to live, work, raise a family,” Graf wrote.

Boyle said he has the “greatest respect” for Graf and “looks forward to getting his advice and guidance.”

Boyle called Graf’s move an important “step forward” toward getting the Suffolk GOP committee’s backing for sheriff.

Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative who has run with major and minor party support, said he looks forward to running for re-election, and “comparing my 23 years of law enforcement experience to Phil Boyle’s zero years of experience.”

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The administration of President Donald Trump also is considering DeMarco for a job in the U.S. Marshal’s office in New York City.

Boyle in March was endorsed for sheriff by the Suffolk Conservative executive committee.