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.


Suffolk Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative who always has run with Democratic cross-endorsement, made a $5,000 donation to the Trump for America super PAC last month.

DeMarco’s campaign committee reported making the donation on Dec. 6, 2016 to an Edison, New Jersey address. DeMarco did not return calls for comment.

Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, who has already said he would back DeMarco’s renomination, downplayed the donation’s impact.

“I think he supports the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party, but I know he recognizes where he got his start from,” alluding to Democrats’ early endorsement of DeMarco for sheriff when he first ran in 2005.

Asked if grass roots Democrats might be upset by Trump donation, Schaffer said, “We’ll have to see how the process plays out.”

Barry McCoy, a Democratic state committeeman, said “it will surely be an item for discussion when his [DeMarco’s] name comes up at he executive committee for a Wilson Pikula” — the authorization that allows nonparty members to run on the Democratic line.

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DeMarco latest campaign report shows that he has $271,303 on hand, going into the election year. In the past six months, he raised $28,013 and spent $30,211.