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Exclusive: Suffolk sheriff weighs challenge to Rep. Israel
Suffolk’s Conservative Sheriff Vincent DeMarco is weighing a bid by Republicans to recruit him to run next November against 10-year Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington). Anthony Manetta, a DeMarco political adviser, acknowledged the sheriff, who recently won his first re-election with cross-endorsement from the Democratic, Republican and Independence parties, has had congressional discussions. “People have approached him to see if he is interested in running,” said Manetta, who said DeMarco has yet to decide. High-level political sources say Republicans “see the C and the word Sheriff next to DeMarco’s name and see it as gold” — and DeMarco is leaning toward making the race.
Israel last won re-election with 67 percent of the vote and has $1.7 million banked for 2010. He was in Afghanistan last week and had no immediate comment. DeMarco became sheriff four years ago, helped by the Democratic line. He’s since become better known for agreeing to take over patrols on major highways from county police, earning anger from police unions.