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No fork and knife for Blakeman's pizza

Bruce Blakeman during a news conference on Wall

Bruce Blakeman during a news conference on Wall Street on Jan. 27, 2010. (Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

The first political dig of Bruce Blakeman’s congressional campaign wasn’t even directed at one of his 4th district opponents.

Blakeman, the former Republican presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, was standing in front of Ancona Pizzeria in his native Valley Stream on Thursday to announce that he’s running to succeed retiring Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). 

Naturally, the subject of pizza came up.

After his speech, in which he was joined by Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), Blakeman declared: “Now, the congressman and I are going to get a slice of pizza.” 

Looking to one of the restaurant’s owners, he added, wryly: “Antoinette, don’t you dare bring me a knife and fork. I don’t eat my pizza that way.”

The crowd of several dozen supporters broke into laughter, obviously aware of the joke at the expense of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio, a Democrat, became the subject of some gentle mockery last month when he visited a Staten Island pizza parlor and proceeded to eat his slices with his cutlery. The mayor, a Brooklyn resident and Italian American, defended his technique by noting, “In my ancestral homeland, it’s more typical to eat with a fork and knife.”

Back in Valley Stream, Blakeman (who himself recently resided in New York City) let the laughter from his quip die down before adding, “I don’t know what they do in Brooklyn, but here on Long Island, we fold our pizza.”

No word yet (because we didn't ask) on how the 4th district's other candidates -- including Democrats Kathleen Rice, the Nassau DA, and Kevan Abrahams, county legislative minority leader, and Republican Frank Scaturro -- prefer to eat their slices.

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