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Two weeks until Election Day, the campaigns for Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) and Republican Randy Altschuler have found yet another battlefront.
Last week, Bishop held a press conference to announce endorsements from Suffolk county’s police unions. The move came days after Altschuler formally earned the backing of Suffolk’s deputy sheriffs union.
Being on opposite sides of an issue is nothing new for the county’s police and sheriff’s personnel: they’re currently in a court battle for jurisdiction over the Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Highway, after County Executive Steve Bellone returned patrols of the roads to police – four years after his predecessor had given them to deputies.
But in the context of the Bishop-Altschuler race, the dueling law enforcement endorsements simply continue a trend: one side touts a particular group’s support, before the other attempts to match it.
On Monday, Bishop’s campaign sent out a news release highlighting “the backing of builders, contractors, environmentalists, law enforcement, and virtually every labor group.”
“These groups don’t always agree with each other, but they agree on me,” Bishop said in the release. “It’s truly an honor to have earned these diverse endorsements. They should know that I will continue to fight for the good jobs that built the middle class on Long Island, while still protecting our precious natural resources, clean air and clean water.”
Bishop’s endorsements include: the Long Island Federation of Labor, the Nassau Suffolk Building Trades, the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, the Long Island Environmental Voters Forum, the Long Island Contractors Association, and the Suffolk County Police Conference, which includes the Suffolk County Police Benevolence Association, the Suffolk County Detective Investigators P.B.A., the Suffolk County Superior Officers Association, and the Suffolk County Detective Association. He also has the support of the homebuilders, and the Suffolk County Fire Chiefs.
Not to be outdone, Altschuler’s camp distributed their own statement Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Bishop’s. His team claimed “a surge of momentum” from “broad-based support.”
“Randy Altschuler is the new direction Suffolk County needs,” said his campaign manager, Diana Weir. “Randy’s specific, 10-point plan and commitment to work across party lines to create local jobs, boost small businesses and grow our economy has earned him an impressive list of endorsements, from people across the political spectrum, who want real change in Washington. We’re honored to have all of their support.”
The statement went onto list the following endorsements (not including political parties): Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees; Suffolk County Deputy Sheriffs’ Police Benevolent Association; Suffolk County Correction Officers Association, Inc.; National Federation of Independent Business; United States Chamber of Commerce; The Health Care Coalition of Suffolk County; National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition; National Association of Wholesale Distributors; The Montauk Boatman & Captain’s Association; New York Fishing Tackle Trades Association; Recreational Fishing Alliance.
For those counting, that’s 12 on one side and 11 on the other. Until the next move.