Dem chief wants Beedenbender for Brookhaven highway post

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Brian Beedenbender, Democratic candidate for Town of Brookhaven Brian Beedenbender, Democratic candidate for Town of Brookhaven Supervisor, at Town Hall. (Aug. 27, 2012) Photo Credit: James Escher

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On election night, Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said that Brian Beedenbender was his first choice to run in a special election for Brookhaven highway superintendent even though he just lost the contest for town supervisor.

However, later the same night, Beedenbender said he had no interest in seeking the town highway post. A special election is needed because the current highway superintendent, John Rouse, was just elected as a county court judge with bipartisan support and will start his new job Jan. 1.

Beedenbender’s lack of interest did not seem to dissuade Schaffer from pressing the former county lawmaker and former Brookhaven supervisor Mark Lesko’s chief of staff to make the race for the vacancy left by Rouse.

“He hasn’t sat down with me yet,” Schaffer said.

Republicans, meanwhile, are touting a stable of potential candidates including town board member Dan Panico, Legis. Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma), restaurant owner John Giannott and Assemb. Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham). Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle has also expressed interest, but party sources say relations between LaValle and Garcia are often strained and Garcia has no interest in giving LaValle a post so lucrative in patronage jobs and contracts.

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