Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Former Republican congressional contender Grant Lally has agreed to make the run against two-term Legis. Dr. William Spencer (D-Centerport) in November.

Lally, 53, agreed to run and he was also assured he would get the Conservative ballot line. However, Lally has to garner at least 57 signatures by next week to qualify.

Lally acknowkledges the race is uphill but believes he has a "good chance" to win. "Its never a slam dunk," said Lally, a lawyer who lives in Lloyd Harbor. He said Spencer "seems like a nice enough fellow, but he is just a 'yes man' for the Democratic Party."

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Lally ran last year for Congress against Rep. Steve Israel, losing by a margin of 90,032 votes to 74,269. He lost in 1994 and 1996 to former Rep. Gary Ackerman.

Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said Spencer, who two years ago beat the brother of late Assemb. James Conte by double digits, should win easily.

"I'm confident about Doc Spencer's chances against a three-time loser with an admitted record of election fraud," he said, referring to a $280,000 penalty Lally received from the Federal Election Commission in 1998 after illegally funnelling $200,000 in loans from his family into campaign coffers.