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State and Suffolk Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay said he has made no decision on whom to support in the special election for Brookhaven highway superintendent, even though Republican town board member Kathleen Walsh last week switched her enrollment to his minor party.
“By no means has a decision been made,” MacKay said late last week, emphasizing that Walsh’s party switch was done without consultation and will have no impact on his decision on whom to endorse — a decision that has to be postmarked no later than Monday.
Even though Walsh signed enrollment forms, MacKay said, under state law, “Kathy is still officially a Republican until after the election” in November. That means she could still run a GOP town board primary in September if she does not win the highway job.
MacKay also said her switch creates an “awkward” situation, noting that Walsh’s jump has brought overtures from several candidates offering to switch parties, if it will secure the Independence Party's backing.
“We don’t want to encourage a trend where people switch parties for the sake of getting an endorsement," he said. "We want to discourage people from this practice of just making a switch when the opportunity to run for office presents itself.”