Nassau official seeks Queens Council seat

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The Queens Republican Party is backing a top lawyer in the Nassau County Attorney’s Office as its candidate to replace scandal-tarred City Councilman Dan Halloran.

Dennis Saffran, chief of the Appeals Bureau, is running as a Republican for the Council seat in District 19, which spans northeast Queens. Halloran opted against running for re-election after he was indicted on charges of seeking bribes to help get Democratic Sen. Malcolm Smith on the GOP line in the upcoming mayoral race.

“It’s important to have someone with a reputation for honesty and integrity and who can restore the reputation of the office,” said Saffran, who will go on leave from his $104,000 county position.

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Saffran was hired by Nassau in 2002, one year after his first run for the Council seat, losing to now-State Sen. Tony Avella by less than 400 votes. The district leans heavily Democratic.

Saffran is the only announced Republican in the race although Rudy S. Giuliani, the former mayor’s second cousin and the chief of staff to GOP City Councilman Eric Ulrich, is reportedly considering a run. Five Democrats are also competing for the seat.

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