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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who faces Republican challenger James O’Connor at the polls tomorrow, got late infusions totaling $65,000 from two well-known donors to Republicans — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and local hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer, who usually funds conservative candidates and causes.
The donations were among the 24-hour notices posted late last week with the New York State Board of Elections for contributions over $1,000. Bloomberg contributed $45,000; Mercer, of Renaissance Technologies in East Setauket, $20,000. Bloomberg also gave $1,900 to Legis. Jay Schneiderman who is running for Southampton supervisor. (Bloomberg ran and won three times on the GOP line for mayor, although he declared himself independent in mid-tenure).
Deputy County Executive Jon Schneider said Bellone reached out to Bloomberg. “The mayor cares deeply about making government more efficient and cares deeply about water quality,” he said. “We’re trying to do our part here in Suffolk County and we’re very grateful to count him as a supporter.”
John Jay LaValle, Suffolk Republican chairman, said he was “a little surprised” and would have to look into what was behind the donations, adding: “I’m sure pay-to-play had something to do with it.” O’Connor had one late donor last week — himself. He posted a $5,000 contribution to his campaign.