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Although the election is not until November, hundreds of lawn signs touting Islip’s Conservative town board member Anthony Senft as a candidate for State Senate appeared Wednesday morning.
About 300 signs were put along major roadways throughout the district in Brookhaven and Islip by Senft’s Conservative backers.
“I’m starting my campaign early to make contact with constituents,” said Senft, 47, an Islip Town Board member for the last two years. A lawyer from Great River, Senft is also former Army paratrooper and was once a special assistant U. S. attorney while in the military.
Asked about the sign blitz, Edward Walsh, Suffolk Conservative chairman, said, “I guess there are a lot of people who think Senft is the best candidate by far” for the Senate seat. He says his party is squarely behind Senft’s candidacy.
The sign surge came after Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle told town leaders last week that he had asked State Senate Republicans to poll for four potential candidates: Senft, Brookhaven town board member Tim Mazzei, former Assemb. Dean Murray of East Patchogue and Islip Supervisor Tom Croci, who is serving in the Mideast as a Navy reservist.
Frank Tantone, Islip GOP chairman, according to GOP sources, objected to polling Croci’s name, because the supervisor has expressed no interest in the race and would be hard to replace as supervisor. LaValle said he has not spoken directly to Croci but has heard from some that he may be interested in the race, while others doubt his interest.
“I like Anthony Senft. I think he’s a great guy and if he’s the candidate that puts us in the best position to win, I’ll be behind him,” said LaValle. “But we can’t make that determination until we get additional data.”