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After knocking on 3,000 doors over the past five months, Tim Sini, County Executive Steve Bellone's top criminal justice aide Monday announced his candidacy to run against GOP Legis. Kevin McCaffrey.
Sini, 34, a $110,000 a year assistant deputy county executive, made the announcement in a news release three days before the Democratic county convention. Sini since last year has campaigned door to door, as an unpaid special assistant to Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer, who is also Suffolk Democratic chairman.
Democrats have made a priority of ousting McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), a Teamster union leader and former Lindenhurst deputy mayor, who scored a major upset two years ago in the 14th District, where Bellone resides.
In his announcement, Sini touted his credentials as a former prosecutor for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. He said he played a "leading role" in getting the state to postpone indefinitely the $112 million second phase of new jail construction in Yaphank.
The release also criticized McCaffrey, without mentioning him by name, of playing "a partisan role" in the county legislature.
"Surprise, surprise, surprise," McCaffrey, who is also GOP caucus leader, said of the expected announcement.
McCaffrey said Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, a Conservative, "deserves all the credit" for creating alternatives to incarceration, which led to a major drop in jail population.
McCaffrey noted that while he agreed with Bellone 90 percent of the time, but "when the county executive makes a decision that is not good, I will stand up and say he's wrong. I don't think Tim Sini will ever be able to say that because he's beholden to Bellone."