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Democrat Tom Dolan announces run for Suffolk legislative seat
Democrat Tom Dolan yesterday officially announced his candidacy for Suffolk County’s 14th Legislative District seat and vowed he would take a pay freeze as County Executive Steve Bellone did, if he is elected.
Dolan made his announcement, with nearly 100 supporters behind him, at the 50-yard line of the Venetian Shores town park football field used by the Lindenhurst Bulldogs, a local junior football and cheerleading organization of which he is vice president.
“Steve Bellone showed his leadership by coming into county government and freezing his own pay. I will do the same,” said Dolan, a financial planner whose late father was once Babylon Democratic chairman.
Suffolk lawmakers make $96,570 annually. When Bellone assumed office last year, he took a $187,000 annual salary, $4,000 less than his predecessor, Republican Steve Levy. It also was less than the $208,000 he is entitled to take under law, but well above his $104,000-a-year salary as Babylon Town supervisor. Later, Bellone said he would continue to freeze his pay through the end of his first term and is paying the 15 percent share of health insurance required of all newly hired employees.
Legis. Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon), who is leaving to take a state parks job, touted Dolan’s “private-sector experience” and his family roots that “go back generations” in the local community. He said he will help Bellone “make the tough decision for a smaller and more efficient county government.”
Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer, the Suffolk Democratic chairman, took issue with Republican claims that their candidate — Lindenhurst Deputy Mayor Kevin McCaffrey — has a 23-year public record while Dolan has none. “I beg to differ,” Schaffer said. “If you look at the number of young people Tom Dolan has mentored, coached and helped, that has more of an impact on our community.”
Tony Pancella, Babylon GOP chairman, said the “Democratic game plan” is to have Dolan run on Schaffer’s coattails, but he pointed out Democrats “think Kevin McCaffrey is a great guy because they have cross-endorsed him many times.”