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Ray Perini bests Democrats for Reform line for Suffolk sheriff

Republican Ray Perini has his first victory over Police Commissioner Tim Sini, the Democrats’ candidate in their battle for the $193,133-a-year job as Suffolk district attorney.

Perini, designee of the Reform Party, fended of Democrats’ attempts to oust him from the minor party line in what is known as an “Opportunity to Ballot” that permitted a write-in campaign for Sini in Tuesday’s primary.

Perini, whose name was on the primary ballot, polled 931 votes or 93.3 percent, while write-in votes totaled 67. For now, it is not clear if Sini received all 67 ballots or if some voters wrote in other names. Election officials say it may take up to two weeks to determine how many votes Sini received.

Curtis Sliwa, Reform Party chairman and former head of the Guardian Angels, said voters “don’t think some kid with four years experience can do the job,” referring to Sini’s time as an assistant U.S. attorney. “That’s why we picked Ray Perini, the guy with 44 years experience.” Sini worked five years as a federal prosecutor.

Perini, a defense lawyer and a former assistant Suffolk district attorney, said Sini tried to “hijack” the Reform line, but voters “are tired of political bosses taking them for fools.”

Justin Myers, Sini’s campaign spokesman, downplayed the importance of the Reform Party nomination. Myers said, we are “very confident in the campaign we’ve built with a broad-base of support” from the Conservative, Independence and Working Families parties, as well as county unions.

The Reform Party has 122 registered voters in Suffolk County. However, new party rules for the first time permit those unaligned to any party to vote in their primary.

Also in the DA’s campaign, Sini and Perini will square off at their first debate Thursday night at a meeting of the Suffolk Criminal Bar Association to be held at the Irish Coffee Pub in East Islip. The event is limited to the 150 members of the association.

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