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Long IslandColumnistsRick Brand

Doug Smith, top aide to Assemb. Al Graf, seeks to succeed boss

Smith, 27, of Holbrook, has worked for the GOP Assemblyman for seven years.

Assemb. Al Graf’s top aide Doug Smith has asked Republican Party officials to consider him as a candidate for the 5th Assembly District seat following Graf’s election Nov. 7 as a District Court judge in Islip.

Smith, 27, of Holbrook, who has worked for Graf for his entire seven years in office, said he personally helped more than 2,000 constituents with individual problems.

“Al has always had a reputation for being blunt,” said Smith. “I may be a little kinder and gentler but we still are going to get the job done.”

Despite Smith’s interest, two-thirds of the Assembly district is in Brookhaven Town.

One possible Brookhaven contender could be town board member Kevin LaValle, 40, of Selden. LaValle, brother of Suffolk GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle, said he had not originally considered the race, but will “certainly think about it.” Party insiders say it is unlikely he would give up his majority town board seat to become part of the Assembly GOP minority.

Democrat Deborah Slinkosky, a former Sachem school board member from Holbrook who twice ran unsuccessfully against Graf, also has expressed interest in running, according to Democratic Party officials.

Democrats also intend to talk with Brookhaven Democratic Party Secretary James LaCarrubba, a former deputy in the Brookhaven highway department and Long Beach public works commissioner, about the race.

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