Suffolk Sheriff Vincent DeMarco kicked off his re-election campaign Thursday night at Windows on the Lake in Lake Ronkonkoma, but did not mention a possible appointment from President Donald Trump.
DeMarco told more than 100 supporters, most of them from the sheriff’s department, that he may face “a few little battles” on his way to his fourth term but intends to “win the war.”
He said the public has a right to expect officials to be free of corruption. It was an indirect reference to his battle with ex-Suffolk Conservative chairman Edward Walsh, who was convicted on federal charges of improperly making $200,000 in salary when he was golfing gambling and politicking.
In an interview, DeMarco, a Conservative, also said he would not be attending a screening with his own minor party Sunday, because his father is ill in the hospital. The Conservative executive committee has indicated its reluctance to renominate DeMarco, because of his fight with Walsh.
Sources have said DeMarco is under consideration by the Trump administration for a position in the U.S. Marshal’s Service, but DeMarco made no mention of the issue.
Frank Tinari, Suffolk Conservative chairman, said he has left messages for DeMarco telling him the party will be finishing their sheriff screenings Sunday and informing him that the party will consider making a decision on whom to support at the meeting.
No leaders from any political party was present at DeMarco’s event.
However, Conservative dissidents Kenneth Auerbach, Frank Profeta, former Brookhaven Conservative co-leaders and former Suffolk Conservative executive vice chair Richard Johannesen attended. Also there was Laura Ahearn, executive director of the Crime Victims Center, who is seeking the Democratic endorsement for district attorney.
On the same night, another potential GOP sheriff contender, Larry Zacarese, held a fundraiser at Danford’s Hotel and Marina in Port Jefferson that drew 150 supporters and raising about $17,000. Zacarese said he is ready to run a primary to win the nomination.