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Long IslandPolitics

County GOP chairs, execs among LI officials headed to RNC

Suffolk GOP head John Jay LaValle, above right,

Suffolk GOP head John Jay LaValle, above right, who helped select the delegates and alternates headed to the convention, thinks the event centering around presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will be "very positive, very upbeat." Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The Long Island delegation to the Republican National Convention will include the Nassau County executive and other prominent political figures as the party seeks to unify supporters and kick off the general election battle.

Delegates to the convention include Nassau GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello and Suffolk GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle, both early backers of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and who selected the GOP slate of delegates.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Northport), Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino, former U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, Assemb. Chad A. Lupinacci (R-Huntington) and party leaders with the boards of elections and off-track betting organizations also make up the 27 GOP delegates and alternates.

Republican Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano will attend all days of the convention as an alternate. “I look forward to the party coming together to advance a strong national security and job creation platform for the American people,” Mangano said in a statement.

LaValle, who has become a frequent Trump surrogate on television, said he expected Republicans to rally behind Trump, adding that all the Long Island delegates are bound to Trump.

“It’s going to be very positive, very upbeat,” he said. “I think the party is quite unified at this time.”

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) will attend the convention, although not as a delegate. While he early on expressed reservations about Trump, he has endorsed him. “It’s up to him to make the convention work, to make this a unifying convention,” King said. “No unnecessary fights, no unnecessary splits.” Trump, he said, “is a master of television.”

LaValle and Mondello selected the slate of nominees, divided by congressional districts, before it was voted on by a state committee. A Mondello spokesman confirmed that he is going but said he was unavailable to comment.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is also attending the convention, although not as a delegate.

Statewide, the highest ranking Republican legislative leader, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, will attend along with four of his 30-member conference, which faces another challenge to its slim majority in the November elections. The Senate Democratic campaign tweeted they are “tying themselves to Trump forever. Amazing.”

Among the 95 New York delegates attending the convention in Cleveland will be state Republican Chairman Ed Cox, New York national Committee members Jennifer Saul Rich and Charles Joyce, and Assembly Republican leader Brian Kolb, an at-large member appointed by the state Republican Committee. Former Republican Gov. George Pataki, who pursued the presidential nomination for months and was an early critic of Trump, isn’t expected to attend.

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