Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay LaValle has revived what until recently was the largely moribund Chairman’s Club with a $500-a-head event at Teller’s Restaurant in Islip honoring local Reps. Peter King and Lee Zeldin.
LaValle said the restaurant seating, limited to 120, was sold out in just a week, generating a gross of $60,000.
The Chairman’s Club, which had annual dues of $500, dates back at least four decades to when the Suffolk GOP dominated the local political landscape. The club brought in national Republicans including the late congressman and presidential contender Jack Kemp for twice yearly events.
Records filed with state Board of Elections show the club spent no money on events in the past three years. The club brought in just $24,055 in 2016 and $4,202 was refunded to givers.
LaValle blamed the economy for the lack of money in club coffers and said he hopes to bring in national Republicans again to spur interest in the party. “The idea is to bring the business community into the party,” LaValle said.