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Republican James Altadonna attends Dems' Christmas party, but no word of run

Republican Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna speaks

Republican Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna speaks during his inauguration ceremony in January. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

Republican Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna attended the Nassau Democratic Party’s Christmas party Monday night, seeming to support party scuttlebutt that the former mayor of Massapequa Park will run as a Democrat against Republican Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino next year.

But nobody was willing to go that far in talking about the significance of Altadonna’s appearance.

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said the holiday party at the Jericho Terrace in Mineola wasn’t partisan. “Anyone was welcome to come . . . The Republican Party is my second favorite party.”

Asked specifically if he was thinking of running Altadonna against Saladino, Jacobs said: “Every option that will benefit a Democratic agenda is on the table. I happen to respect Jim Altadonna a lot. I find him to be a nonpartisan Republican. As such, as I have run Republicans before, he certainly would qualify for consideration, though no decision has been made. There will be a screening.”

Altadonna would not confirm or deny that he is interested in running.

When told of Jacob’s comments, he said, “I have many good friends in the Democratic Party. It is a great honor to be considered a candidate from someone as accomplished as Jay Jacobs.”

Jacobs added, “In other areas, other Republicans have reached out to be considered for other seats as well, countywide.” He did not name names.

“We are looking for candidates that can win,” he said, and then joked, “We just thought of that.”

Jacobs noted that the holiday party was well attended. The top guest was Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who spoke to the crowd of about 400 and mingled afterward, Jacobs said. Other Democratic attendees included Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk Democratic Chairman Rich Schaffer as well as Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Nassau Comptroller Jack Schnirman and all of Long Island’s incumbent and newly elected Democratic state senators.

Former Nassau Comptroller George Maragos, a Republican who turned Democrat to run an unsuccessful primary against Curran last year, did not attend, Jacobs said.

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