With a state budget near adoption, Assemb. Al Graf said he is now “seriously considering” taking on freshman Suffolk Legis. William Lindsay III (D-Oakdale) this fall and has already been screened as a candidate with the Suffolk Conservative executive committee.
Republicans see Graf (R-Holbrook), a three-term incumbent, as a strong contender to take on Lindsay, who won his first race two years ago by only 507 votes. Graf also does not have to give up his current seat to make the run for the nearly $100,000-a-year county lawmaker’s post.
Up to now, GOP officials have privately worried that Graf had not committed to the race and could balk at the last moment by staying in his $79,500 Assembly seat. Some Democrats also had speculated another contender could emerge, possibly Christopher Giambrone, 40, a Holbrook GOP zone leader and board chairman of the East End GOP Club in Sayville. However, Giambrone, a New York City police captain, said his police duties preclude him from making the race. “Al Graf has my 100 percent support,” he said.
Frank Tantone, Islip GOP chairman, said he is encouraged by Graf’s increased interest. “Al is uniquely positioned to give Bill Lindsay a good run for his money,” he said.