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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

B'khaven Supervisor offered Conservative lawyer a post

Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Rich Shaffer, left, congratulates

Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Rich Shaffer, left, congratulates Town of Brookhaven Supevisor Mark Lesko, center, on his re-election. (Nov. 3, 2009) Photo Credit: John Dunn

While political parties often take care of unsuccessful candidates in their own ranks with government jobs, Democratic Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko earlier this month offered a Conservative, lawyer Anthony Senft,  the post of town public safety commissioner, according to insiders.

One high-level Conservative source also said Lesko dangled the prospect of Senft running for State Senate with Democratic support to replace freshman Sen. Brian Foley (D-Blue Point), who faces a tough re-election next year.

Foley has denied rumors he is looking for an exit strategy.

Senft, an Islip Town resident, had sought the GOP line for the seat of term-limited Legis. Cameron Alden (R-Islip) — but did not even get a nomination. Lesko knows Senft from his former job as a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office.

Word of the Senft offer angered Brookhaven Conservatives because the current commissioner — Anthony Gallino, a Republican — was a strong supporter of Conservative Town Board member Jane Bonner, who faced a primary last fall. They believe Lesko’s bid was part of an ongoing feud between Conservatives and town board member Kathy Walsh, a Republican who has allied herself with Lesko as his deputy supervisor.

Senft acknowledges Lesko’s job offer — but said he turned it down and never discussed the Senate with Lesko.

The supervisor said he was only “feeling out” Senft about his potential interest in a town job. He concedes there was “some talk” about State Senate, but only in terms of Senft’s long term career goals, and maintains no offer was made.

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