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.