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Bellone says he's raised $950,000 since January

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone speaks in Yaphank

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone speaks in Yaphank on Thursday June 25, 2015. Credit: Kristy Leibowitz

Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has raised $949,953 since January as he seeks re-election, campaign officials said Wednesday.

Republican county executive nominee James O'Connor said he will report having raised $60,000 to $70,000 since receiving the GOP nomination in late May.

Campaign finance reports for the period Jan. 12 to July 11 were due Wednesday.

Bellone has $2 million in cash on hand for the Nov. 3 election after spending $352,091 in the past six months, his campaign said.

O'Connor, a partner at a Manhattan  law firm and a former North Hempstead Town board member who now lives in Great River, said he had never expected to match Bellone's fundraising.

"Regardless of how much money he [Bellone] has, he'll never deceive people on his terrible record," O'Connor said. O'Connor cited the county's budget deficit and sales tax receipts that fell short of county expectations.

Bellone campaign manager Keith Davies said Bellone has made government more efficient, protecting water quality and keeping the county under the state tax cap. "This strong filing is a testament to Steve Bellone's strong support across Suffolk County," he said.

Suffolk Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile, are fighting over control of the county legislature. Democrats hold a 12-6 majority but Republicans see a path to control if they unseat vulnerable incumbents.

The Suffolk County Democratic Committee raised $549,000 during the reporting period and spent $439,000, according to its campaign finance filing. The county committee had a closing balance of $209,665.

County Democrats plan to run a coordinated campaign for legislature with a political action committee formed by Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville), Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer said.

"We're very happy with where we are at and are on pace with where we expect to be in the fall," Schaffer said.

The most competitive legislative race is expected to be between Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), the minority leader, and Democrat Tim Sini, an assistant Suffolk deputy county executive.

Sini will report having $45,000 cash on hand, raising $47,000 and spending about $1,500. McCaffrey's report was not immediately available.

McCaffrey said Republicans were in the process of forming a political action committee for legislative races.

Republican County chairman John Jay LaValle did not respond to requests for comment.


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