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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Assemb. Christine Pellegrino gets Independence Party backing

Christine Pellegrino, Democratic incumbent candidate for New York

Christine Pellegrino, Democratic incumbent candidate for New York State Assembly 9th District, poses for a portrait at West Islip Public Library on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. -- slVOTE -- Credit: James Escher

Despite a Republican ad that appeared in a local pennysaver, Assemb. Christine Pellegrino has the endorsement of the Independence Party for her re-election bid.

Republicans placed an ad in the West Islip Babylon Pennysaver saying Pellegrino’s GOP opponent Michael LiPetri had the minor party’s backing in the race.

But Frank MacKay, Suffolk and state Independence Party chairman, said Pellegrino, a Democrat, has the party's nod.

“Christine’s work in the Assembly clearly reflects independent values and that’s why we’re proud to endorse her,” MacKay said.

Pellegrino said she has “always made clear my independence from the political establishment,” and said LiPetri is “closely tied to the Oyster Bay GOP machine.”

LiPetri acknowledged the error in the newspaper ad.

“The Islip Republican Committee is overly excited about my candidacy and made a simple mistake,” he said. “It’s sad that Christine Pellegrino can find time to proofread my ad, but can’t find the time to pay her own taxes after hiking ours.”

A Newsday story last year cited public records showing Pellegrino and her husband had nearly $186,000 in federal tax liens and were fighting foreclosure of their West Islip home.

Patrick Nelson, a Pellegrino spokesman, said the tax issue is a “personal matter” that arose out of a divorce and is being worked out with relevant authorities.

Rick Brand

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