Two more minor parties have announced their backing of the Suffolk Legislature’s Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory in November’s congressional election against Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) as Gregory competes with activist Liuba Grechen Shirley for the Democratic nomination.
The Women’s Equality and Independence parties endorsed Gregory last week. Gregory’s minor-party endorsements — the Working Families Party announced for him this month — ensures Gregory will have three lines in November’s election against King, regardless of the Democratic primary outcome.
“We have a broad coalition of support which puts us in the best position to take on Peter King and the GOP’s failed Washington agenda,” Gregory, a Democrat from Copiague, said in an interview.
Grechen Shirley, founder of the group New York’s 2nd District Democrats, said in a statement, “I’m not in this race to play political games and win the spoils of patronage.”
The Women’s Equality Party and Independence Party did not interview Grechen Shirley, according to her campaign spokeswoman, Monica Klein.
King noted that Gregory received the Women’s Equality and Independence endorsements in 2016, when King beat Gregory by 62 percent to 38 percent. “That said, I take every race seriously,” King said.
Gregory said moderate Republicans and those not registered with any party who are unhappy with President Donald Trump, but not comfortable with voting Democratic, may vote for him on minor party ballot lines.
Gregory also said it will help having the support of the Women’s Equality line “and the agenda it symbolizes.”
Women’s Equality Party chairwoman Susan Zimet, in a statement provided by the Gregory campaign, said “DuWayne has always fought to protect women’s rights and is an ally we can trust.”
The party relied on questionnaires and input from local volunteers to make the endorsement, said Rachel Demarest Gold, former president and treasurer of the Women’s Equality Party.
Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay did not respond to requests for comment.
Gregory and Grechen Shirley have been rolling out endorsements before the June 26 primary.
Grechen Shirley has been endorsed by state Assembs. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) and Charles Lavine (D-Glen Cove).
Gregory’s endorsements include Suffolk Democratic chairman and Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, state Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford) and Assemb. Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon).
Amityville Mayor Dennis Siry had originally backed Grechen Shirley before Gregory entered the race, but now backs Gregory, he said in an interview last week.