A pair of separate but related dispatches out of Suffolk. First, Reid Epstein:
State Sen. Brian Foley (D-Blue Point) has heard the rumor that he won’t
seek a second term in the Senate and no, he said, it’s not true.
“It’s completely untrue,” he said before appearing at a same-sex
marriage town hall meeting Thursday night. “I’m enthusiastically looking
forward to a vigorous campaign.”
Foley’s comments come in the wake of widespread whispers that he’s
looking for a safe place to land in order to avoid what is likely to be a
bruising re-election campaign. Republicans are keying on his vote in favor of the MTA payroll tax, in particular, in an effort to excite the anti-Foley movement. He already has two opponents, Lee Zeldin and Tom O’Hara.
Indeed, Thursday night’s meeting at the Long Island GLBT Services Center
in Bay Shore drew a half-dozen anti-Foley protestors holding signs reminding
attendees of the MTA vote.
Foley dodged the question of how the rumor could have started.
“It’s because we work too well,” he said. “We worked too hard for too
long to get to where we are. We have too much left to do to reform this state.”
And this is from Rick Brand:
John Jay LaValle, Suffolk Republican chairman said he expects Democratic State Sen. Brian Foley to “chicken out” of running for re-election.
But Jim LaCarrubba, Foley’s chief of staff, said that his boss is “not going anywhere” and is running for re-election.
LaValle’s comments came after rumors have swirled in the past month that Foley wanted to bail out to an appointed post out of concern that backlash from his vote on the MTA tax and gay marriage will sink him. “Brian Foley betrayed the public and wants to run away from the day of judgement,” said LaValle.
Republican lawyer Lee Zeldin of Shirley and Thomas O’Hara, a county emergency worker from Islip, are vying for the nod.
The most recent rumors have Suffolk Legis. Ricardo Montano (D-Central Islip) running in Foley’s place. Montano said he has heard rumors about Foley exit, but is not trying to push him out and supports Foley’s re-election. However, he added, “If seat is open seat, then I’d definitely be a candidate no holds barred,” and run a primary, if the party picks someone else.