Islip Republicans have passed over former town board member Pamela Greene and instead named Anthony Musumeci to run for the open Eighth District legislative seat against the son of exiting Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook).
“Obviously, it was a difficult decision. Both screened fabulously,” said Frank Tantone, Islip Republican chairman. “But it was decided to go with the younger contender with a fresh face like we’ve done in the town elections.”
The decision, made Saturday by the Islip GOP’s executive committee, came after Suffolk Conservative Party chairman Edward Walsh enlisted Greene to screen and commissioned a poll on the contest. Neither Walsh nor Tantone would say who led in the poll.
Republicans and Conservatives see the race as crucial because the GOP had a 6,000 voter edge in enrollment and Lindsay’s son, William, 40, an insurance broker, is untested politically. The elder Lindsay is term limited and has cancer.
Musumeci, 35, of Sayville who works for a Bohemia engineering firm, ran against the Presiding Officer two years ago and lost 54.2 percent to 45.6 percent. That year, the Islip GOP took back control of the town with the election of Supervisor Tom Croci.
Greene, 50, of Bayport, served as a town board member for 17 years and lost a close three-way contest against Democrat Phil Nolan. She later served as real estate director for former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and now is in private practice as an attorney.
Walsh said his party has made no decision about whom to back. He said Conservatives will screen Lindsay’s son, and Musumeci in the next several weeks. Tantone said the Conservatives have to go through their formal process but that he expects the minor party, which backed Musumeci two years ago, to support him again
“I’m not concerned what the Republicans do,” said Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman. “We’ve got the stronger candidate in Bill.”