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Trades council endorses Kennedy in Suffolk executive race

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy.

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy. Photo Credit: James Escher

The Nassau-Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council has endorsed Republican Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr. for county executive against Democratic incumbent Steve Bellone.

Matthew Aracich, council president, issued a letter Monday after a council vote last week in Hauppauge. The council represents 37 affiliate unions and 60,000 construction workers islandwide. He declined to disclose the council vote.

“The work ethic you possess as well as the advocacy on behalf of hardworking, middle-class families is obvious to all,” said Aracich in his endorsement letter. He touted Kennedy's “genuine experience” as a county legislator and comptroller and “setting high standards in developing a level of transparancy”  and “making government more efficient.”

Aracich added, “Listening to you profess that the ‘best social program is a union job' echoes what’ve been repeating for years.”

Kennedy, whose late father led the council for more than a decade, called the endorsement “tremendously significant” in his race against Bellone, who is seeking his third four-year term in November.  “It is a an indication of the council’s confidence that I will support and enhance development using local union labor not only to building but enhance our infrastructure.”

Jason Elan, Bellone’s spokesman, said, “It is strange that the council would make an endorsement without screening candidates and with only half of their membership in the room.” He added Bellone is “proud of the strong support” he has gotten from unions and will “work tirelessly” for the labor movement.

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