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King Sweeney generates speculation about her future

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney.

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Hempstead Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, a Wantagh Republican who is often at odds with GOP Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino, continues to generate speculation about her political future — though she insists that she is not going anywhere.

On Monday night, King Sweeney’s father, Republican Rep. Peter King, hosted a fundraiser at his Seaford home for his daughter. Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis was the guest speaker. Author Nelson DeMille of Garden City attended, as did “many people” from Nassau and Suffolk, King Sweeney said. President Donald Trump’s brother, Robert, made a donation to Friends of Erin King Sweeney. A fundraiser in New York City is planned this fall.

That seems like a lot of activity for a town councilwoman who is not up for re-election until 2019. And her guest list reflected a wider geographical area than the 5th town council district, which covers Lido Beach and Point Lookout, as well as parts of Baldwin, Bellmore, Freeport, Merrick, Seaford and Wantagh.

The guest list seems more in line with Peter King’s congressional district, which stretches along the South Shore from Nassau into Suffolk. It also could represent the 8th State Senate District, which also runs from Nassau into Suffolk. Republicans lost that district to John Brooks of Seaford in the fall.

Breaking with the Republican tradition of lock-step voting, King Sweeney has taken an independent stance on the Republican-controlled town board, refusing to vote for personnel resolutions when her aide was denied a raise; refusing to vote for contracts without further vetting; and sponsoring, with town board member Bruce Blakeman, a resolution to hire an inspector general to review contracts — a move that Santino ruled out of order on procedural grounds.

King Sweeney did not got to the Hempstead Town GOP golf outing and dinner on Monday, which is considered a must-attend event for Hempstead Republicans. She said she had asked Ed Davis when he would be in New York and could do a fundraiser before she knew the date of the golf outing.

She again denied contemplating a run for her father’s seat when he retires, or for State Senate. The purpose of the fundraising, she said in an email, “is to get my message out to the residents of the 5th Councilmatic District.” She said there is “zero chance” of running for State Senate and making the weekly trek to Albany because “I have a young family and a husband I actually like.”

King Sweeney added, “I am in the fight for the long haul; not going anywhere and I actually believe in my message of honest people and good government. I am completely able to walk away from this at any moment and will be happy. I am in it for the right reasons.”

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