Political speculation began as soon as Hempstead Town Board member Erin King Sweeney was seen last week accompanying her father, Congressman Peter King (R-Seaford), and Suffolk Republican Chairman John Jay LaValle on a visit with Donald Trump in Trump Tower. It intensified after Erin King Sweeney tweeted a photo of herself with the President-elect.
Was Republican King Sweeney positioning herself to take her father’s place in Congress if and when he retires? She would need LaValle’s support because much of her father’s South Shore district is in Suffolk. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a relationship with the Republican president.
King Sweeney laughed when asked about the speculation. “There would be a mutiny in my family,” she said. “People are giving me too much credit.”
“No, when I heard Dad was going, I thought, ‘I’d love to go and be witness to history.”
King Sweeney, who lives in Wantagh, added, “I don’t even live in my dad’s district. I’m about two blocks out with the last redistricting . . . Kathleen Rice is my representative, which will start a whole new rumor.”
Peter King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said after the meeting that he suggested to Trump that the federal government launch a Muslim surveillance program similar to the one NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly started in New York City after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
King Sweeney made her own news recently by breaking with her Republican colleagues on the GOP-controlled town board and voting against routine personnel resolutions. Sources say she was disturbed that Republican Supervisor Anthony Santino had given pay raises for his inner circle, bringing their annual earnings well over $100,000 a year, while her executive assistant’s salary remained below $60,000 annually.
But Santino and King Sweeney resolved their rift with a personal face-to-face last week followed by a meeting between her father and GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello, who said he was acting as a peacemaker.