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Huntington Conservatives seek to elect chair's spouse judge

From left, Frank Tinari, leader of the Suffolk

From left, Frank Tinari, leader of the Suffolk Conservative Party, Huntington District Court Judge Marian Tinari and Huntington Republican leader Toni Tepe. Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan; Richard T. Slattery; Daniel Brennan

Huntington Conservatives are looking to clear the way for electing recently appointed District Court Judge Marian Tinari, who is married to town Conservative chairman Frank Tinari.

The minor party has already made a cross-endorsement deal in which Democrats are backing Tinari for the $156,200-a-year post. In exchange, sources say, the Conservatives put forward at least one of their own party members as a town board candidate. That move would help Democratic town board incumbent Susan Berland, who is expected to run with the Independence and Women's Equality lines.

Democrats also named for town board Keith Barrett of Melville, an auto repair shop owner who heads the Huntington Station Business Improvement District.

Sources say Conservatives also offered to back Independence Party town board member Gene Cook if he can persuade the GOP to support Tinari. But Conservative cross-endorsement talks with Republicans broke down when town GOP chairwoman Toni Tepe wanted Conservatives to back the entire town GOP ticket.

Some Democrats remain nervous because Conservatives, by inserting their own candidates, could have them later decline the nomination should a deal materialize with Republicans.

Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone earlier this year appointed Tinari to replace District Court Judge G. Ann Spelman who left three years before her term was up. Tinari is running in November for full six-year term.

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