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Conservatives won't back McCaffrey this time around

Suffolk County Legis. Kevin McCaffrey

Suffolk County Legis. Kevin McCaffrey Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Republican Suffolk Legis. Kevin McCaffrey, who has had Conservative backing for his six terms as a Lindenhurst trustee and his three terms as a county legislator, has received word that he is not getting the minor party line this November.

McCaffrey said Babylon Conservative chairman Tom Montiglio informed him of the decision, saying it was because of the clashes between the minor party and exiting Suffolk GOP chairman John Jay LaValle. LaValle, among other things, publicly opposed the re-election of Conservative chairman Frank Tinari last fall.

McCaffrey said he is confused by the minor party’s action. “I don’t want to burn bridges, but for the life of me, I don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “The person they are blaming is leaving and things seem to be going in the right direction.”

But the future is also muddled because Tinari's election was thrown out in state Supreme Court last week and the decision is on appeal. New state Conservative chairman Jerry Kassar says he will authorize Tinari’s chosen candidates, who are nonparty members, so they can qualify for the party’s November ballot line. It is also uncertain whether a new leadership election can take place before the deadline for nominating petitions April 3.

Sources in various parties say that Tinari’s Conservative faction has agreed to endorse Democratic lawmaker Al Krupski and are putting up their own party candidates in races involving incumbent Democrats William Lindsay III, Sarah Anker and William Spencer, which could indirectly help the candidates by siphoning votes from Republican contenders. The minor party could also substitute other candidates later if Conservative candidates decline the nomination, once petitions are filed.

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