Suffolk Legis. Kevin McCaffrey may not have to run for his seat this year, but he is facing a challenge for re-election had president of Teamster Local 707 from George Ford after surviving a disputed contest in 2015.
Ford, 55, a 25-year union member, said he is running to lead the 2,000-member ,local because he is still upset aobut how the election was run three years ago, where he ran for vice president and his side initially won, but the union joint council later called for a revote because about 150 union members failed to get ballots.
He also criticized McCaffrey for trying to do the job of a county legislator, which cuts into the full-time job as union leader. He also attacked McCaffrey for allegedly "mishandling the union’s pension fund and treating the union as his personal playground.”
McCaffrey, who has led the union since 2000, believes members understand that pension issues are nationwide and he has been at the forefront of efforts to get federal legislation to ease the problem. “I believe people see me as more the solution, rather than the problem,” he said. He also said that the last time he ran he was also embroiled in tough legislative battle against Tim Sini, who has since become Suffolk district attorney.
Both Ford and McCaffrey expressed confidence in their chances, which will start Sept. 13 with a nomination and the vote count will be Oct. 18. “I’ve been doing my leg work and I believe have a lot of support,” said Ford. McCaffrey noted he won by a “comfortable margin” in the revote when turnout nearly doubled from 550. But he added, “This election has my undivided attention. I’m reaching out to make sure people come out and vote and I believe I will be elected again.”