In a highly unusual move, Brookhaven Republicans a week ago named the Independence Party’s Donna Lent to succeed her boss Town Clerk Patricia Eddington, which party sources say will result in the town GOP getting that minor party’s backing for its town slate.
What makes the move unusual is that Lent was once a top local Working Families Party official, a liberal, union-based political party. She has also worked for Eddington, a Working Families party member and her husband, Jack, a former county lawmaker, both of whom always took Democratic Party endorsement to win their elections.
Party sources say a key backer for Lent was Town Supervisor Edward Romaine, whose ties with her go back to when he ran for county executive in 2003. Lent and then Suffolk Working Families Party chair Chuck Pohanka, backed Romaine over objections of the state party. Both later lost their posts in a court battle.
Jesse Garcia, Brookhaven GOP chairman, said Lent, who is Eddington’s chief deputy, “demonstrated a quality of service that matched up to the rest of our ticket.” Democrats, meanwile, have named as their town clerk candidate Lori Baldassare, who had been a top deputy to former Democratic Highway superintendent John Rouse and now works in the county public works department.
Kenneth Auerbach, Brookhaven Conservative Party chairman, said their party is running no candidate, adding there’s “not a chance” that Lent would get endorsement because she is so “very far, far, far left.”