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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

'Stache stays as Levy gazes at gov'ship

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy (Nov. 20, 2009)

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy (Nov. 20, 2009) Photo Credit: Newsday File / Joseph D. Sullivan

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has landed firmly on one side of the facial-hair debate.

Conventional wisdom shuns whiskers in major campaigns. So Levy was asked if he’d lose the trademark  mustache if he runs for governor.

“No,” he said. “No one would recognize me.”

Levy, who announced last week he’s mulling the race, recalled that Patrick Halpin, the former Suffolk executive, removed his mustache in an election year, “and I don’t think it helped.”

Democrat Halpin noted that he shaved after he lost the 1991 re-election race to Republican Robert Gaffney and before leaving office.

“The mustache was getting grayer faster than the rest of my hair,” Halpin recalled. “I wanted to shave it off before I ran for re-election, but figured no one would recognize me. It could have been an advantage — I could have been a fresh face.”

Last summer, Gov. David A. Paterson razed his beard and then kept a mustache for a few weeks before removing that too.

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