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Joseph DeStefano gets Suffolk AME backing in 3rd Assembly District

Suffolk’s Association of Municipal Employees has endorsed one of its own, Republican Joseph DeStefano, for the open Third District Assembly seat that GOP incumbent Dean Murray is vacating to run for state Senate.

DeStefano, a 27-year union member, is a public safety dispatcher and president of the of the civil employee unit for the sheriff and probation departments. He is the second AME member to run for the Assembly; Donna McKee made an unsuccessful bid on 2012.

The 6,000-member union backed incumbents in all other Assembly races except for Republican Mike Fitzpatrick of St. James, a union critic.

In state Senate contests, the AME backed three GOP incumbents: Kenneth LaValle, of Port Jefferson, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, of East Northport, and Philip Boyle, of Bay Shore.

The union has not yet decided whom to back in the third Senate district where Murray, of East Patchogue, is vying with Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood); the Fifth District, where Democrat James Gaughran is challenging veteran State Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset); and the Eighth District, where Republican Jeff Pravato is taking on freshman Sen. John Brooks (D- Seaford).

Union officials say they expect to decide on endorsements in those races within the next two weeks.

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