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Suffolk AME backs County Executive Steve Bellone for re-election

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, has

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, a Democrat, has gotten the endorsement of the county Association of Municipal Employees. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Suffolk County’s largest employee union has endorsed Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone in his re-election against Republican challenger John M. Kennedy Jr.

The Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees, which represents 6,000 active county employees, endorsed Bellone because he has sought to “find ways to resolve our issues while balancing the needs of the county,” union president Dan Levler said.

Levler cited a fix to a sick day policy that had limited employees’ ability to take time off for illnesses and the rollout of mobile phone safety applications, including the Rave 911 Panic Button, to respond faster to emergencies at county offices.

Bellone said he is proud to work with AME members and welcomes their endorsement.

Dean Murray, Kennedy’s campaign manager, said, “Steve Bellone has eliminated over a thousand of their positions while at the same time, jacking up payroll costs by over $100 million.”

About 1,300 county employees have left through layoffs or attrition during Bellone's two terms.

The AME has donated a total of $13,500 to Bellone’s campaign this year, campaign finance reports show.

Bellone is seeking a third term.

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