Republicans may have filled the position of deputy elections commissioner with board veteran Betty Manzella last week, but Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay LaValle says he will not recommend anyone to fill the other high-level elections vacancy, created by the firing of Conservative Party seceretary Michael Torres, until after Election Day.
Torres was fired from the board after the minor party made a judicial cross-endorsement deal with Democrats to back Torres’ future father-in-law Howard Heckman for state Supreme Court. Smithtown Republican chairman Bill Ellis, the former deputy commissioner, was also fired creating the vacancy that Manzella, a cousin of the late former Suffolk GOP chairman John Powell, filled.
LaValle has remained tight-lipped over a successor and if he intends to promote a Republican already at the board or pick someone from outside. He earlier ruled out the possibility that he or his wife would get either job. It’s also a safe bet he will not pick another Conservative.