The Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association has endorsed Republican county legislature Minority Leader Kevin McCaffrey over Democrat Tim Sini, County Executive Steve Bellone’s deputy for public safety, in the most competitive legislative race of the year.
The PBA also backed Bellone and all incumbent legislators for re-election, except Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), a retired detective who has sparred with the union and police administration.
Noel DiGerolamo said the PBA has $3 million to $4 million available in “public education and issue advocacy accounts.”
Bellone has $2 million cash on hand for his race against Republican attorney James O’Connor, according to reports filed with the state Board of Elections last week. O’Connor, of Great River, has $114,000. O’Connor has criticized police contracts negotiated by Bellone and has called for a state control board that could freeze salaries.
McCaffrey, the former mayor of Lindenhurst, and Sini, a former federal prosecutor, are engaged in the highest profile legislative matchup of the year. Both candidates sought the PBA endorsement.
“Legis. McCaffrey is a sitting legislator with an excellent record. We feel he understands the need of law enforcement,” PBA president Noel DiGeralamo said in an interview. “We believe he’s the better candidate at this point.”
Sini said “While I respect their decision, I believe that as the only federal prosecutor ever to serve on the county legislature, I would be in a unique position to advocate for public safety.”
McCaffrey said, “I’m happy to have the endorsement of the brave men and women of the Suffolk police department.”
The PBA endorsed Democrat Bridget Fleming, a Southampton town councilwoman, over Republican Amos Goodman of East Hampton in the 2nd Legislative District, which covers the South Fork.
The PBA also endorsed Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) although she has lost the Democratic line, amid allegations of fraudulent signatures on nominating petitions, to Giovanni Mata of Central Islip. Martinez will face Mata in November running on the Working Families Party, Independence and Women’s Equality lines.
The PBA also endorsed Robert F. Quinlan, principal law clerk to Chief Justice Randall Hinrichs, and Justice Emily Pines for state Supreme Court seats; incumbent supervisors Ed Romaine of Brookhaven and Angie Carpenter of Islip; Jodi Giglio for Riverhead supervisor and Jay Schneiderman for Southampton supervisor.
DiGerolamo said some additional endorsements will be made before Election Day.