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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Take 2: Competition for Dem post in Nassau GOP stronghold

An item posted on this blog earlier today was so wrong that it cannot be corrected by mere insertions and deletions. So consider this a complete substitution for the one earlier posted with the same headline.

There is actually competition to head the Democratic Party in the Town of Hempstead — the Fort Knox of the Nassau Republican Party.

John Lewis was said to be stepping down as the Democratic town chair, and William Biamonte, the county’s Democratic elections commissioner, said Thursday that he had the support of the majority of Democrats for the post.

There is also a challenge from Robert Young, president of the Bellmore-Merrick Democratic Club, arguably the strongest Democratic club in the Republican town.

After the original blog item was posted, Lewis called back to deny he was stepping down. “Hey! Unless you know something I don’t know, I’m running,” Lewis said.

Newsday, which posted the blog item early Friday morning, dutifully corrected the item and noted that Lewis, an attorney, was on trial and had not returned a telephone call for comment Thursday.

Then, less than 10 minutes after the corrected item was posted, Lewis called back again. “Hey! You were right and I was wrong. I’m not running,” he said.

Asked what had prompted the rapid change of heart, Lewis’ normally booming voice dropped and said it “has to do with my personal aspirations,” and besides, it’s what County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs wanted, and Jay is entitled to have his own candidate and something, something, something.

The departure of Lewis — voluntary or otherwise — should make it easier for Biamonte.

He and Lewis would probably have split the vote of Jacobs loyalists and given insurgents a candidate, Young, to rally behind.

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