When Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was in Albany two weeks ago to meet with fellow county executives, he also explored the possibility of boosting his statewide standing for a possible future run for higher office, political sources said.
Bellone, working out of the Desmond Hotel, met with a number of prominent Democrats who had worked in past state administrations.
Bellone was not specific about his goals, but was not looking to take on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. “My impression is that he is trying to expand his base and see what his options may be,” said one former state official who met with Bellone but declined to identified.
Vanessa Baird-Streeter, Bellone’s spokeswoman, acknowledged that the county executive spent two days in Albany to meet with other county executives, which he has not done in the past. She said his only interest was in discussing state issues that impact counties.
Baird-Streeter denied that Bellone has any statewide aspirations. She noted that last month he updated “Bellone 2016,” the name of his last re-election campaign fund, to “Bellone for Suffolk.” The fund contains $2.14 million, up nearly $200,000 from Bellone’s last campaign finance report.