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Trotta, Cilmi vie for Suffolk legislature GOP post

Suffolk County Legis. Tom Cilmi, left, and Robert

Suffolk County Legis. Tom Cilmi, left, and Robert Trotta. Credit: Barry Sloan; J. Conrad Williams Jr.

A genteel, behind-the-scenes scrum is underway because two Republicans, Suffolk Legis. Robert Trotta and Legis. Tom Cilmi, want the unpaid post of GOP legislative caucus leader now held by Legis. Kevin McCaffrey.

“I’d be honored if my colleagues selected me as minority leader,” said Cilmi, of East Islip.

“I’m always interested,” said Trotta, of Fort Salonga, the most outspoken of the lawmakers. “I’ve always voted the way the rest of them should have voted. I didn’t vote to sell the Dennison building, approve the police contract or fund the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

The increased interest comes as the six-member GOP caucus becomes seven on Jan. 1 with the election of Rudolph Sunderman of Shirley, and Islip Town board member Steve Flotteron succeeds term-limited GOP Legis. Tom Barraga of West Islip.

A larger GOP caucus, if united, could block the 11-member Democratic majority from getting the two-thirds vote on bond resolutions for capital projects.

The GOP caucus put off the leadership vote until after Christmas but before the Jan. 2 reorganization meeting.

McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), a Teamster union leader, said he would like to remain, but “I don’t begrudge anyone” from also running. “But I’ve done the heavy lifting for the last three years . . . and now we can effect change and I look forward to doing it.”

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