The Suffolk Republican executive committee late Wednesday named former county prosecutor Raymond Perini of Huntington as the party’s candidate for district attorney and chose State Sen. Philip Boyle for county sheriff.
The 10 town leaders came to their recommendation, which must still be ratified at the GOP’s June 5 party convention, at a 45-minute meeting at party headquarters in Holbrook, according to three top leaders at the meeting. They added that GOP chairman John Jay LaValle raised no objection. LaValle declined to comment.
“I am honored,” said Perini, 69, now a defense lawyer who four years ago ran a losing GOP primary against cross-endorsed Democratic incumbent Thomas Spota. “This will be the first time since 2001 the voters will have chance to decide who is the most qualified.”
Perini who was head of the narcotics bureau in the Suffolk district attorney’s office from 1976 to 1989, said, “I don’t think there’s any doubt I’m the most qualified. I’ve been doing this since I started as a prosecutor in 1973.”
Boyle, who has already locked up the endorsements of the Conservative and Independence parties, could not be reached for comment.
Party officials, however, indicated that Perini and Boyle may themselves face a GOP primary. They say Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla and sheriff contender Larry Zacarese, assistant chief of the Stony Brook University police, have both indicated their willingness to wage an intraparty challenge.
Zacarese, who has raised about $125,000, most from family, said last night he was the only one in the race with direct law enforcement experience and was “100 percent sure” he would run a primary. “I’m disappointed by their choice,” he said.
“I far and away screened the best” according to the feedback he’d been getting, he said. “I’m dismayed but not discouraged.”
Biancavilla did not return calls for comment.
Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said he would be continuing discussion with minor parties this weekend on possible cross-endorsements in both the sheriff race, where Democrats had no contender, and district attorney race, where Police Commissioner Timothy Sini and David Calone, former chair of the county planning commission, are leading contenders. Of the GOP district attorney selection, Schaffer said, “I’m shocked that the best they could do is a recycled, worn-out defense attorney.”