Edward Coxgot off on the wrong foot at last week's Islip GOP $150-a-head fundraiser, his first Suffolk event as GOP state chairman. He flew from Rennselaer County during Wednesday's windstorm, making him two hours late. Then he introduced Brookhaven Republican Lee Zeldin as the GOP candidate for State Senate in the 3rd District. That met with a cool reception from half of the 125 party faithful who were left, because Islip GOP executive committee member Tom O'Hara has also put in his name for nomination.Frank Tantone, new Islip GOP chairman, downplayed it but admitted, "It was obviously a little bit of an awkward moment." The event raised an estimated $20,000.

- Rick Brand