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Suffolk Dem chairman isn't writing off Steve Levy

Suffolk Democratic chairman Richard Schaffer isn't writing off County Executive Steve Levy just yet - even if he did defect to the GOP.

If Levy loses for governor, Schaffer said, he still might consider him to carry the party banner in 2011. "There is nothing that prevents me from talking to him if the Republicans do not follow through on their commitments," Schaffer said.

Insiders say Schaffer's often been frustrated with Levy. But Schaffer knows Levy's tenure as a Democratic executive is second only to H. Lee Dennison's (1960 to 1971). His executive committee has authorized Schaffer to enlist candidates for a "worst-case scenario": Levy becomes governor, with a special election in early 2011. A contender would need $1 million to start, Schaffer said.

- Rick Brand

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