Race for sheriff a fight for decency in Suffolk politics – New York News

Round one is over. The people won.

Now comes round two. That takes place in the deeper waters of the swamp of Suffolk County politics.

Larry Zacarese, the deputy chief of the Stony Brook University police department, scored a stunning upset in Tuesday’s Republican primary for Suffolk sheriff. That was encouraging for being at least a partial repudiation of business-as-usual self-interested deal-making.

Zacarese beat State Sen. Phil Boyle, the GOP designee. Boyle has no law enforcement experience but does wield the Conservative Party endorsement, part of an odious backroom deal that boxed in GOP officials and led them to reluctantly pick Boyle, who is a registered Republican.

The next move belongs to county Democratic leader Rich Schaffer, who said Wednesday he still might give Boyle his party’s line. Boyle would not rule out accepting it. Schaffer should not make the offer. That would be an abomination on several levels.

Schaffer, a cross-endorsement master, worked a deal with the Conservative Party to split State Supreme Court judgeships by cross-endorsing each other’s candidates. The arrangement included Schaffer backing off on the sheriff’s race. Former Conservative chairman Edward Walsh, a…

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