STONY BROOK, NY — Former prosecutor and business leader Dave Calone kicked off his campaign for Suffolk County Executive on Thursday night at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge, surrounded by a group of over 250 supporters, who raised $100,000, his camp said.
Calone, a Setauket resident, chairs the county's Planning Commission.
He is running to succeed County Executive Steve Bellone, who is term-limited, in November.
The fundfraiser was sponsored by the Suffolk County Democratic party, which was joined by labor unions, business people, and Calone supporters from across the political spectrum, according to the campaign.
Calone said he was "overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support."
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“We are bringing together a broad and inclusive coalition ready to not just win this election, but to move Suffolk forward by making our community safer and expanding opportunity for everyone,” he said.
Democratic chair Rich Schaffer said he is thrilled Calone is running for County Executive and he is proud to support his campaign.
"As a former prosecutor and as a business leader, Dave will lead a coalition to energize Democratic voters and appeal to independent voters and moderate Republican voters across the county," he said. "With Dave at the top of the ticket, we will win in 2023 and move Suffolk County forward."
Legislator Jason Richberg, who serves as the Democratic caucus leader, said, "With years of experience as a prosecutor and as a private sector leader with technology experience," Calone "has the perfect background to serve as our County Executive, as we tackle the challenges facing Suffolk County as a government and as a region."
The entire Democratic Caucus in the Legislature is eager to work with him to move Suffolk County forward," he added.
Legislator Bridget Fleming said that as a fellow former prosecutor, she looks "forward to working" with Calone "to keep our Suffolk communities safe," enhance opportunities, protect the environment, and make Suffolk a more affordable place to live.”
John Durso, president of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW, said, he has had the chance to work with Calone "on a number of initiatives" and knows that he has the knowledge and experience "to fight for and expand opportunity for working families across Suffolk County."
Republican Steve Louro, Chief Executive Officer of the Suffolk-based Professional Group Plans, said, that he wants "what is best" for the county where his kids and grandkids live, adding that.
Calone "would be the first business leader to be county executive and the first former prosecutor," which he believes is "the perfect combination of skill sets to make sure that county government works for us, not the other way around."
"I am going to take a lot of heat for supporting Dave Calone for County Executive but it is worth it because he is the intelligent, kind, and caring leader that Suffolk County needs right now," he said.