Luis Montes named new Islip Democratic chief

Rick Brand

Assistant Suffolk Deputy County Executive Luis Montes, the top Albany lobbyist in the administration of County Executive Steve Bellone, is now also Islip Democratic chairman.

The $144,000-a-year county aide succeeds Gerry Pallotta in the unpaid town leader spot.

Party sources say that Montes is expected to be more conciliatory than the more hard-edged Pallotta.

“Luis knows how to reach out to everyone,” said Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman.

Schaffer said he has no concern that Montes’ new post will affect his relationship with Bellone, which party officials say is often strained. “Steve’s focus is on county government, not town politics,” Schaffer said.

Pallotta moved to become a county Democratic vice chairman along with Robin Long, former chair of the county ethics board and campaign manager for new Suffolk Legis. Bridget Fleming last year.