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State Senate: Patchogue's Pontieri may run for Zeldin seat

Add the name of Patchogue’s Mayor Paul Pontieri to the list of potential contenders for Lee Zeldin’s state Senate seat.

Pontieri's is the first Democratic name to surface. He joins Republican Brookhaven town board member Timothy Mazzei, Islip Conservative town board member Anthony Senft, Islip Supervisor Tom Croci and former Assemb. Dean Murray, who have been mentioned as potential candidates on the GOP side.

Pontieri, 66, said he has spoken to Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer as well as state Sen. Michael Gianaris, head of the Senate Democrats' campaign committee, about a possible race, but he is still mulling over a candidacy.

Sources say that Pontieri may be reluctant to run if Mazzei, a longtime friend, is the GOP candidate, but sees the potential for a GOP primary between Brookhaven and Islip contenders for the seat.

Pontieri has led the efforts to revitalization of downtown Patchogue and worked to keep the calm in the aftermath of the murder of Marcelo Lucero.

Zeldin has declared for the 1st Congressional District seat held by Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop.

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