John Behan, a former New York State Assemblyman and a decorated US Marine Corps veteran, is throwing his weight behind Legis. Jay Schneiderman, who is running for re-election.
A Republican heavyweight, Behan endorsed Schneiderman, a member of the Independence party, formerly a Republican, who is seeking is sixth and final term on the county legislature. His challenger is Chris Nuzzi, a current Southampton Town Councilman.
In a statement from Schneiderman's campaign office on Friday, Behan mentioned the new East End clinic for veterans in Riverhead, as well as Schneiderman's support of commercial fisherman and his efforts to reduce Lyme disease as reasons for the endorsement.
“I’m proud to have Jay Schneiderman as my County Legislator because he has always fought for what’s important to East End residents and has been a strong advocate for veterans,” said Behan, who has served as Director of New York's Division of Veterans Affairs.
Both men are from Montauk.
"While I may disagree with Mr. Behan's assessment of my opponent and believe that it is time for new leadership in Suffolk County, I have a great deal of respect for John as a long time resident of the town I grew up in and most importantly for his service and selfless sacrifice as a United State Marine," Nuzzi said.
"John's decorated military service and time spent as an Assemblyman representing the South Fork has earned him a well deserved reputation as one of our community's true public servants," Nuzzi continued. "Politics aside, I will continue to seek his advice and guidance through this campaign and if elected to the Legislature."
Behan served in the Assembly from 1978 to 1995, and is also a former leader of the East Hampton Republican Party.
“John Behan’s commitment and service to our community, country and veterans is exemplary and I’m honored to receive his endorsement,” Schneiderman said.
In 2012, Behan reached across the aisle and endorsed Congressman Tim Bishop, D-Southampton, whom Randy Altschuler was running against for a second time.