Republican Oyster Bay town clerk to run as Democrat to challenge Saladino

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OYSTER BAY -

Republican Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr. will run as a Democrat to challenge incumbent Town Supervisor Joe Saladino.

Altadonna Jr. will remain a registered Republican but will run on the Democratic Party line in November's election for town supervisor. He says Saladino has done little to change the culture in Oyster Bay after a corruption scandal rocked town government, forcing his predecessor to resign.

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs confirms the agreement and says he will sign a waiver to allow the Republican to run as a Democrat. Jacobs says Altadonna Jr. is a corruption fighter and calls the decision to back a Republican on the Democratic Party line a pragmatic one.

"No. 1, I think he's someone who can win," Jacobs says. "And I think someone who, when he wins, will bring good government, clean government, to Oyster Bay, and that's what we've been fighting for for years."

Democrats have not won a townwide office in Oyster Bay in more than 20 years, and they particularly struggle in the Massapequa area. But Altadonna Jr. is the former mayor of Massapequa Park, which named its village square after him.

Altadonna Jr. says he'll run on term limits, council districts and transparency.

The Nassau Republican Committee says it is "disappointed and shocked" by Altadonna Jr.'s decision to "join with the Democrat's tax-hiking Curran team,' referring to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

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