7. Thomas Spota | The Long Island Press Power List

7. Thomas Spota

Suffolk County District Attorney

The third term seemed to work like a charm for Spota, but will a fourth? The jury’s out on that one, but Suffolk voters will have the last word on Nov. 5. They had approved the three-term limit for county legislators and other county elected officials, including the district attorney, in 1993, but Spota challenged that constraint and won. Now Spota is sitting pretty like the cat that swallowed the canary. He’s got the Democratic and the Republican nods, as well as the Conservative and Independence lines. In other words, the 71-year-old crime fighter has got all of his bases covered. Maybe with nothing to lose, he’ll finally reveal what led him to cut a deal with former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, making him empty his war chest and announce a career change before the voters had the chance to speak. This time, at least, Spota has made it easy for voters to find his own name on the ballot.