Perini said he has the most criminal court experience of any candidate in the race, particularly in state courts because of his work as a prosecutor and defense attorney. Perini opposes cross-endorsements because they limit or eliminate voter choice. He emphasizes that he is not beholden to any political leaders because he has raised his own campaign funds and was not part of any deal in which political endorsements were swapped. Perini also said he would increase prosecution against gangs, focus on drug enforcement and press for increased opportunities for drug treatment for those in the criminal justice system.
Perini, who is making his second run for district attorney, is running on the Republican and Reform party lines. Perini, 70, ran unsuccessfully in a GOP primary against incumbent Democrat Thomas Spota four years ago. In that race, Perini criticized major and minor political parties for cross-endorsing candidates, which he said denied voters a choice. Perini also battled to the state Court of Appeals in an unsuccessful effort to preserve Suffolk’s term limit law. Perini graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University and Brooklyn Law School. A defense attorney for the past 28 years, he also worked 16 years as a prosecutor — three in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and 13 for the Suffolk County district attorney. Perini was the first head of the Suffolk DA’s narcotics bureau and later he formed the East End Drug Task Force. Perini, who lives in Huntington, is married and has two children.