Registered Democratic and Republican voters across Long Island will head to the polls Thursday, Sept. 10 to choose the candidates they want to see on the ballots on Election Day, Nov. 3.
The biggest primary on LI this cycle is in Nassau County, where Democrats will decide whether they want acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas or challenger Michael Scotto to face Republican Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray in the general election.
In Suffolk, Democrats in the Town of Islip will choose between party nominee Thomas Licari, a political newcomer, and challenger Rick Montano, a fiery former county lawmaker, in the race to challenge Republican Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter. In the Town of Riverhead, Republicans will choose between Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter and the party’s pick to replace him, Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio. And in Glen Cove, Glen Cove City Councilman Anthony Gallo is challenging incumbent Mayor Reginald Spinello for the GOP line.
Nassau County District Attorney Democratic Primary
This Manhasset resident was named acting Nassau County District Attorney in January upon taking over for her predecessor and former boss, Kathleen Rice, now an elected Congresswoman. A career prosecutor touting more than 20 years of experience, Singas led the Special Victims Bureau before becoming Rice’s top deputy. Her priorities include prosecuting public corruption, gangs and heroin dealers. Her office has been investigating Nassau’s troubled contract procurement process and has urged the county legislature to ban officials from using taxpayer money to mail residents newsletters that double as thinly veiled political ads. She also said she’s pushing for stricter drug dealing laws, drug education programs in schools and expanding treatment for non-violent offenders. The most high-profile case she prosecuted involved the first-degree murder conviction against Leonardo Valdez Cruz, who killed his girlfriend, Joanna Bird.
A Port Washington native and former Manhattan prosecutor for more than 20 years, Scotto currently has a Garden City-based white collar criminal defense attorney practice that also offers internal investigations and monitorships. In the city, he worked his way up the ranks to lead the Rackets Bureau, which investigates organized crime, and served as Deputy Chief of the Investigation Division. He also prioritizes prosecuting public corruption, gangs and heroin dealers. If elected, among the changes he said he would bring to the office include ensuring that the same assistant district attorney sees a prosecution through from beginning to end. He also said his office would be more proactive, pragmatic and efficient. Scotto’s most high-profile prosecution reportedly included the conviction of 38 contractors, union officials and mobsters in a major racketeering case.
Riverhead Town Supervisor Republican Primary
This three-term incumbent sparred with local GOP leaders, who nominated a councilwoman to replace him, but he’s still running for another two-year term because he has unfinished business. Walter is now the primary challenger for the Republican line that helped him unseat his Democratic predecessor six years ago. A former town attorney, Walter opened his own private practice focusing on real estate, estates and litigation before he was elected supervisor in 2009. If re-elected, Walter says his agenda includes closing the town’s budget gap, revitalizing the downtown area and developing the former Grumman site known as the Enterprise Park at Calverton, or EPCAL for short. Even if he loses the GOP primary, he’ll still be on Riverhead’s November ballots on the Conservative Party line.
The Riverhead Republican Committee nominated this two-term town councilwoman instead of the incumbent supervisor in May, setting off an unusual primary race. She touts her town credentials as a developer, real estate investor and land-use consultant as giving her better experience required to lead the town than the current administration. She prioritizes lowering taxes, protecting the environment, growing the economy and improving residents’ quality of life. She campaigns on the promise to improve the downtown area, balance the budget and develop EPCAL, which she said should be both economically and environmentally practical. If she loses the GOP primary, she will still be on the ballot in the general election on the Independence and Reform party lines.
Islip Town Supervisor Democratic Primary
The Islip Town Democratic Committee nominated this attorney, volunteer firefighter and small business owner from the Fire Island community of Kismet to run for supervisor. This first-time candidate briefly served as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney in the 1970s. His main selling point is his legal experience dealing with real estate development, zoning applications and town violations. If elected, he believes he can better handle the clean-up of Roberto Clemente Park in Brentwood, where authorities allege politically connected contractors dumped toxic debris. He also takes issue with zoning and code enforcement in the town’s minority areas.
This former Suffolk County legislator, who was unseated by Monica Martinez two years ago after a decade in office, is mounting a comeback. The former federal prosecutor was the only Democrat who didn’t caucus with the Democratic majority in the county legislature. Now that he’s out of elected office, he’s applying that independent streak to the local political party, which he hopes to shake up by leading a slate of town candidates and a primary challenger to Martinez, who conceded the court battle and will only appear on minor-party lines on Election Day. If elected, he too hopes to better serve Islip’s minority communities.
Glen Cove City Mayor Republican Primary
This Glen Cove native, first elected to the city council in 2011, was tapped by GOP leaders to run for his second two-year term as mayor of one of the only two cities on Long Island. His campaign goals are to continue his efforts to create jobs, lowering commercial taxes and improving the quality of life by cracking down on illegal housing. His priorities also include improving citizen outreach, organizing events for the community and supporting the needs of seniors and veterans. If he loses the GOP primary, he will still appear on the city’s ballots this fall on the Democratic, Conservative and Independence party lines.
A two-term city councilman, Gallo is a lifelong Glen Cove resident and small business owner who is challenging the incumbent for the Republican line. Gallo believes that it’s time for a change in administration. His priorities include reopening Crescent Beach, stopping the sale of the Coles School, balancing the budget, making government more efficient and restricting overdevelopment. He is also pushing for “a true mixed-use waterfront destination” and, if elected, aims to use his background as a physical education teacher and coach to encourage the youth to have active and healthy lifestyles. If he loses the primary, he reportedly plans to mount a write-in campaign.