WANTAGH, NY — Amid lingering public health concerns over the coronavirus, Wantagh and Seaford voters who didn’t already cast ballots will head to the polls Tuesday to do just that in the Congressional primary, as well as in state senate and assembly elections.
Many New York Democrats will pay close attention to the number of votes that former Vice President Joe Biden earns in the presidential primary compared to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who dropped out of the race earlier this year. The state Board of Elections tried to cancel the primary election, but federal judges had it reinstated. While Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee, the primary also dictates which delegates are chosen, which could ultimately impact the party’s rules and platform.
But most will be far more concerned with what happens to U.S. Rep. Pete King’s seat. The longtime Seaford Republican shocked Long Island in November when he abruptly announced he would not seek re-election. At the time, King, 76, said he made the decision after talking with his wife and two children.
Five Candidates, One Vitally Important Seat
Republicans Andrew Garbarino and Mike LiPetri are seeking the party nomination Tuesday, while Jackie Gordon and Patricia Maher face off in the Democratic primary for the right to face the GOP winner in the general election. Meanwhile, Green Party candidate Harry Burger is running on a third party platform.
The district covers Levittown, North Wantagh, Seaford, South Farmingdale and Massapequa. Suffolk County communities include Amityville, Copiague, Lindenhurst, Gilgo, West Babylon, Wyandanch, North Babylon, Babylon, Baywood, Brentwood, Brightwaters, Central Islip, Islip, Great River, Ocean Beach, Oakdale, West Sayville, Bohemia, West Islip and Ronkonkoma.
Garbarino is currently a state assemblyman in District 7. He is the ranking minority member of the insurance committee, and also sits on the Codes, Health, Higher Education, and Racing and Wagering Committees. He serves as the vice-chair of the Joint Conference Committee and is a member of the Assembly Minority Review Committee, which develops and vets policy for the Minority Conference.
LiPetri, 30, of Massapequa, is an assemblyman representing District 9. He sits on committees including Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Environmental Conservation; Housing; Racing and Wagering; and Social Services. In a Patch candidate questionnaire, LiPetri said reviving the American economy and maintaining the country’s position as a world power amid the coronavirus is the single most pressing issue.
Gordon, 55, of Copiague received her Bachelor of Science in Health Education from Hunter College, her Master of Science in Counselor Education from Queens College and her Professional Diploma in Educational Leadership from Queens College. Gordon was previously an Army Reservist (retired at rank of Lieutenant Colonel) between 1984 and 2014, as well as an educator in New York Public Schools between 1986 and 2020. She was also a Babylon Town Councilwoman between 2007 and 2020. In a Patch candidate questionnaire, Gordon said the most pressing issue facing her community is access to health care.
Maher, 50, of Amityville, received her Juris Doctorate from the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Touro Law School in Central Islip, her Master’s Degree from Hofstra University and her Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. In addition, she is presently pursuing an LL.M in health care at Hofstra University Law School. In her questionnaire, Maher said the health and financial crisis caused by the coronavirus are the two most pressing issues facing the nation/state/community.
McDonough Defends Assembly Seat
State Assemblyman David McDonough is running unopposed in the Republican primary Tuesday as he prepares to defend his seat in the fall.
McDonough, of Merrick, will face a challenge in the general election from Democrat Kevin Gorman, who is running unopposed in his party’s primary. Libertarian candidate Jake Gutowitz is running on a third party platform.
First elected in 2002, McDonough represents District 14. He is the chairman of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Public Safety and works with prominent agencies including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Secret Service, and more. McDonough is also the ranking minority member on the Assembly Transportation Committee and serves on the Health, Education, Veterans’ Affairs and Consumer Affairs committees. He is also a member of the Nassau County Task Force on Family Violence.
Brooks, Thomas Seek Re-Election In State Senate Races
State Sens. John Brooks and Kevin Thomas are running unopposed in the Democratic primary Tuesday. While Brooks will not have a Republican challenger in the fall, Thomas stands to face a challenge in the general election from Dennis Dunne Sr., who is running unopposed in the Republican primary. Libertarian Jonathan Gunther is running as a third-party candidate in that race following an unsuccessful bid for Nassau County Legislature last year.
Thomas, of Levittown, was elected in 2018 to represent District 6, becoming the first Indian-American to serve in the state Senate. He currently serves as chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee and sits on the Judiciary, Finance, Banking, Aging, Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs committees.
Born in Dubai, Thomas immigrated to the United States when he was 10 and grew up in Queens. He received his Juris Doctorate from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and worked as an attorney and appointee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to the New York State Advisory Committee.
Dunne, of Levittown, represents the 6th Councilmanic District in the Town of Hempstead. He was appointed to the town board in 2017 afte
r serving 22 years as a Nassau County legislator.
Dunne was an original member of the Legislature when it formed in 1996. He serves as president of the Levittown/Island Trees Veterans Council and was the president of the Marine Corps Coordinating Council. He is a member of the American Legion, VFW, the Disabled American Veterans, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, the Kiwanis Club and the Levittown Chamber of Commerce. Dunne is also the former chair of the Nassau County Executive’s Veterans Advisory Committee.
Dunne received his Associate of Arts degree from Nassau Community College in 1975 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University in 1979.
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Registered To Vote?
If you’re unsure whether you’re registered to vote, you can the Nassau County Board of Elections at 571-VOTE (8683) or search the State Board of Elections database.
This article originally appeared on the Wantagh-Seaford Patch