With a little more than two months before the Nov. 7 election, campaigns have begun to heat up as a series of mailers – targeting both Democrat and Republican candidates – have been sent out to homes locally.
The main candidates targeted through these mailers are the two Town of North Hempstead Supervisor candidates, incumbent Jennifer DeSena and Jon Kaiman, as well as Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan (D–Woodbury) – who is running for re-election in District 18 and in the race for New York’s Third Congressional District in 2024.
A mailer produced by Kaiman’s campaign claimed that DeSena runs a “negative campaign” and is backed by anti-choice and pro-gun conservative and Republican parties.
The mailer states that she “defines herself on day one throwing dirt, lies, and smears,” alongside a photo of her with Rep. George Santos (NY-03) with a quote expressing her support for the embattled representative.
The reverse side of the mailer includes supportive claims for Kaiman’s candidacy. With a statement at the top that “Democrats choose honors, integrity and experience.” It’s followed by initiatives that Kaiman has achieved during his tenure in politics, political offices he has held over the past 25 years and issues supported on his platform.
DeSena’s campaign provided a statement to Blank Slate regarding the mailer from Kaiman’s campaign targeting her.
“Jon Kaiman is a ‘serial tax-hiker’ who voted himself a massive taxpayer-funded salary increase, and he presided over one of the most corruption-riddled towns in the history of municipal government,” the statement said. “He can run to Suffolk for his latest taxpayer-funded job, but he can’t hide from his shameful record as supervisor.”
Kaiman also fell subject to a series of political mailers paid for by the New York Republican State Committee, which claimed he was soft on crime and presided over corruption while he previously served as North Hempstead’s supervisor.
Included on one of the mailers is a list of where they sourced their information, attributing it to local news sources and legal case documents.
Kaiman said at the opening of the Democratic campaign headquarters in Great Neck on Sunday that four mailers in total targeted his campaign just in the month of August. He said that the committee spent $100,000 on the mailers.
He called the mailers a “badge of honor” as they are attempting to bring him down in the polls, which he claimed the democratic party is ahead in.
Kaiman went on to condemn the mailers and its contents.
“Those people that decide that they can say anything they want just to hold on to power, as we said earlier, and they can denigrate and diminish anyone they want by saying whatever they want not true in their papers, in mailings, they’re going to have to pay the price because the people will come out and vote for us,” Kaiman said at the office opening. “The people have done it before.”
He went on to defend the Democratic candidates and the campaigns they are leading.
“We know that good people in the Democratic Party know how to lead, we can be trusted, we have experience,” Kaiman said. “We have the roots that show that we understand what our community wants. We look at what’s going on with our opponents these days… Their polling says what our polling says that we’re ahead. We’re winning.”
Kaiman continued by criticizing the Republican Party and its officials currently in office.
“They are the party of lies,” Kaiman said. “It’s not about the individual. We can respect any individual who steps forward. It’s not about the party that they’re in, but the organization Republican Party. They can send out lie after lie after lie, elect someone like George Santos and keep him there.”
Efforts to contact Kaiman for further comment were unavailing.
Another series of mailers paid for by the New York Republican State Committee has targeted Lafazan, making claims that he prioritizes combatting white privilege, that he does not support law enforcement departments and that he is a fraud.
These mailers also included the sources of their information, attributing it to social media posts, local news sources, Nassau County Legislature minutes and public records.
Lafazan was not able to provide comment prior to publication.
Andy McIndoo, spokesman for Lafazan’s campaign, shared a statement with Blank Slate stating that the mailers include lies that “reek of desperation from a campaign with no ideas of their own.”
McIndoo went on to defend Lafazan, saying that his work in the Legislature has been across the aisle.
“Since serving in the county Legislature Josh has passed more bills with bipartisan support than any other legislator,” McIndoo said. “He’s accomplished this through listening to the needs of his constituents and building coalitions with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get things done. When Josh is working to pass bills to alleviate the tax burden on Nassau families, keep our neighborhoods safe, all the way down to protecting kids with deathly allergies eat safely in restaurants, I ensure you that the people of his district understand what he stands for.”