By the Blank Slate Media Editorial Staff
Port Washington residents will vote in several state and local elections, including a gubernatorial election between Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) Nov. 8.
3rd Congressional District
Democrat Robert Zimmerman is running against George Devolder-Santos to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District. U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who lost in the gubernatorial primary against Hochul, currently holds the seat.
Zimmerman is running on the Democratic and Working Family Parties lines. He is the co-president of ZE Creative Communications on Bond Street in Great Neck, a public relations firm he started 33 years ago with Ron Edelson, and a Democratic national committeeman.
After graduating from Brandeis University, he worked as a congressional aide on Capitol Hill for Congressmen Lester Wolff, James Scheuer and Gary Ackerman. He also served on the board of the American Museum of Natural History as a government representative for 20 years.
Santos is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. He is a first-generation American born in Queens whose parents immigrated to the United States in pursuit of the “American Dream.”
Santos previously ran against Suozzi in 2020. He has a background in Wall Street as a financier and investor, working extensively in capital introduction, real estate, biotech and capital markets.
A supporter of former President Donald Trump, Santos urged officials to intervene in the counting of votes during the 2020 presidential election. He is also quoted as saying he was “at the ellipse on Jan. 6,” the day of rioting at the U.S. Capitol. He also said on video that he “wrote a nice check for a law firm” to aid the rioters who stormed the building.
Zimmerman said he would codify Roe v. Wade and vote to defend same-sex marriage if elected. He has expressed his commitment to funding law enforcement organizations and to changing the state’s bail reform laws to tackle crime.
Santos is a strong opponent of the state’s bail reform laws. He said they should be repealed to combat rising crime rates on a local and statewide level. He also bashed the Biden administration and the Democratic Party for their lack of commitment towards energy independence, touting the need to create thousands of domestic jobs and lower the cost of living.
The state’s 3rd Congressional District includes the entire Town of North Hempstead, including parts of Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Garden City, Mineola and Westbury villages. It also stretches to more southern parts of Nassau County, such as Hicksville and Massapequa.
7th State Senate District
Democratic state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) is running for re-election to the 7th Senate District against Republican Jack Martins.
Kaplan is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. An Iranian immigrant, she was an active member of the Great Neck community before her time in government.
Kaplan was elected to serve the Town of North Hempstead’s 4th District as a councilwoman in 2011. In 2016, she sought election to the House of Representatives but lost to current Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) in the Democratic primary. Kaplan defeated former Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips in 2018 to represent the 7th Senate District.
Martins is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. He previously represented the 7th District from 2011-2016. The mayor of Mineola from 2003-2010, Martins also serves as an attorney for Harris Beach, PLLC.
In 2008, Martins ran an unsuccessful congressional campaign against former U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy before defeating the incumbent 7th District Senator and Democrat Craig Johnson in 2010. He also ran for Congress in 2016 and for Nassau county executive, losing both races.
Kaplan said she supports the Equality Rights Amendment, which needs to pass two consecutive sessions of the state legislature before New Yorkers vote on making it an amendment to the state constitution in 2024.
On bail reform, Kaplan said she had issues with the changes made, which were included in the 2020 budget. She said she voted for the budget because of the importance of the package. Yet, she is open to changes in bail reform laws in the future.
A rise in crime and high taxes, Martins said, are some of the biggest factors for individuals leaving New York. He also attributed the trend to a lack of parental discretion and more statewide mandates.
Martins acknowledged the hardships the coronavirus pandemic had on all individuals. However, he referred to giving parents discretion over what is best for their children.
The state’s 7th Senate District includes Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Williston Park, Mineola, Garden City Park, North Hills, Albertson, Old Westbury, East Hills, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Roslyn Estates, Albertson, Searingtown, Lake Success, Manhasset, Munsey Park, Plandome, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor and the Great Neck and Port Washington peninsulas.
16th State Assembly District
Democratic Assemblywoman Gina Sillitti (D-Port Washington) is running for re-election to the 16th Assembly District against Republican challenger Vibhuti Jha.
Sillitti is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. She began her nearly two-decade public service career in the Nassau County Legislature.
She was appointed deputy commissioner of the Town of North Hempstead’s Department of Community Services in 2010 and as director of human resources and compliance at the Nassau County Board of Elections in 2015. Voters chose Sillitti to serve her first term as a state assemblywoman in 2020.
Jha, a fellow Port Washington resident running on the Republican and Conservative lines, is a specialist in business turnaround and a former banker.
An immigrant, Jha arrived in the United States in 1991 to take on a leadership role with American Express Bank to cultivate and grow Indian-American commercial partnerships. He now works as a turnaround strategy specialist for the Human Potential Project, a Seattle-based organization that helps companies in the United States build a performance-based culture in the workplace.
Among Sillitti’s top issues are community protection, gun safety and creating jobs. She said she will continue to fight for gun control and to keep communities safe.
She said she will also still bring in funds to ease the stress on taxpayers while maintaining school quality. Sillitti described herself as “unapologetically pro-choice” and would vote in favor of the state’s Equality Amendment, which guarantees a constitutional right to reproductive healthcare for every New Yorker.
Jha claims that bail reform has freed killers, drug dealers and gang members. If elected, he will strive to reverse these laws.
He said that Long Islanders need tax relief, which he intends to provide by working to make the gas tax rollback permanent rather than an “election-time gimmick.” Jha said he believed the Supreme Court made the correct decision by allowing each state to determine what they should do on abortion, touting the need for freedom and choice for each locality.
Assembly District 16 comprises Great Neck, Manhasset, Port Washington, Herricks, Mineola, Baxter Estates, parts of East Williston, Old Westbury, Roslyn Estates, Roslyn, Albertson, Williston Park and New Hyde Park.
Gubernatorial contest and other state elections
The race between Kathy Hochul, who is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines and Lee Zeldin, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines, continues to narrow as Election Day nears. The gubernatorial race headlines other statewide elections that will be on the ballot for Port voters.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is running for re-election against Republican Joe Pinion and Independent Diane Sare. Schumer is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines while Pinion is running on the Republican and Conservative lines. Sare is running on the LaRouche line.
Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat who launched a campaign for governor before dropping out in December, is running for re-election against Republican Michael Henry. James is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines while Henry is running on the Republican and Conservative lines.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines, is running for re-election against Paul Rodriguez, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines.
Antonio Delgado is running for lieutenant governor on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines against Alison Esposito, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines.
The single proposition up for a vote in New York this Election Day is the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022.
The act would allow the sale of state bonds up to $4.2 billion to fund environmental protection, natural restoration, resiliency and clean energy projects to address and combat the impact of climate change and environmental damage.