Williston area to vote on Nov. 8

Williston area to vote on Nov. 8
The Willistons and Mineola residents will vote on a variety of state and local elections on Nov. 8. (Photos courtesy of the candidates)

By Blank Slate Media Editorial Staff

Williston area residents will be voting on a variety of state and local elections, including a gubernatorial race between Gov. Kathy Hochul and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), on Nov. 8.

3rd Congressional District

Democrat Robert Zimmerman is running against George Devolder-Santos to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional District. The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), who lost in the gubernatorial primary against Hochul.

Zimmerman, who is running on the Democratic and Working Family Parties lines, 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. Additionally, he served on the board of the American Museum of Natural History as a government representative for 20 years.

Santos, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines, is a first-generation American born in Queens whose parents immigrated to the United States in pursuit of the “American Dream,” an opportunity the candidate mentions he wants to help provide to all his potential constituents.

Santos, who ran against Suozzi in 2020, has a background on 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, and appears on a video saying he “wrote a nice check for a law firm” to aid the rioters who stormed the building.

Zimmerman is an advocate of preserving women’s reproductive rights, saying 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 programs and to modifying the state’s bail reform laws to tackle the rising crime rates throughout Nassau County and New York.

Santos is a strong opponent of the state’s bail reform laws, saying they should be repealed in order to combat growing crime rates on a local and statewide level. Santos also bashed the Biden administration and the Democratic Party for their lack of commitment on energy independence, again 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.

4th Congressional District

Democrat Laura Gillen is running against Republican Anthony D’Esposito in the state’s 4th Congressional District. Current Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) is not seeking re-election. 

Gillen, 53, is running on the Democratic Party line. She served as Hempstead supervisor for the largest township in the United States from 2018 to 2019. She was the first Democrat elected to the position in a century in an upset over incumbent Anthony Santino. Before being elected as supervisor, Gillen was involved in public service as a volunteer at South Nassau Communities Hospital and Camp Anchor.

D’Esposito, a councilman who represents the Town of Hempstead’s 4th District, is running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines. He is a retired NYPD detective who lives in Island Park. As an NYPD detective, he made more than 600 arrests in connection with murders, assaults, bribery, shootings and possession of illegal firearms.

Aside from his service within town government, D’Esposito’s efforts during the recovery from Superstorm Sandy led him to be appointed co-chairman of the state’s Community Reconstruction Plan. As a councilman, he has provided aid to local businesses, healthcare providers and families throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Gillen said during a Newsday debate with D’Esposito that public safety is a paramount concern of hers and other mothers throughout the district and state. She said that universal background checks and supporting other legislations to get firearms off the streets are some of the best ways to protect children and other individuals.

In the same debate, D’Esposito said he believes in ensuring that individuals with illegal firearms are arrested and establishing task forces on the federal level as the best ways to combat gun violence.  He also said word of cashless bail not retaining offenders quickly spreads through the streets to others who believe they can get away with certain criminal activities.

The 4th Congressional District currently includes the communities of Baldwin, Bellmore, East Rockaway, East Meadow, the Five Towns, Lynbrook, Floral Park, Franklin Square, Garden City, Garden City Park, Hempstead, Atlantic Beach, Long Beach, Malverne, Freeport, Merrick, Mineola, Carle Place, New Hyde Park, Oceanside, Rockville Centre, Roosevelt, Uniondale, Wantagh, West Hempstead, Westbury and parts of Valley Stream.

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, who is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines, is an Iranian immigrant whose parents sent her to the United States for her safety.  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, who is running on the Republican and Conservative lines, 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, he ran an unsuccessful congressional campaign against former U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy before defeating incumbent 7th District Senator and Democrat Craig Johnson in 2010. Martins also ran for Congress in 2016, losing to Suozzi, and ran for Nassau county executive, ultimately losing to Laura Curran.

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 the subject of bail reform, the incumbent 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 overall package but was 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 deciding to leave 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, but referred back 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.

19th State Assembly District

Republican Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) is running for re-election against Democratic challenger Sanjeev Jindal of Williston Park in the state’s 19th Assembly District.

Ra, 40, has been in his current post since 2013 and was previously the representative of the state’s 21st Assembly District from 2011 to 2013. The incumbent is running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines. 

After graduating from Loyola College in Maryland, Ra earned his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 2007 and a Master of Laws degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2008. Prior to his election to the state Assembly, Ra served as deputy town attorney for the Town of Hempstead and as a legal aide in the Office of the New York State Attorney General. 

Ra serves as the ranking minority member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, which vets bills with fiscal implications. Previously, Ra served as assistant minority leader pro tempore and as ranking member of the Assembly Education Committee. 

Ra’s legislative priorities include emphasizing transparency and accountability in the state budget process, rooting out public corruption and promoting public safety, according to his Assembly page.

Ra told Blank Slate Media in a recent interview that he is in favor of more judicial discretion when it comes to cashless bail reform and is an advocate for better defining the “health of the mother” when it comes to abortion. 

Jindal, of Williston Park, is the CEO of Ace Agent Financial LLC, an insurance brokerage company, and founded the nonprofit organization South Asians For Empowerment. 

After arriving in the United States over 20 years ago, Jindal worked in a liquor store and drove a taxi cab before becoming a trained engineer and starting his own business. Jindal has a degree in town and city planning from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

In 2021, Jindal was a candidate in the Democratic primary for New York City Council District 23. 

Jindal is a supporter of a woman’s right to choose, affordable healthcare for all and ending gun violence, according to his campaign website.

He supports lowering taxes and lessening regulations for small businesses, affordability and expanding science and technology programs in schools and curriculum that improves literacy, reading, writing and emphasizing the arts.

New York’s 19th Assembly District stretches into North Hempstead, Hempstead and Oyster Bay. Communities include Franklin Square, West Hempstead, Garden City South, Garden City Park, New Hyde Park, North New Hyde Park, Westbury, Carle Place, Mineola, Williston Park, East Williston, Westbury, Old Westbury, Brookville, Old Brookville, Upper Brookville and Glen Head.

New York State races

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 Nassau voters.

U.S. 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 initially 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 State 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 in order to address and combat the impact of climate change and environmental damage.

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