Local and county Republican committee leaders met with seven potential candidates for the state Assembly seat vacated this month by Dan Losquadro, though it still remains unclear if a special election will be held anytime soon, party officials said.
Mr. Losquadro, of Shoreham, left state office less than four months after being elected to a second two-year term in Albany in November.
He was voted in as Brookhaven Town highway superintendent March 5.
The 2nd Assembly District encompasses all of Southold and Riverhead towns, and stretches as far as Mount Sinai along Brookhaven Town’s northern shore.
Governor Andew Cuomo must decide when to hold the special election for the remainder of Mr. Losquadro’s term.
“Nobody knows if [the special election] is going to be lumped into the general election,” said Riverhead Republican Committee chairman John Galla.
The seven people who screened at county Republican headquarters in Holtsville Wednesday night include (in no particular order):
Raymond Negron, a Mount Sinai attorney and Purple Heart recipient
John Kreutz, deputy receiver of taxes in Brookhaven Town
Stephen Kiely, a Mattituck attorney
Bob Ghosio, a Southold Town trustee
Anthony Palumbo, a New Suffolk attorney
Bill Faulk, former Ed Romaine aide of Manorville
Chris Talbot, a Southold Town Board member
Mr. Galla, who said he was impressed with all the candidates, as was Southold GOP leader Peter McGreevy.
“We had seven high-quality candidates,” he said.
Catherine Stark, a Riverhead Republican Committee member and aide to county Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk), is considering screening but had a scheduling conflict Wednesday night, he said.
Southold and Brookhaven party chairmen also attended the screenings.
Mr. Galla and Mr. McGreevy agrees the special election should coincide with the May 21 school budget votes, something the Times/Review Newsgroup editorial board has called for, rather than on Election Day. Calls to the Governor Cuomo’s office about the special election have not been returned.
“I think it makes perfect sense on so many different levels that we would combine the special elections with that of the school budgets,” Mr. Galla said. “The new voting machines are going to be in the voting places anyway, and certianly state aid to education plays into school budgets.”
“I’m not going to bash the governor, but I would ask him [to agree to a May special election], had I had the opportunity. I think he would agree on some level that the people of the Assembly District should be represented” from now until November.
“I would favor that earlier vote,” Mr. Galla continued. “I think it makes perfect legitimate sense.”
County leader John J. LaValle was not immediately available for comment.
Read more in the March 28 Suffolk Times newspaper.