02/03/14 6:59am
02/03/2014 6:59 AM
GRANT PARPAN PHOTO |

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | Councilman George Gabrielsen, right, giving a proclamation to New-Review reporter Tim Gannon declaring Jan. 23, 2014, “Tim Gannon Day” in Riverhead Town.

If you’ve ever read the News-Review, you’ve probably seen Tim Gannon’s byline.

Tim has been a reporter for the paper since 1996, covering everything from Town Hall and police news to 100th birthday parties and school board meetings.

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03/18/13 1:09pm
03/18/2013 1:09 PM
Phil Cardinale eyes Assembly seat

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Former Riverhead supervisor Phil Cardinale still has more than $20,000 left in his campaign fund from his Town Board races.

Riverhead Councilman George Gabrielsen — who on Friday expressed interest in running for the state Assembly seat recently vacated by Dan Losquadro — said Monday that he has decided not to run.

Meanwhile, former Riverhead supervisor Phil Cardinale, a Democrat, said he has interest in running for the post.

But Mr. Cardinale plans to wait until the governor decides if there will be a special election before making any decision, he told the News-Review Monday.

“I have some interest in state office,” said Mr. Cardinale, a real estate attorney who lives in Jamesport. “I’m going to consider whether I have enough interest to throw my hat into the ring by talking with town leaders and others, but I haven’t done so yet.”

So far, it’s not known if Governor Andrew Cuomo will declare a special election to fill the Assembly seat or leave the seat open until the November general elections.

A spokesperson for the governor has yet to return a call from the News-Review on that question.

“There may be no special election,” Mr. Cardinale said. “Once it is clear if there will be a special election, I will make a decision. However, if the governor decided to wait until November, I will have time to consider my options.

“I don’t know if I have enough interest, and you need to have great interest to toss your hat into the rink.”

Mr. Cardinale, who served three two-year terms as Riverhead supervisor from 2004 to 2009, said he still has about $20,000 in unspent campaigns funds left over from his last race for town supervisor in 2009.

The Suffolk County Board of Elections indicates he had exactly $18,524 as of January.

Mr. Cardinale says that’s still not enough for an Assembly run, and he would also want to be sure if he has solid financial and party backing.

“I would want considerably more in that the bank than that,” he said of the figures.

The former town supervisor said he is intrigued by the possibility of  state office, because there are certain issues, like pension reform for government employees and mandate relief, where a state official can be more effective than a town official.

He also believes a Democratic Assembly member can work effectively with the Democratic governor and Democratically controlled Assembly.

The enrollment breakdown in the first Assembly District is just about even between Republicans and Democrats, he said.

Board of Elections statistics from November show 29,762 registered Republicans, 28,273 registered Democrats and 24,643 blanks (not registered with a party) in the district.

“On the other hand, I’m enjoying life,” Mr. Cardinale said. “I know first hand that when you’re in office, you’re on duty all the time. You really are a servant of the people.”

As for Mr. Gabrielsen, the councilman said he “went over the whole thing” in his head over the weekend.

“The bottom line is, I just got elected and I’ve still got  almost three years to serve in this term,” Mr. Gabrielsen said. “I have an obligation to the taxpayers. They elected me to serve four years. I feel I’ve got to do the job I was elected to do.”

He said he will not screen for the Assembly nomination, as he believes the Enterprise Park at Calverton subdivision is so close to completion, and he wants to remain on the Town Board to see that process through.

“There’s still unfinished business I feel has to be done,” Mr. Gabrielsen said.

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03/15/13 2:06pm
03/15/2013 2:06 PM

COUNCILMAN GEORGE GABRIELSEN

Thrown another name in the hat.

Riverhead Councilman George Gabrielsen says he’s interested in running to fill the North Fork’s State Assembly seat vacant since former Assemblyman Dan Losquadro was elected Brookhaven highway superintendent earlier this month.

“At this time, I’m still up in the air, but I’m definitely interested in it,” Mr. Gabrielsen said in an interview Friday. “I haven’t officially put my name in to be screened, but I put it out there to party officials that I definitely have an interest in it. I’m moving in that direction.”

Mr. Gabrielsen, a Republican who owns a farm in Jamesport, was first elected to the Town Board in 2009 to fill the remainder of the term of former Councilman Tim Buckley, who resigned.

While the commute to Albany has discouraged some people from running for state office, Mr. Gabrielsen said he’ll familiar with that trip, since he owns a farm in upstate Summit, west of Albany.

“And my wife is actually from Albany,” he said. “What gives me a good advantage is that, in having a farm up there, I think I have a lot in common with some of the legislators from that area. I know some of them already and I would have kind of a heads up in negotiating with them.”

Mr. Gabrielsen believes the East End’s biggest issue is preserving open space and farmers are the key to that goal.

“We’ve really got to look for legislation to protect farmland,” he said. “Farmers been good guardians of the land. I think I have the background to truly represent the East End.”

The decision on whether to hold a special election to fill the seat or leave to the November general election rests with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has yet to indicate his preference.

The Assembly district covers Southold, Riverhead, Shelter Island and northeastern Brookhaven.