GOP wins big
SUFFOLK COUNTY—The Suffolk County Republican Committee’s election night convention, which was held at Stereo Garden in Patchogue, gradually turned into a celebration as news of one local Republican victory rolled in after another. “There is no blue wave,” Suffolk County Republican chairman John Jay LaValle proclaimed.
One of the most notable local races was for New York’s 2nd congressional district, with longtime Republican Congressman Peter King (R-Seaford) facing off against political newcomer Liuba Grechen Shirley running on the Democratic ticket.
Grechen Shirley launched a powerful grassroots campaign and received national attention after she petitioned the Federal Election Committee and won the right to use campaign finances to pay for childcare.
However, it wasn’t enough to unseat King, who won with 52.32 percent of the vote (122,103 votes), as opposed to Grechen Shirley’s 45.84 percent (106,996 votes). King has been serving his current district since 2013.
“This was a victory for the heart and soul of the district – an affirmation of support for hardworking, middle-income families, for the men and women of law enforcement, for the military and for the struggle against MS-13 and ISIS,” King wrote in a statement. “I will keep up the fight for Long Island and New York and work across the aisle for bipartisan results.”
Deborah Coppola, a West Islip resident who attended the convention, says she is part of the “red wave,” adding that her votes on Election Day were an extension of her support for President Donald Trump. “[Trump] says exactly what I feel,” Coppola said, adding that he, as president, has been doing exactly what he said he would do as a candidate. “He’s a man of his word.”
Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) defeated Republican Dean Murray in New York’s 3rd Senate District with 50.22 percent of the vote (46,265 votes). Murray’s loss, with 47.48 percent of the vote (43,737 votes), served as the only upset of the night for local Republicans. Martinez, a former social studies teacher for the Brentwood High School, earned 50.22 percent of the vote.
Murray, a businessman from East Patchogue, currently serves New York State’s 3rd Assembly District. “We have a lot to be proud of,” he told those who supported his campaign, despite their efforts “falling a little short.”
LaValle praised Murray’s efforts. “You’re going places,” he told Murray before a crowd of cheering attendees.
Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) was reelected for the second time to New York’s 4th Senate District. Boyle got 50.39 percent of the vote (50,374 votes), while his Democratic rival, Lou D’Amaro, received 46.70 percent of the vote (46,684 votes).
Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville) was reelected, also for a second time, to New York State’s 7th Assembly District. Garbarino got 57.44 percent of the vote (27,494 votes), while his Democratic rival, Thomas Murray, received 39.45 percent of the vote (18,884 votes).
Michael LiPetri, an attorney from South Farmingdale, defeated incumbent Christine Pellegrino (D-Massapequa Park) in his bid for New York State’s 9th Assembly District. LiPetri got 54.79 percent of the votes (27,174 votes), while his opponent received 42.59 percent of the votes (21,124 votes). He says his first-ever political campaign was dedicated to his late grandfather, Michael LiPetri, who played professional baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1950s.
LaValle recalled back in 2016 when Suffolk Republicans hosted candidate Trump at the same venue. “I stand with our president every day of the week,” he said. “I don’t care what he says. I care about what he’s done.” LaValle cited the low unemployment rate, particularly among minorities. These numbers, according to the chairman, discredits the widely held belief that the president is a racist.
LaValle also called Gov. Andrew Cuomo, upon hearing about his reelection, the “most corrupt governor in the United States,” and insisted that Republicans are going to win the county executive’s seat next year because “we have a comptroller [Republican John Kennedy] who is exposing the corruption and waste in our country.”
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