News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
Schmitt's successor expected to be sworn in Monday
Michael Venditto, 31, a Massapequa Republican, is expected to be sworn in Monday as the Nassau Legislature’s newest member, representing the 12th District.
Venditto, the son of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, won a special election Nov. 6 to replace Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, (R-Massapequa) who died suddenly last month. Schmitt had represented the 12th District since the legislature replaced the Board of Supervisors in 1996.
Although Venditto's victory will not be certified by Monday, Nassau’s Democratic Election Board Commissioner William Biamonte said he has asked counsel to see if Venditto can be seated before official confirmation by the election board. There’s no doubt Venditto was the winner, capturing some 65 percent of the vote, Biamonte said. “He clearly won.”
Venditto will not take Schmitt’s position as presiding officer, however. At this time, it is expected that the 10-member Republican majority will name Legis. Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) to be the legislature’s new leader.
Gonsalves, 78, was Schmitt’s deputy and has been acting presiding officer since his death. Gonsalves has been met with Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello and has talked to Democratic Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) about the county’s 2012 budget, which is expected to be approved next week.