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Joseph Cairo elected chairman of Nassau Republicans

Joseph Cairo is elected new county GOP chairman

Joseph Cairo is elected new county GOP chairman on Thursday in Levittown. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau Republicans selected Joseph Cairo as their new county chairman Thursday night as Joseph Mondello prepared to step down before Senate confirmation hearings on his appointment as U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago.

Cairo, 72, of North Valley Stream, is the party’s first vice chairman and serves as president of Nassau Regional Off-Track Betting Corp. He also is executive GOP leader in North Valley Stream and chairman of the North Hempstead Republicans.

Mondello, 80, of Oyster Bay Cove, has served as chairman of the powerful party organization since 1983.

Cairo, a mainstay in the organization, is sometimes referred to as Mondello’s “strong right arm.”

Mondello’s resignation takes effect at the close of business next Thursday, and Cairo’s appointment begins next day.

During a speech to the convention, Cairo said: “If we come together, there is so much strength together in this room. They can’t beat us. We’re going to win. We’re going to win elections.”

Standing in front of the party’s slate of candidates, Cairo added: “We’ve had some losses over the years. We took some tough ones last year. But the victories greatly outnumber the defeats.”

Mondello, in a speech introducing Cairo, said his successor has “been sitting next to me at my side for the last 40 years. More than 40 years.”

Committee members at the convention selected Cairo, whose nomination was announced by former Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino. Santino likened Cairo replacing Mondello to when Ralph Houk replaced Casey Stengel as Yankees manager after the 1960 season.

To which Mondello replied: “I’m not a Yankee fan. I like the Mets.”

Cairo’s first act was to appoint Mondello as “chairman emeritus.”

Mondello, in a speech to committeemen, quoted Ecclesiastes 3: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

“It’s still hard for me to believe that a poor kid from Brooklyn could have ever had the opportunity to be the guest of the president of the United States in the White House and on Air Force One,” he said.

Speaking of Republican headquarters, he said, “A big part of me will always be here, at 164 Post Avenue, where so much history was made. And no matter what the media says, so much good was done for the people of Nassau County.”

Nassau Republicans were expected Thursday night to select their candidates for federal, state and local offices:


2nd Congressional District: Peter T. King

3rd: Dan P. DeBono

4th: Ameer N. Benno

State Senate

5th District: Carl L. Marcellino

6th: Kemp Hannon

7th: Elaine Phillips

8th: Jeffrey P. Pravato

9th: Francis X. Becker, Jr.

State Assembly

9th District: Candidate to be determined

13th: Andrew A. Monteleone

14th: David G. McDonough

15th: Michael A. Montesano

16th: Byron A. Divins, Jr.

17th: John K. Mikulin

18th: James Lamarre

19th: Edward P. Ra

20th: Melissa L. Miller

21st: Brian F. Curran

22nd: Gonald Moncion

County Court Judge

Catherine Rizzo

Family Court Judge

Robin M. Kent

2nd District Court Judge (vote for 2)

Michael W. Alpert

Charles J. Casolaro

Eric Zeni

3rd District Court

Tomasina Mastroianni

4th District Court (vote for 1)

Colin F. O’Donnell

Douglas J. Lerose

City of Glen Cove City Judge

Richard J. McCord

City of Long Beach City Judge

William Miller

Source: Nassau County Republican Committee

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