Nassau County Republicans unveiled their slate of candidates Friday, led by Hempstead Councilman Anthony D’Esposito running for Congress, and a return of Jack Martins, seeking to reclaim his seat in the State Senate.
The county's Republicans are running on a platform to reduce crime by repealing cashless bail and adding funding for police, cutting gas taxes, and a plan to reverse a $1 billion commuter tax.
Republicans tapped D’Esposito to run in the 4th Congressional District to replace Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), who is not seeking reelection. D’Esposito would face the Democratic primary winner from a pool of challengers that includes former Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett, Nassau Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury), Legis. Carrié Solages (D-Lawrence) and Kevin Shakil of Westbury.
D’Esposito is a retired NYPD detective and former Island Park fire chief who has served on the Hempstead Town Board for six years, representing Oceanside, East Rockaway and Rockville Centre.
During his introductory speech Friday, D’Esposito said the country was going in the wrong direction, with rising gas and food prices, and escalating crime emanating from the “defund the police” movement in Washington, D.C. He said Nassau County needs more federal funding to combat the opioid crisis and continue NARCAN training to reverse overdoses.
“I’m excited to be part of a team to change the direction of New York State and America,” D’Esposito said. “We shouldn’t be calling for defunding of any police. I can’t wait to get to get to Washington and call for more funding for police.”
Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said no county Democratic candidates support the “defund the police” platform, which he argued did not contribute to additional crime.
“The uptick in violent crime is a nationwide problem and among the two greatest causes are gun violence and a lack of funding for mental health,” Jacobs said. “Republicans continue to do nothing to control the influx of guns and wear mental health budget cuts as a badge of honor.”
In state races, Republicans said they plan to retake Long Island’s State Senate and Assembly seats to overturn cashless bail and restore local control for suburban communities on Long Island.
Martins is running against State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck). He previously served six years in the Senate until 2016 and then mounted unsuccessful campaigns against Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“When I left the Senate, we had compromise, we had balance and the suburbs had a voice. Nassau County had a voice because of people who were willing to fight for Nassau County families,” Martins said. “Since then, we’ve had politics in Albany that not only have put our families at risk, but when politicians put criminals ahead of our families, it’s time to go back and make a difference."
Republicans also nominated George Santos to run for Suozzi's congressional seat. Santos narrowly lost to Suozzi in 2020 and would face one of six Democratic challengers: State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx), Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman, former North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Nassau Legis. Josh Lafazan (D-Woodbury), Reema Rasool of Oyster Bay, and Melanie D’Arrigo of Port Washington.
Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Sayville), who represents parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties, also is seeking reelection.
GOP Senate Candidates
4th SD: Sen. Phil Boyle
6th SD: James Coll
7th SD: Jack Martins (7th SD)
8th SD: Steve Rhoads
9th SD Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick
10th SD Gabriel Boxer
GOP Assembly Candidates
9th AD Assemb. Michael Durso
10th AD Aamir Sultan
11th AD Christopher Sperber
13th AD Ruka Anzai
14th AD Assemb. David McDonough
15th AD Jacob Blumencranz
16th AD Vibhuti Jha
17th AD Assemb. John Mikulin
18th AD LaMont Johnson
19th AD Assemb. Ed Ra
20th AD Eric “Ari” Brown
21st AD Nazia DeFrank
22nd AD Cara Castronuova