Long Islanders will head to the polls Tuesday to vote in seven primary races, including contests for Nassau and Suffolk county legislatures.
Among several primary races this year, Monique Hardial is challenging incumbent Carrié Solages in a Democratic primary for the Nassau legislature's 3rd District seat. Other contested primaries are for the Suffolk legislature's 11th District, Long Beach City Council, Southampton Town Supervisor and Receiver of Taxes and East Hampton Town Justice and Trustee.
Hardial has shaped her campaign largely around domestic violence allegations made against Solages two years ago.
Solages, who is running for his fifth term, pleaded guilty last year to a noncriminal charge of disorderly conduct after his 2017 arrest for allegedly assaulting his son’s mother and endangering her teenage daughter.
Solages, 40, noted his plea was not to a domestic violence charge and all criminal charges against him were dropped. The case will be sealed in September, when the conditional discharge period ends, if he complies with plea deal terms, which required completing a batterer intervention program and undergoing drug testing.
Hardial, an attorney at a Manhattan securities litigation firm, said she decided to run after Solages was stripped of committee assignments and expelled from meetings of Democratic lawmakers for 18 months following his arrest. She said the community “deserves better role models and leadership.”
“We had no leadership for that time,” Hardial, 37, said. “We suffered while he collected a paycheck and did nothing.”
Solages, who is also running on the Independence line, said bringing up the case is “character assassination that is not relevant to my role as a legislator.”
“I’ve always been effective in my community, and I’ve been able to deliver to my community in many ways,” Solages said.
Solages, of Valley Stream, highlighted that he is a ranking member of the county’s Minority Affairs Committee, has helped expand bus service in Elmont and Valley Stream and secured more than $1 million for road improvements in his district, including a study of traffic conditions along Dutch Broadway in Elmont.
Both candidates support the $1 billion plan to build an arena for the New York Islanders in Belmont Park. Solages, who initially opposed the plan, said he will support it if it uses all-local unionized labor, creates a fully functional train station, develops Dutch Broadway Park and builds three community centers. Hardial said she would advocate for the plan to include funding for schools, emergency services and traffic safety.
Hardial, who has been a library board member for 10 years and the vice president of the Dutch Broadway PTA, said she would also advocate for a more transparent tax assessment system, for legislators to test and clean stormwater basins and soil in the district and for free cancer screenings for residents.
Solages has raised double the amount of money as Hardial, according to campaign finance filings. Solages has raised $29,050 since January and has $11,002 on hand, according to filings from 32 and 11 days before the election. Hardial has raised $13,241.22 and has $7,261.27 on hand.
In Suffolk County, longtime Conservative Party member Joan Manahan is running against former Brightwaters Village Mayor Joseph McDermott, a registered Democrat, in a Conservative primary.
“I’m running because I don’t want liberals to take over my party line,” Manahan, 88, of Brightwaters said.
Manahan is a part-time travel agent after retiring from Northrop Grumman. She said she helped found the county Conservative Party and has served as a legislative aide to a state assemblyman and chairman of several campaigns. This is her first run for public office. Manahan said she would examine county programs to eliminate funding for undocumented immigrants.
McDermott, 52, is also running on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence lines in the general election. He is a structural ironworker who served two terms as Brightwaters mayor. He previously ran unsuccessfully for the 11th District in 2017. McDermott said he would work to address the county’s financial issues, including by evaluating capital projects.
In Long Beach, seven Democrats are vying for three nominations as the city faces a fiscal crisis.
City Council President Anthony Eramo and Council Vice President Chumi Diamond are seeking the Democrat nod to run for re-election. They are running on a platform with former journalist Jim Mulvaney, touting the rebuilding of the city after superstorm Sandy and vowing to lead the city’s financial recovery.
The field of challengers for the Democratic nomination includes a ticket from the New Wave Dems featuring Liz Treston, Ron Paganini and Karen McInnis. Democratic challenger Tim Kramer is running unaffiliated from any campaign.
Challengers have criticized the incumbents for voting for $2.1 million in separation payments to current and former employees, which is now under audit by the state comptroller and under investigation by the Nassau County district attorney’s office.
In Southampton Town, Independence Party voters will decide who will get its line in races for town supervisor, between incumbent Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Highway Superintendent Alex D. Gregor, and for receiver of taxes, between incumbent Theresa A. Kiernan and challenger Gordon L. Herr.
And in East Hampton, incumbent Lisa R. Rana and challenger Andrew T. Strong are vying for the Democratic line in a race for town justice. Twelve candidates are also running in the Democratic primary for town trustee positions.
With John Asbury and Candice Ferrette