Republican Nassau County legislators last week reappointed GOP Elections Commissioner Lou Savinetti to a new two-year term — nine months before his existing term expires on Dec. 31.
They acted on a Jan. 11 recommendation from Nassau Republican chairman Joseph Mondello. State law says Republican and Democratic elections commissioners must be nominated by their party chairmen.
Mondello’s recommendation basically ensured Savinetti three more years in the GOP elections commissioner post, which pays $180,314 this year.
But Mondello has been nominated by President Donald Trump as ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. If the Senate confirms Mondello, he could be gone from Nassau before Savinetti’s current term is up, preventing the next Republican county chairman from selecting his or her own elections commissioner.
Asked why he moved so quickly, Mondello said he understood Democrats also were going to appoint their elections commissioner and were on board with the move. “There was no special reason,” Mondello said.
Asked if he intended to hamstring his successor, Mondello said, “I wasn’t thinking of that. It didn’t even cross my mind.” He quipped, “I was thinking of the beaches of Trinidad.”
Meanwhile, Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs has not submitted a recommendation to reappoint Democratic Elections Commissioner Dave Gugerty or anyone else to the job.
‘We’re going to get to it, probably in three, four, five, six months or so,” Jacobs said. “I agree that we ultimately will do it.”
Jacobs declined to comment if he will renominate Gugerty, saying he wanted to “preserve Gugerty’s dignity.” Jacobs said, “In the age of Trump, my saying that I support someone does very little to ensure their longevity.”