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Manuel Vidal Jr. named by GOP to run for Suffolk County Legislature

Manuel Vidal Jr. has been recommended as the Republican candidate to run for the seat in the Suffolk County Legislature's 9th District that opened when new Democratic State Sen. Monica Martinez took office Jan. 1.

Vidal was chosen over four other contenders, said William Garbarino, Islip Republican chairman, and was officially nominated Saturday.

Democrats have named IBEW union leader Samuel Gonzalez, of Brentwood. The special election to fill the vacancy is scheduled for March 19.

Vidal, 55, a lifelong Bay Shore resident, is a volunteer firefighter and a high-ranking official in the Lions Club. He is a $68,486-a-year auto mechanic with the Suffolk County public works department, where he has worked for 20 years.

Garbarino said Vidal's local ties and community involvement “would make him a good representative for the Ninth District.”  

Democrats have a 21,176 to 4,557 edge in voter enrollment over Republicans in the district, with another 8,991 unaligned with any party.

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