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Race for Monica Martinez seat in Suffolk Legislature attracts new candidates

New candidates have come forward for the special

New candidates have come forward for the special election to succeed Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood), who is resigning to become a state senator. Photo Credit: James Escher

Jorge Guadron, a state Democratic Committee member, has surfaced as the latest candidate seeking to replace Suffolk Legis. Monica Martinez, who will leave her $100,854 a year post when she goes to Albany Jan. 1 as a state senator.

Guadron, 57, a state committeeman in the 6th Assembly District for the past six years, has already formed a campaign fundraising committee. The Central Islip resident is president of the Salvadoran-American Chamber of Commerce, and has the support of Rafaela Vasquez, the other Democratic committee member from the 6th District.

“I’ve been involved in the community since 2003 when I arrived in the area and I know the community’s needs, strengths and weaknesses and I can be the best legislator possible for the area,” Guadron said.

Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said two other potential contenders also have joined the hunt — attorney Joseph Fritz of Brentwood, who has run several unsuccessful races for town and county offices, and Brian Cruz, who works for Helping Hands Home Care and once worked as an intern for the Center for Cost Effective Government, a nonprofit run by former Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a Republican.

Other Democrats mentioned previously include union leader Sam Gonzalez and Renee Ortiz, head of Suffolk County Community College’s Center for Social Justice.

Schaffer said he and Islip Democratic chair Luis Montes planned to interview all contenders at party headquarters last Saturday. But no decision is expected until after the legislative vacancy occurs officially on Jan 1. 

Democrats are seeking a Feb. 26 special election date, which the county Legislature is expected to set on Jan. 8. Republican officials have vowed to run a candidate to replace Martinez but have put forward no names yet.

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