Suffolk legislative candidate Sam Gonzalez has returned $5,100 in contributions from Heartland Town Square developer Gerald Wolkoff and his two sons, in his bid to replace former Legis. Monica Martinez.
Gonzalez, president of IBEW Local 1430, said the donations came unsolicited. Gonzalez said he could not keep the money because Wolkoff has declined to enter a project labor agreement for his 9,000 unit mega-development in Central Islip.
“I’m a union president and it’s just altogether wrong,” said Gonzalez, a Democrat. His local represents about 1,400 electrical component workers in Westchester County.
Gonzalez also cited Wolkoff’s $14 million lawsuit seeking to force the county to connect the project to the Southwest Sewer District. Wolkoff is also seeking discounts on sewer connection fees because his project includes affordable housing units.
Wolkoff and his son David each gave Gonzalez $1,800, the limit in the race; his son Adam contributed $1,500.
“I support a lot of Democrats and some Republicans because I think they are doing good,” Wolkoff said, “But some are frightened because they don’t want to feel obligated…I don’t want anyone to feel obligated.”
As of last week’s 11-day pre-primary campaign finance report, Gonazalez had raised $20,089, including the donations he returned, and spent $2,485.
Suffolk Democrats in a separate filing reported spending another $19,940 on Gonzalez’s race.
Gonzalez's Republican opponent, Maria Vidal, has raised $5,250 and spent $3,851, according to her 11-day report.