Glen Cove mayoral candidate Reginald Spinello opened his campaign headquarters last week before an enthusiastic crowd of about 100 Republican Party faithful.
“There is a bright future for Glen Cove,” Spinello, 61, said in a speech outside a building bedecked with campaign signs at the corner of Glen and Butler Streets. “We’ve made an investment in Glen Cove — all of us — some of us as homeowners, and we need a return on that investment, and we’re going to get that for you.”
The election is a rematch of the challenge Spinello launched against incumbent Mayor Ralph Suozzi, a Democrat, in 2007. Spinello, who won a spot on the City Council as an Independence Party member in 2011, lost that earlier try but he said this time is different.
“I have a good base,” he said in an interview. “Part of that is being a city councilman ... and people seeing what I’m all about.”
Spinello, a retired vitamin and pharmaceutical businessman, told the crowd that he wanted to bring more retail stores and businesses to the city but said he wanted restraint on development as well.
“I’ve walked the downtown. I’ve seen the empty stores. I’ve seen the plans for buildings that are too big and don’t fit,” he said. “I understand that things can’t go back to the way they were, but there’s still a piece of it that I want to hold onto.”
Tip Henderson, 67, an attorney and former leader of the Glen Cove Republicans, said Spinello’s business experience would make him a good manager of the city’s finances. He said Spinello has a good chance to beat Suozzi, who has been mayor since 2006.
“Eight years, that’s a long stretch for our city,” Henderson said. “People may be ready for a change.”
Suozzi said that his challenger offers criticisms but not solutions.
“In January of next year we’re going to find out how he’s going to fix all these problems?” Suozzi asked.