Assembly: GOP wins 2 open seats in Suffolk
Of the 22 State Assembly seats up for grabs this year, two open ones in Suffolk were won by Republicans.
Andrew Garbarino and Chad Lupinacci won the two seats, in the 7th and 10th districts, respectively, against Democrats Christopher Bodkin and Joe Dujmic. Meanwhile, 3rd District Republican incumbent Dean Murray held on to a sliver of a lead Tuesday night, with all but two districts reporting, against Democratic challenger Edward Hennessey.
Early results in Nassau County indicated Democrat Michaelle Solages was ahead of Republican Sean Wright in the newly created 22nd District.
In the 22nd District, which was created by redistricting after the 2010 census, Democrats were looking to widen their 51-seat margin in the Assembly with Solages, 27, of Elmont, a librarian at Hofstra University. Republicans put their hopes on Wright, 43, of North Valley Stream, a deputy attorney for the Town of Hempstead. Both candidates are making their first forays into public office and both are concerned with Belmont Park.
Solages, who is also on the Working Families line, said she believes redeveloping Belmont Park will help bring jobs. Job creation is also a focus for Wright, who is on the Independence and Conservative lines as well.
In Suffolk, the 7th District race was being closely watched after a last-minute decision by Assemb. Philip Boyle (R-Bay Shore) to seek the seat of retiring state Sen. Owen Johnson (R-West Babylon) created an open spot.
Bodkin, 65, of West Sayville, is a former Republican who spent 16 years on the Islip Town Board, losing re-election in 2009 after he turned Democrat. He is chairman of the Islip Community Development Agency and is a part-time aide in the Suffolk County Legislature. Garbarino, 28, of Sayville, is an attorney who since the age of 14 has been helping his father, William, run campaigns. Garbarino's father ran losing county legislature races against Steve Levy and William Lindsay.
Bodkin said he wanted to focus on taxes, affordable housing and energy costs.
Garbarino, who is also on the Conservative, Independence and Main Street lines, helps run a foundation that administers college scholarships. He wants to eradicate unfunded state mandates that he said drive up school costs. He also wants to loosen regulations on small businesses.
The race in the 10th District was to succeed James Conte, the Republican from Huntington Station who represented the district for 24 years before his death Oct. 16.