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Decisions, decisions

Democratic candidate for New York's 1st district Perry

Democratic candidate for New York's 1st district Perry Gershon speaks with media and voters as Midterm Election results begin to come in, Nov. 6, 2018. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

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Daily Point

Looking ahead to CD1 in 2020

The Suffolk Board of Elections finished counting absentee ballots Thursday afternoon and now has final results for New York’s 1st Congressional District. Democrat Perry Gershon ultimately lost to Rep. Lee Zeldin by 4.09 percent. He had been trailing by around 6 percent in the unofficial results.

As absentees were being logged, candidates and political organizations have been searching their souls about Nov. 6 wins and losses, and some are beginning to go public with lessons learned.

That includes Jim Morgo, former Suffolk County legislator and deputy Suffolk County executive who more recently was the co-founder of Bayport Blue Point Indivisible, an active community group this election cycle.

Morgo told The Point earlier this week that Democrats should look for a different kind of challenger in CD1: someone with deeper roots in the district, the type of person who can go into “blue-collar bars and talk blue-collar issues,” says Morgo. The candidate should be able to do this in Centereach, and perform well in Brookhaven.

In a conversation with The Point last week, Gershon, a former real estate lender with residences in Manhattan and East Hampton who only registered to vote in Suffolk County last year, didn’t think the “Park Avenue Perry” attacks by Zeldin and his supporters led to his loss. But Morgo thinks the carpetbagger swipes had a real effect. It’s a district where Republican newcomer Randy Altschuler couldn’t ride the tea party wave in 2010, after all.

“Long Island is so parochial you can’t be perceived as an outsider,” Morgo says.

Mark Chiusano

Talking Point

Support on track

Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, made his pitch about the LaGuardia AirTrain to the Long Island Association Friday morning.

“We would welcome your support,” Cotton said, asking the members to “speak up” and back the effort.

The Port Authority has set aside $1.5 billion toward the AirTrain, which would stretch from the airport to Willets Point in Queens, where it would meet the 7 train and the Long Island Rail Road.

In pushing the project, Cotton, who also shared progress reports on the remakes of LaGuardia and Kennedy airports, addressed questions about the AirTrain project, including why the authority decided to use Willets as the connection point, rather than Woodside or other locations west of LaGuardia.

“The problem with going west is you wind up having to build in a much more densely populated area,” Cotton argued, noting that community concerns would be more “intense.”

Cotton, who previously oversaw Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s infrastructure plans, recalled the efforts to build Long Island Rail Road’s third track, which originally was going to go through areas that would require the seizing of private property. Eventually, the design and route was changed to avoid that.

“We learned a lot from the third track,” Cotton said.

Cotton was clearly in front of a friendly crowd, as many voiced support of his plans. In an interview after the meeting, as LIA Chief Executive Kevin Law looked on, Cotton said he’s seeking support for the AirTrain “everywhere I go,” and argued that not building the AirTrain would be “irresponsible” and “indefensible.”

And Cotton had Law’s support.

“I absolutely believe it’s critical” to the region, Law said.

And with that, Cotton added another advocate to his list.

Randi F. Marshall

Pencil Point

Tarif Man

Quick Point

Send us your questions

On Monday, the development pair hoping to build at the Nassau Hub meets with Newsday’s editorial board.

Developer Scott Rechler, of RXR Realty, and Brett Yormark, of BSE Global, which manages Nassau Coliseum, will speak to the board about plans to build a mix of housing, retail, hotels, and research and office space on the asphalt that surrounds the Coliseum.

The meeting comes a week before the Nassau County Legislature is slated to vote on whether to allow the developers to move forward with their plans. So far, Rechler and Yormark’s proposals have met with broad community support, but also questions from county lawmakers about whether the construction work would be done entirely by unionized labor, whether the developers would choose to seek tax breaks, and what community improvements and benefits might be provided, among other issues.

What would you want to know from Rechler or Yormark about the project? Participate in the discussion about the Hub by emailing your questions to: thepoint@newsday.com.

Randi F. Marshall

Columns