The music starts again for congressional chairs
This year’s post-census redistricting has caused lots of confusion for New York lawmakers who find their homes carved into new districts. That includes freshman State Sen. Alexis Weik, whose Sayville home is now in SD4, not the SD3 she currently represents.
That’s not necessarily cause for panic, as state lawmakers during redistricting cycles can belatedly move into the district where they’d be serving.
The Republican is circulating petitions to get on the ballot in SD3, says Chris McKenna, speaking on behalf of Weik.
But when asked directly if Weik was also planning to run in SD3, McKenna did not respond.
Could that suggest something potentially afoot in Long Island GOP politics? The Point has heard Neil Foley’s name also floated for SD3, after the Brookhaven Town councilman was redistricted out of the 1st Congressional District, where he had eyed a federal run.
Any potential dominoes would likely brush up against Republican Phil Boyle, the current officeholder in SD4, which now unexpectedly houses Weik as well.
Boyle tells The Point that he’s running for the seat again, noting that redistricting has actually made it an even better prize: By removing Democrat-heavy areas of Wyandanch, Brentwood, and North Bay Shore and adding GOP strongholds in Massapequa and Massapequa Park, the district has tilted further to the right. Boyle estimates that the district went from a Democratic/Working Families Party advantage of 11,000 to a GOP/Conservative advantage of 30,000. All the reshuffling, of course, also made Weik’s old SD3 much more Dem-friendly.
Suffolk County GOP chairman Jesse Garcia doesn’t see a change in the status quo, saying Weik and Boyle would be running in their current districts.
On the other side, there’s Weik’s old Democratic foe Monica Martinez, who lost the seat in 2020 and seems eager to try again in SD3 with the new, more favorable lines: "I’m running on my record and welcome any opponent," she said in a text to The Point.
— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
Two NUMC chairmen, one NUMC board
When new Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman replaced the chairman of the board that runs Nassau University Medical Center with investment company executive Matthew Bruderman last week, predecessor Edward Farbenblum quickly sent Bruderman a note promising to work with the businessman in any way he can and wishing him success.
However, Farbenblum, who was appointed by Democrat Laura Curran, thinks he’s likely still chairman, because the seat Blakeman put Bruderman in was already occupied by Anne Kayman. Curran appointed Kayman on the way out the door late last year.
But Republican Blakeman argues Kayman is not a legitimate board member thanks to confusion about the timing of several prior, simultaneous board appointments and reappointments.
Bruderman is a Republican who gave $200,000 to the county Republican Committee just before last year’s election and $10,000 to Blakeman in late January.
So why is Farbenblum urging Bruderman on?
Farbenblum argues that the NUMC board should seek a court ruling to sort it all out.
"This just needs to be put in front of a judge to decide whether Anne Kayman’s appointment is legitimate and so whether Bruderman’s is," Farbenblum said. "But regardless, if Mr. Blakeman wants me out as chairman, he’ll remove me. But I’ll still be on the board and I’ll still be committed to helping NUMC."
Farbenblum said he understands county Democrats are considering legal action to fight for Kayman, but he knows in the end Blakeman will mostly get the board leadership he wants.
Farbenblum, who owns several nursing homes, has gotten praise for planting the seeds of a turnaround at the troubled hospital and nursing home. He’s been building momentum for the idea that NUMC could partner with the state and Stony Brook Hospital.
Without a turnaround, the public-mission hospital’s mediocre reputation, its $1 billion in liabilities, and its large annual deficits will likely force a closure or huge downsizing when federal COVID-19 money runs out.
Now, the question swirling around the hospital is whether Bruderman and Blakeman will still let a Democrat-appointed board member who is no longer overseeing the deficit-laden hospital keep working to turn it around.
— Lane Filler @lanefiller
Taking 'em on
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Not long after Republican George Santos prematurely attended new-member orientation for Congress in 2020, he conceded the race for CD3 to Rep. Tom Suozzi and made a promise to The Point: "I am running again in two years."
His path got clearer on Wednesday, with the filing of a campaign finance termination notice by Kevin Surdi, the Bay Shore nurse who had also sought to be the GOP standard-bearer.
Surdi will now be running for State Assembly against incumbent Democrat Phil Ramos, according to Surdi’s campaign spokesman Chapin Fay, who added that the party recruited him for the seat.
Santos, who lost by nearly 50,000 votes to Suozzi last time around, appears to be racking up GOP support for the Suozzi-less race this year, including from Suffolk party chairman Jesse Garcia, who says the county committee endorsed Santos late last month.
As for Surdi, he has a "bright young future in service," Garcia said.
On the Democratic side of the aisle in CD3, there still is a crowded primary field with six active contenders stretching from one end of the newly redrawn five-county district to the other.
"When it comes to the Democrats, I sit back and watch the dysfunction with a box of popcorn," said Garcia.
— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano