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Opinion

Zeldin's November opponent

Lee Zeldin, Republican incumbent candidate for US Congress

Lee Zeldin, Republican incumbent candidate for US Congress NY 1st District, poses for a portrait a law office located at 225 West Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. -- slVOTE -- Credit: James Escher

Daily Point

The science of politics in CD1

Stony Brook scientist Nancy Goroff claimed victory in the Democratic primary for CD1 after a days-long count of paper ballots. 

She called it a “spirited” primary in a statement, and it was. The race featured 2018 Democratic contender Perry Gershon, who came within 4 percentage points of defeating Rep. Lee Zeldin last cycle, and Suffolk County Legis. Bridget Fleming, whose prosecutorial background and government experience had excited some supporters hoping to counter Zeldin’s military record. 

There was also a lot of money in the primary: Goroff loaned her campaign $1 million in May and another $150,000 down the stretch in June. She followed the example of Gershon, who had pumped hundreds of thousands into his 2018 primary bid and did the same this time around. 

Find out what will be crucial for her in November’s election against Zeldin and more here.

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Talking Point

More questions for Cerro Wire site

Throughout the decades-long effort to develop the Syosset land known as Cerro Wire, a variety of concerns kept cropping up, particularly because of traffic and the site’s environmental conditions. 

There was a hope, however, that the latest plan — to build an Amazon warehouse — might be met with fewer objections, since it didn’t involve housing or retail or anything that would generate mass activity.

Not so fast.

Syosset Central School District Superintendent Tom Rogers sent a letter to Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino in June noting his continued concerns — specifically on the environmental front. He reiterated a request for independent environmental testing — a request he first made two years ago during hearings over the previous Syosset Park plan. Syosset Park developers planned to do the testing, but when they ended their plans, they pulled out of the independent testing promise, too. 

Besides the testing request, Rogers also noted that the Amazon project would be a “transportation-dependent enterprise that will have traffic and emissions implications for the surrounding areas,” and highlighted potential disruptions to soil and to the Syosset Landfill. 

“I note that additional concerns may become apparent and raised regarding the environmental and financial impacts to the District once documentation concerning the proposed project is made available,” Rogers wrote. 

Saladino replied with a letter of his own, noting the various environmental studies over the years, including the most recent findings by the state Department of Environmental Conservation that the property doesn’t pose a public health threat.

“Federal, State, County and Town governments now have three decades of testing and validity data that confirms the safety of our community while refuting unsubstantiated fears rampant on social media,” Saladino wrote.

Saladino noted that the developer will continue brownfield cleanup at the site. As of now, the Amazon proposal doesn’t require any town board approvals, he said.

While Amazon has yet to file a site plan or additional details on its proposal, the warehouse of course won’t add as many students to the district’s rolls as the previous plan could have.

Oyster Bay officials haven’t indicated how much revenue they expect the new proposal to bring in. If Saladino’s detailed rundown of the site’s environmental safety doesn’t reassure Rogers, perhaps projections of incoming revenue — some of which likely would be bound for the school district — will.

— Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

2020*

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Final Point

Losing candidate's phone call

State Assemb. Mike LiPetri’s concession to Andrew Garbarino in the Republican primary for CD2 means more than just a lost chance for Congress. To make the run, LiPetri gave up the chance to be his party's nominee for his own seat, leaving independent petitioning as his only possible route back to Albany.

Garbarino, the son of Islip Town Republican Chairman William Garbarino, quickly became the choice for the party establishment, with congressional endorsements from the county parties and Reps. Pete King and Lee Zeldin. But LiPetri rolled the dice anyway, and a relatively feisty primary ensued. LiPetri took a more right-leaning lane and cast himself as the outsider. 

Now the one-term assemblyman faces a new path forward, which politically speaking could mean doubling down on the outsider label or mending ties with the party. His concession call was “gracious,” Garbarino told The Point. 

Garbarino thought it was the first time he’d ever received an official concession call (a previous candidate once conceded on Facebook). 

“We had a very good call,” Garbarino said. 

LiPetri declined to discuss his political future with The Point, but he and Garbarino will cross paths in the coming months due to their joint Albany duties. 

Meanwhile, the GOP banner for LiPetri’s 9th Assembly District will be taken up by Michael Durso, son of labor leader John. Durso faces Democratic candidate Ann Brancato for a seat that has recently swung from Republican Joseph Saladino to Democrat Christine Pellegrino to LiPetri, and now beyond. 

—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

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