Conservatives endorse GOP slate, except Giglio

06/04/2013 5:31 PM |

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Councilwoman Jodi Giglio (right) and the rest of the Riverhead Republican nominees, from left, Mike Panchak, Laverne Tennenberg, John Dunleavy, Sean Walter, Anthony Palumbo at the committee’s nominating convention last month.

Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio learned today she is the only local Republican who will not be appearing on the Conservative Party line in this November’s elections.

Ms. Giglio, who has feuded publicly with Supervisor Sean Walter, a former town Conservative chairman, said she was taken aback by being left out, but wasn’t completely surprised.

She pointed to a stance she took over a $22,000 emergency mold remediation contract awarded to Servpro of Northeast Queens, owned by Joseph Sclafani, brother of Charles Sclafani, a member of the town Conservative Committee, in March 2010.

“It’s been said repeatedly that I wouldn’t get Conservative support ever since the no-bid mold contract issue,” she said. “It’s unfortunate, but I consider myself to be one of the most fiscally Conservative people on the Town Board.”

She said she was left out over policy, not politics.

“You would hope the people in a party would pick the candidate who best represents their values and principles,” she said, “And I certainly feel I fit the Conservative mold, both when it comes to policy, and value-wise.”

She said she was never asked to screen with party leaders.

The Conservatives will be backing the rest of the slate for town posts, and the Republican candidates for Assembly and county Legislature.

County Conservative Party chairman Ed Walsh, who also leads the East End Conservative groups, said the choice had nothing to do with any mold contracts.

“But everything in life has to do with politics,” he said. “There’s Anthony Coates running a primary. Some in my committee liked him. Others liked Jodi Giglio, so we left it off. Whoever wins that primary is going to win the race, so we’re not the fly in the ointment there.”

He said Ms. Giglio had been screened in the past, adding “trust me, we judge everybody on their behavior all the time. It’s an open book.”

When asked if her feuding with Mr. Walter had to do with the committee’s decision, Mr. Walsh said, “We like Sean; there’s no ifs, ands or butts.”

“But like I said, my committee is split [between Mr. Coates and Ms. Giglio].”

Mr. Coates also did not get the Conservative nod.

“As far as I’m concerned, Jodi, like the rest of the board, is very Conservative.,” said Riverhead GOP chairman John Galla. “In my book, I think Jodi is fiscally conservative. She’s voted for more than a million dollars in savings and she opposed her own salary increase.”

Mr. Galla said he had not yet spoken to Conservative Party leadership.

“I would welcome the opportunity to speak with Chairman Walsh to espouse those conservative principals that Jodi has and, hopefully, change things around,” he said.

with Tim Gannon

mwhite@timesreview.com