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GOP selects Jodi Giglio as its candidate for state Assembly

Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio will be the Suffolk County Republican’s candidate for the state Assembly seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Anthony Palumbo, who is running for state Senate instead.

Suffolk Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said the decision was made in consultation with Riverhead GOP chair Tammy Robinkoff and Southold Republican chair Peter McGreevy after interviewing four prospective candidates.

“Jodi Giglio has a proven record of fighting for the residents of the 2nd Assembly District,” Mr. Garcia said in a press release. “As a councilwoman, Jodi has been instrumental in revitalizing downtown Riverhead, protecting our East End farmland and improving public safety. As our representative in Albany, Jodi Giglio will fight to overturn the wrongheaded ‘bail reform’ imposed upon New Yorkers by the Democratic Legislature that has turned arrests into a catch-and-release program, returning criminals to our streets instead of keeping them behind bars.”

The 2nd Assembly district covers all of Riverhead and Southold towns and part of Brookhaven Town. 

Ms. Giglio, of Baiting Hollow, has served on the Riverhead Town Board since 2010 and cannot seek reelection due to term limits.

“I’m honored to receive the Republican nomination to run for New York State Assembly in the 2nd District,” she said in a statement. “Our voices will be heard on the many issues that affect us here, including bail reform, Medicare tax and many other issues. I assure you, our voices will be heard in Albany.”

The retirement of longtime state Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) after 44 years triggered a domino effect. Mr. Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) announced late last month he would run for Senate. Ms. Giglio had also initially screened to run for Mr. LaValle’s Senate seat. 

The GOP described Ms. Giglio as “a mother, community leader and private business owner who has lived in Riverhead for the past 20 years with her family. Jodi has built lasting and trusting professional relationships with local, county, state and federal officials as well as business, civic and community groups.”

Mr. Garcia declined to identify the other candidates who screened for the Republican Assembly nomination. 

Former Riverhead supervisor Laura Jens-Smith is thus far the most recognizable name to announce an intention to run on the Democratic side. She served one two-year term as Riverhead supervisor but lost to Yvette Aguiar in November. 

Ms. Giglio and Ms. Jens-Smith often clashed while on the Town Board together. 

The Democrats are not nominating an Assembly candidate and Ms. Jens-Smith and Will Schleisner of Sound Beach are both collecting petitions to run a primary June 23 for the Assembly race, according to a Democratic spokesperson.