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Election 2022: Meet the candidates for U.S. Congress, state Senate and Assembly

Voters will cast their ballot on several key races both at the federal and state levels. The local races include the 1st Congressional District for a seat in the House of Representatives. And on the state level, there are races for the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly.

Here are bios on the candidates in each of those races.

U.S. Congress

Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) has been a prominent figure in East End politics since 2010, when she was elected to the Southampton Town Board. 

Previously, she worked for nearly a decade as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, where she oversaw a unit targeting fraud in public programs and prosecuted sex crimes. She also worked as managing attorney for pro bono programs at the New York City Bar Association. 

Ms. Fleming was the first to enter the race to represent NY-01 in spring 2021, and earned the Democratic nomination after other candidates dropped from the race. She has said she would support codifying the right to abortion and push for climate solutions. She would also support a ban on assault weapons, a campaign financing system based on small donors and legislation expanding voter protections, and would advocate to restore a federal deduction for property taxes, as well as policies to prevent price gouging and supply chain disruptions.

Ms. Fleming graduated from Hunter College and earned her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. She lives in Noyac with her husband and son and has served in the county Legislature since 2015.

Nick LaLota, chief of staff to the Republican presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, has highlighted a history of public service in his campaign to take over Rep. Lee Zeldin’s (R-Shirley) seat in Congress.

9-27-22 Nick LaLota and family, Blydenburgh Park.

Mr. LaLota served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He was appointed to the Amityville Board of Trustees in 2013, then elected and reelected in 2014 and 2015. He acted as the village budget officer and chairman of the committees to the police and fire departments. He is also a former commissioner of the Suffolk County Board of Elections and has served as chief of staff to state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore).

Mr. LaLota beat out two other candidates in the Republican primaries to secure his nomination. He has said he would advocate for more regulations on voting, work to reduce inflation and the cost of medications under Medicare, support a bill to increase penalties for attacking police and push for more federal funding for infrastructure. 

Mr. LaLota graduated from Hofstra University’s Zarb School of Business with an MBA and earned a JD from Hofstra’s law school. He lives in Amityville with his wife and three daughters.

New York State Senate

Republican state Sen. Anthony Palumbo of New Suffolk represents the East End of Long Island as well as parts of Brookhaven Town in the state Senate’s 1st District. 

Mr. Palumbo worked as a Suffolk County prosecutor for several years and has a private law practice in Mattituck. In April 2013 he was elected to the state Assembly, where he served until he was elected to the seat vacated by longtime Republican state Sen. Ken LaValle two years ago.

Mr. Palumbo said his top priorities are getting the economy back on track post-pandemic and repealing the controversial bail and discovery reforms that he believes are harming our residents and local law enforcement. 

He says enforcement is the key to stopping crime, and noted that New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation. “Most of the gun crimes are committed with illegal guns,” he said.

Mr. Palumbo says he supports New York’s current position on reproductive rights and maintaining abortion as legal statewide and supports abortion in cases of rape, incest and when the life of a mother is at risk.

He said he seeks to usher in a government “that prioritizes public safety, lowers taxes and creates a stronger economy for all.”

Skyler Johnson, 22, of Mount Sinai is the Democratic candidate opposing incumbent Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) in the race for the State Senate’s 1st District. 

Mr. Johnson works in a nonprofit called New Hour for Women and Children LI, which provides resources and support for formerly incarcerated women and their families.

He also serves on the board of Temple Beth Emeth in Mount Sinai, and previously worked with Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren.

Mr. Johnson said it’s important for New York State to elect officials who support legalized abortion. 

“Reproductive rights are under attack across the United States. The only reason why reproductive rights remain legal within the State of New York is because we keep electing people who will keep it legal.”

Mr. Johnson also feels reforms are needed regarding industrial development agencies and how they give tax breaks.

“I want to make sure that we’re not focusing on giving tax breaks to these giant corporations that are coming here anyway,” Mr. Johnson said. He does not believe that billionaires will leave the state because tax breaks are taken away. 

Mr. Johnson also has the backing of the Working Families Party.

New York State Assembly

Republican Jodi Giglio, 48, of Baiting Hollow is completing her first two-year term in the state Assembly and is seeking reelection. 

She was previously a Riverhead Town Councilwoman for 10 years and, prior to that, she was involved in construction and land use and was the president of the Riverhead Business Alliance.

Although Republicans constitute a minority of the assembly, she said she gets along with the Democrats.

“I love it,” she said of her time on the assembly. 

But Ms. Giglio said she isn’t happy with the overall direction the state is heading. 

“The Founding Fathers put together the three branches of the legislature thinking there would always be a balance of power,” she said. “We’ve had one-party rule in Albany for the last five years and our budget has increased from $175 billion to $220 billion in those last five years. There’s no checks and balances.”

A list of some of the bills she’s helped to pass includes support of inflation relief bills and middle-class tax cuts. 

“We were able to get the gas tax reduced but left it up to the counties to decide if they wants to do so,” she said.

Wendy Hamberger, 54, of Center Moriches is an attorney who specializes in “low bono” cases.

She said on her campaign website that she “decided to pursue a career in law to make a difference and to help people.” 

She received a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science and worked as a legislative aide for Assemblywoman Nettie Mayerson of Queens. 

She says on the website that in 2016, she established a “low bono” law firm to “bridge the gap in legal services for people of modest means.”

She says her law firm “primarily serves clients who earn too much to qualify for pro bono assistance, but don’t earn enough to hire a traditional law firm.”

Ms. Hamberger also trains a team of newer attorneys, guiding and mentoring their representation of the matrimonial clients who are grateful to be moving on with their lives. 

Ms. Hamberger says she was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for January 2015 by Nassau Suffolk Law Services and Nassau County Bar Association Pro Bono Attorney of the Year for 2019.