The recent redistricting in New York reshaped the 2nd Assembly District currently represented by Republican Jodi Giglio. As a result, she is seeking reelection to a second term in a district that no longer includes Southold Town.
Voters in Riverhead will be quite familiar with Ms. Giglio, 54, of Baiting Hollow, after her long run as a member of the Town Board. She undoubtedly knows this area well, has long-standing relationships with the leaders of this town and can be a positive voice for its residents at the state level, particularly as the Riverhead undergoes massive changes through the Town Square project and transit-oriented development around Railroad Avenue.
Her opponent, Democrat Wendy Hamberger, 54, of Center Moriches, is an attorney who lacks that expertise about this area as she makes her first run for public office. We haven’t heard enough from her campaign to feel confident she should win a ticket to the state Legislature. Simply trying to gather information from her campaign presented a challenge, giving us little confidence she can meet the needs of Riverhead residents.
Ms. Giglio’s stances on some of the hot-button issues are still troubling, however. Look no further than her decision to align herself last week with the far right anti-vax group Moms for Liberty. She argued that lawmakers should not make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory to attend schools. There’s currently no mandate and proposed legislation requiring students to be fully vaccinated has not yet gone anywhere. Gov. Kathy Hochul said last week she did not expect to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate similar to what’s already in place for polio, hepatitis B, measles and more. The legislation sponsored by a Bronx assemblyman that died in the health committee would have mandated the shot after it received full approval from the FDA and CDC. Ms. Giglio didn’t mention that when trying to argue the vaccine would be mandated while it’s currently under emergency use authorization.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for all children ages 6 months and older. Parents should trust them over Moms for Liberty.
We wish Ms. Giglio would take a more sensible stance on these issues rather than caving to far right groups. She should focus on supporting Riverhead Town through these massive projects. If she can do that, she’ll earn her place in the state Assembly. We endorse Ms. Giglio.