Anthony Palumbo, the state assemblyman from the Second District, will seek to replace longtime state Senator Ken LaValle.
His final decision, first reported in The Independent on January 14, (“LaValle’s Retirement May Spur Upheaval”) this week prompted Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio to make a move as well. She will seek Palumbo’s seat in the assembly, where he served for seven years. Both are Republicans.
Giglio, a Riverhead Town Board member since 2010, has reached her term limit, and has been shopping for a new position. She has also been talked about for LaValle’s seat. Former Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, a Democrat from Laurel, has also thrown her hat in the ring for a spot in the senate. It is no secret there is no love lost between Giglio and Jens-Smith.
Jens-Smith, 57, was elected Riverhead town supervisor in 2017, besting Sean Walter. She served one two-year term and was unseated in November by Republican Yvette Aguiar, who had Giglio’s support.
“Jodi Giglio has a proven record of fighting for the residents of the Second Assembly District,” Suffolk Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said. “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 by the Democratic Legislature.”
Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni; Laura Ahearn, an attorney, social worker, and executive director of the Suffolk County Crime Victims Center (Parents for Megan’s Law); and Skyler Johnson, a 19-year-old Mt. Sinai resident, have all declared themselves candidates for LaValle’s seat and could square off in a Democratic primary come June.