Voter’s Guide 2022: Candidates Vie to Rep East End in Albany, Congress

Election Day
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Getty Images

The gubernatorial race gets the most headlines, but East End voters will also decide which candidates represent them in both the New York State Capitol and in Congress this Election Day.

On local ballots will be the race for the 1st Congressional District and 1st State Senate District that both span the Twin Forks. Voters will also decide on candidates who represents them in the 1st Assembly District on the South Fork and the 2nd Assembly District on the North Fork.

Here are the candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislative seats in the Hamptons and on the North Fork.

Meet the 2022 Midterm Candidates

1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who is forgoing re-election in a bid to unseat Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, has represented this district since 2015. It has been redistricted to include the North Shore of Suffolk County.

Bridget Fleming
Bridget Fleming

BRIDGET FLEMING

Three-term Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac), the Democratic nominee in the race who has represented the South Fork since 2016, previously served on the Southampton Town Council and as a Manhattan prosecutor.

“I know what Long Islanders expect and deserve from their representatives,” she said, billing herself as a problem solver who works well with law enforcement. “I know how to work across the aisle to deliver the solutions people on Long Island need right now.”

Fleming had placed last in 2020’s three-way Democratic primary in that year’s race to unseat Zeldin, but faced no challengers this time.

Nick LaLota
Nick LaLota

NICK LALOTA

In the race to replace Zeldin, the Suffolk County Republican Committee nominated Nicholas LaLota, a former commissioner of the Suffolk Board of Elections and ex-Village of Amityville trustee who currently serves as chief of staff to Suffolk Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst).

“In Congress, I’ll fight for policies to fix the supply chain crisis, bring costs down, ensure New York gets its fair share of infrastructure dollars, and put our country back to work,” LaLota said.

The U.S. Navy veteran, who advanced to the general election after fending off two GOP primary challengers, is in the process of moving his family into the newly redrawn district.

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 1

Skyler Johnson

SKYLER JOHNSON

The Democratic candidate vying to unseat Palumbo serves as the vice chair of outreach for the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee. He previously ran in the Democratic primary for this seat in 2020. He threw his hat in the ring after candidate Laura Ahearn dropped out of a rematch bid.

“I look forward to flipping this sea,” he said. “We have an excellent chance to win and bring change to Suffolk County. I will fight for all the issues that face Long Island, and serve as a voice for my constituents.”

Johnson works for a nonprofit organization that advocates for women, children, and families and is a trustee for Temple Beth Emeth of Mount Sinai.

Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo
Anthony Palumbo

ANTHONY PALUMBO

Freshman State Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk), a former state Assemblyman and ex-Suffolk prosecutor who represents the East End in Albany, is seeking a second term, and serves on the Senate Codes and Ethics and Internal Governance Committee.

“What I hope to do is really keep us moving out of the pandemic, make Long Island more affordable,” the senator told PoliticsNY. “We need to make sure our small businesses stay open … We certainly need to maintain our focus on our water quality, our environmental issues.”

The most notable legislation he got passed would create a new real estate transfer tax to help the five East End towns fund affordable housing projects. That proposal is on ballots as a referendum in this election.

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 1

Peter Ganley

PETER GANLEY

A lifelong East End resident, Peter Ganley wants to implement term limits for elected officials, pointing to the fact that the incumbent in this race has been in office longer than the Republican challenger has been alive.

“I am running to lower taxes and spending in the state of New York,” he told Politics NY. “I am running to improve public safety and repeal cashless bail. And I’m running to preserve our environment by fully funding the Peconic Estuary Partnership.”

The North Fork resident has worked in Zeldin’s district office, campaigned for local conservatives and currently serves as treasurer for the Southold Town Republican Committee.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

FRED W. THIELE JR.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. (D-Sag Harbor) a former Suffolk County legislator, ex-Southampton Town supervisor and longtime independent who recently became a Democrat, is seeking his 14th term representing the South Fork in the state Legislature.

“Tip O’Neil used to say all politics is local and I think the things that motivate me are those local things,” Thiele told PoliticsNY. “At the top of that list right now is affordable housing … which has become a crisis since the pandemic.”

Thiele, who was also instrumental in getting the affordable housing referendum on ballots, is the architect of the Community Preservation Fund that similarly created a real estate transfer tax to help local governments preserve open space.

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 2

Jodi Giglio

JODI GIGLIO

Freshman Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead), a former Riverhead Town councilwoman, is seeking her second term representing the North Fork in the state Legislature.

“As a state, we face unique challenges this year, from COVID-19 recovery to reversing the outmigration of New Yorkers,” she said at the state of the 2022 session in which she cited inflation, crime and mental health as priorities. “As we move toward a recovery I will continue to support frontline workers and focus on protecting our neighborhoods by working to repeal bail reform and putting discretion back in the hands of judges.”

A member of Operating Engineers Local 138, she is credited as one of the most vocal members of the Assembly Labor Committee.

Wendy Hamberger

WENDY HAMBERGER

An attorney specializing in matrimonial law who previously served as a state legislative aid, this Democratic challenger from Center Moriches established a law firm that serves clients who make too much to qualify for pro-bono representation but can’t afford to hire an attorney.

“Many people in the middle just cannot afford to hire an attorney,” she said. “Just another example of the middle class getting screwed. But unlike our leaders today, I stepped up to address this issue and established a lo-bono firm, charging fees that low and middle income folks can afford.

“Politicians today, they love to talk about middle class relief on the campaign trail, but fail to deliver once they’re in office,” she continued. “It reminds me of that catch phrase…’Where’s the beef?’”

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