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Saladino Faces GOP Primary Challenge

Richard Young qualifies for Sept. 13 contest

For the past 12 years, Joseph Saladino has represented the Massapequa area in the New York State Assembly. But this year, the lines of the 12th Assembly District have been redrawn to include parts of Suffolk County that previously weren’t in Saladino’s district.

And so, as sometimes is the case with new districts, the assemblyman is facing a challenger in the Sept. 13 Republican Party primary. Richard Young, a retired sergeant with the New York City police department and a West Islip attorney, has garnered enough signatures to make the ballot for the Sept. 13 race. West Islip is a village that falls within the boundaries of the current district.

Both candidates issued statements on their candidacies.

“This is a very simple choice for the voters,” Saladino said. “It is between myself, someone who has experience and has been effective in cutting and lowering taxes, in protecting our groundwater and environment and protecting our children from sex predators versus an individual who is running for office in order to become a double dipper and get another check from the taxpayers. While Americans planned ‘stay-cations’ this year, my opponent summered hunting lions on an African safari. This was done while being supported by the taxpayer on a disability pension. My record includes one of the largest state income tax cuts, repealing the MTA tax, passing civil confinement to keep the worst serial sex predators behind bars. I am seeking solutions to the problem of heroin and prescription drug abuse and I have a solid record of voting against tax increases.”

In an interview with The Massapequan Observer, Young laid out his reasons for challenging the incumbent.

“After having thoroughly reviewed Mr. Saladino’s record, I found out he wasn’t the conservative he purports to be,” Young said. “[There are] issues that are very important to me,” he added, pointing to Saladino’s co-sponsorship of a microstamping bill for guns and ammunition. Young was also critical of Saladino on other issues, including his high rating from organized labor and his sponsorship of “Jonny’s Law,” one that Young said would make every parent drug test their children and submit results to their respective schools. Young said such a law “is blatantly unconstitutional and an incredible violation of the Fourth Amendment; based on [this], I decided to challenge him.”

Young denied charges of double dipping. The campaign, he said, “will cost me a fortune. It’s not about a job, it’s about representing people properly.”

In addition to running for re-election on the Republican Party line, Saladino is also running on the Conservative Party and Independence Party tickets.

Saladino said he is being endorsed by the Massapequa Tea Party, Rep. Peter King (R – Seaford), plus the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Tax Revolt Parties of both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. He told The Massapequan Observer that he is also being endorsed by all elected Republican Party officials in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. He also said his candidacy is being supported by the Massapequa Chamber of Commerce, the Kiwanis Club of Massapequa and “every” police and fire association in the Massapequa area, organizations that he said do not give out official endorsements.

Young is endorsed by the Conservative Society for Action, which is based in Brightwaters, another village that is part of the newly drawn district.