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Saladino Beats Back Primary Challenge

Wins large majorities in both Nassau and Suffolk counties

For a new decade, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino has a new district, but it hasn’t affected his political future at least as far as Republican Party primary voters are concerned.

Last Tuesday, Saladino had little difficulty in beating back a challenger from former New York City police sergeant, Richard Young. Running in the new 12th Assembly District, Saladino scored 81 percent of the vote. In the Nassau County portion of the district, voting results gave Saladino up to 90 percent of the vote, while the Suffolk County vote was a similar landslide for the assemblyman.

“I’m thrilled and honored that the public came out so overwhelmingly to re-elect me and help us win this very difficult campaign,” Saladino told The Massapequan Observer.

Despite the comfortable margin of victory, Saladino admitted the primary challenge represented a tough campaign. To underscore the importance of the new boundaries, the assemblyman’s annual Marine and Outdoor Recreation Expo, for instance, took place at the Captree State Park Boat Basin in West Islip, in the Suffolk County section of the new district rather than at its usual surroundings at Jones Beach. West Islip is also the home residence of Saladino’s opponent.

At the same time, the assemblyman was pleased by the turnout in villages in both counties, noting all the different “folks and organizations’ in Nassau and Suffolk who came together to support his candidacy.

“Going forward, [this campaign] shows how well we can work together in various areas in getting our fair share in Albany,” Saladino added.

During the primary season, both candidates stated their case for election, while criticizing each other. Saladino touted his votes for tax reductions, environmental protection, plus his work on law and order and substance abuse issues. He also charged his opponent, a retired police sergeant, was making the race in order to “get another check from the taxpayers.”

Young, for his part, denied charges of double dipping, claiming that the primary run would “cost [him] a fortune.” Young criticized Saladino’s votes on gun control and labor issues, plus those on “Jonny’s Law,” legislation that he said would make parents drug-test their children, an action that the challenger claimed was unconstitutional.

In the November election, Saladino will face another challenge, this one from Jay Cherlin, the Democratic Party nominee.