Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 17 December 2010 00:00
After narrowly beating incumbent Sen. Craig Johnson by 451 votes after all the rigmarole that was the 7th Senate District race, Senator-elect (pending Johnson appeal) and current Mineola Mayor Jack Martins received a warm welcome from part of his new district of Elmont, courtesy of the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. The Dec. 9 event held at the Elmont Memorial Public Library concluded a long and arduous November for Martins, just in time for the holiday season.
Ninth District Senator and new Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was also on hand to welcome Martins to Albany. “I know he’s going to do great things up [in Albany],” he said. “I can’t wait to work with him.”
Sporting a green baseball cap with “Elmont’s Senate Majority Leader” across the front, Skelos said that he was quite confident on Election Day that the Republicans would regain the majority and the people of New York State would gain back stability in the Senate. Martins received a cap titled, “Elmont’s Senator” as well.
Those on hand to congratulate Martins were Legislator John Ciotti, Republican Party Vice Chairman Joseph Cairo, Town of Hempstead Councilman Ed Ambrosino and Republican Commissioner John Ryan.
“This community is very tight and came together for a common cause,” Martins stated. “I’ll be proud to represent Elmont and the rest of the 7th Senate District in Albany.”
The evening celebrated the success of the 3-on-3 basketball tournament this summer and the community victory of Skelos and Martins. Young people throughout the Elmont community ran the program and coordinated the effort.
“There’s a lot of work to be done and I feel we’re going to get it done,” Skelos stated.
“We’re going to be working hard for you come this January,” Martins said.
Over 220 people attended the event. According to 3-on-3 committee chairman Scott Cushing, these next two years can be great things for Elmont.
“2010 was not only a great year for the tournament, it was a fantastic year for Elmont’s representation in Albany with a new Senate Majority Leader in Dean Skelos and an outstanding fresh voice in Senator-elect Jack Martins,” said Cushing.
Cushing said that Skelos and Martins have been the tournament’s biggest supporters over the last few years and not only did they want to show them their appreciation, “but we wanted to congratulate them on not only winning, but for being real friends to the community. This was not my idea. It was the young people of this community. They wanted to be involved.”
Cushing feels that these two senators are going to be able to do a lot of things locally in the district and commended the youth who were involved leading up to Election Day.
“A lot of those young people who were there that night, worked incredibly hard to get them elected,” Cushing said. “They worked very hard because they recognized what [Skelos and Martins] can do and what they have done.”
Cushing feels that the community has not gotten the respect it deserves since a lot of “resources have gone to New York City. Everyone realized that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fix this. Young people from the high schools band together and worked to get the word out.”
He felt that people across this community were on the ground floor of something really big and that “they were instrumental in getting these two men elected.”