Election 2011 – Islip, NY Elections
If you are like me, Islip is not a name that rings any bells. So I was surprised as I am sure you will be to find out that over 300,000 people live in the Long Island city – more people than Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or St. Louis (all baseball cities – I wonder when Islip gets an MLB team).
Politically Islip is like much of Long Island in that it was once a stalwart for downstate Republicans, a bridgehead in the sea of Democratic voters in New York City. But, as with much of the island, in recent years the town in Suffolk County has become more Democratic and the party currently controls the town supervisor position (essentially the mayoral seat) as well as, by one seat, the city council.
Democrat Phil Nolan won a special election for the seat in 2006 and won in general elections in 2007 and 2009. Running for his third full term, he appeared in this year’s Long Island Press‘ Power List for what they detail are positive changes to the town.
Running against the incumbent is Tom Croci, a former naval intelligence officer and Afghanistan veteran who currently serves as an aide to State Senator Lee Zeldin.
Democrats are hoping to keep a hold on their narrow margin in the Town Council, where they currently have a 3-2 majority (the supervisor functions as a council member along with the 4 elected directly to the council. Two 4-year seats are up, both held by Democrats.
Deputy Supervisor Gene Parrington who has also been a councilman since 2007 will be running for reelection. After the decision by incumbent John Edwards not to run, Democrats have chosen Renee Ortiz, the Suffolk County Legislature Deputy Clerk, as their nominee for the second seat up this fall.
Republicans are lining up behind John Cochrane and Anthony Senft in their hopes to regain a majority on the board.
Virginia Allen had served in this post since 1993 and has decided not to run for a fourth term. Running in her stead is Republican Alexis Weik, Allen’s deputy in the office.
Democrats have nominated Diane Rossi-Fontana, chairwoman of the West Islip Chamber of Commerce.
Republican incumbent Regina Duffy abruptly pulled the plug on her reelection bid after being renominated – but amidst questions about an audit by New York’s State Comptroller office who found money missing.
Olga Hopkins-Murray, a local attorney, has quickly stepped into the Republican nomination for this position.
Based on name recognition alone, Republicans may have a hard time retaining this seat as well known former Democratic Assemblywoman Ginny Fields who lost her reelection bid in 2010 in a primary is running for the seat.