COMPILED By LIZ FINNEGAN
LONG ISLAND—A few months ago, Republican Assemblyman Joseph Saladino left his 9th District Assembly seat that he held for a number of years to become supervisor of the Town of Oyster Bay. As a result, a special election is being held on Tuesday, May 23 to elect a replacement for the only assembly district that covers parts of both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Babylon resident Tom Gargiulo, a retired special education teacher/administrator and sports coach, has the backing of the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties. He is married and has three grown sons.
Gargiulo has been called “a selfless volunteer” who has given many hours teaching CPR, working on Thanksgiving to feed the less fortunate, working with Catholic Youth Organization, and the local Parkinson’s Foundation.
His platform is to repeal and reform Common Core; work alongside law enforcement to keep gangs out of local neighborhoods; partner with the recovery community to keep drugs off the street; integrate work experience and education programs beginning in high school; and fight for relief from taxes and ill-conceived regulations and mandates.
An elementary school reading teacher for the past 25 years, West Islip resident Christine Pellegrino says she understands the challenges facing Long Island families. The mother of two children in middle school has fought for funding for education and would like to see that the taxpayers on Long Island get their fair share of money from Albany.
Pellegrino regularly organizes team meetings with colleagues and serves as an outreach coordinator for her department. She communicates with groups throughout the school community and works with students who are considered at risk for reading below grade level.
The candidate is the Political Action chair and attends annual NYSUT-sponsored Lobby Days to participate in lobbying with lawmakers on specific issues that face educators. She is a leader in the opt-out movement and has advocated against standardization from Albany, a practice that she believes hurts children.
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