Candidates for Martinez’ seat

Courtesy photo

Candidates for Martinez’ seat


A special election to fill the Suffolk County Legislature’s 9th District seat vacated by Monica Martinez, who was sworn in as the new Democratic state senator on Saturday, will take place on March 19.

Democratic candidate Samuel Gonzalez of Brentwood was appointed to run by the Democrats on Jan. 10. “Samuel is the current president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1430,” said Keith Davies, spokesman for the Suffolk County Democratic Committee. “He’s a very active advocate in the Central Islip-Brentwood community. He’s advocated against the dumping in Roberto Clemente Park and stood with Monica [Martinez] at press conferences, telling anyone who was listening that something had to be done.” Gonzalez is 57 and makes $90,000. He is married, is a father and grandfather, and is an active member of the Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. “The big thing with Sammy is that he worked closely with Monica and we think he’ll do a good job continuing her legacy,” Davies said.

Manuel Vidal Jr. was appointed to run as the Republican candidate for Martinez’s seat over four other contenders. “He was unanimously chosen by the committee,” said William Garbarino, Islip Republican chairman. “I think Manny would be an excellent legislator,” Garbarino said. “He lives in the district, has been involved in the district, and has the good qualities to be a legislator.” Vidal is 55 and lives in Bay Shore; he is a lifelong resident there. An auto mechanic with Suffolk County Public Works, he reportedly earns $68,486 a year. Volunteer activities include volunteer firefighter and Lions Club official.