Michael Venditto of Massapequa has been selected by Nassau Republicans to run for the open seat previously held by county Legis. Peter Schmitt prior to his sudden death of a heart attack at age 62 last week.
Venditto, an attorney and the son of Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, was nominated Thursday night to run on the Republican side in the 12th Legislative District, which includes Massapequa, Massapequa Park and parts of Seaford and North Massapequa.
Nassau Democrats have tapped lifelong Republican Joanne Maglione of Massapequa Park to run for the open seat. The special election, which was scheduled for Nov. 6, will determine which party controls the Nassau County Legislature, which after Schmitt’s death features nine Democrats and nine Republicans.
Venditto has served as legal counsel for the Hempstead Town Board since 2010. From 2006-2010, Venditto, a 2006 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law, was the Town of Hempstead’s deputy attorney.
"Michael Venditto is the future of our community," Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph N. Mondello said in a statement. "He will work with County Executive Ed Mangano and the Republican majority to hold the line on taxes, cut wasteful county spending, and downsize county government in order to return Nassau to fiscal stability without raising taxes. While no one can fill Peter Schmitt's shoes, no one is better qualified to carry on his fight for Nassau taxpayers than Michael Venditto."
Venditto said if elected he wants to help Nassau County maintain its image as a top suburb in the U.S. by working to keep taxes as low as possible. He described himself as a "proud Republican" who would also be willing to work with Democrats on certain issues when they are in the best interest of his constituents.
"I want to make sure the taxpayers and their interests stay at the top of the list," said Venditto, who added that Legislator Schmitt was a great friend to him. "I understand that I have very big shoes to fill from Peter and the great work he was doing."