Democrat takes 9th Assembly District in massive upset

Posted: Updated:
OYSTER BAY -

Christine Pellegrino may not be a household name, but she is making national headlines.

The teacher and political newcomer from West Islip became the first Democrat to be elected to the state's 9th Assembly District. The district spans the south shore of the Town of Oyster Bay and reaches as far east as West Bay Shore.

Pellegrino defeated Tom Gargiulo, a Conservative who was also backed by Republicans. News 12 reached out to the chairmen of the Nassau and Suffolk Republican committees for comment. Both declined interview requests.

Those on the political left are energized by Pellegrino's victory. Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, even tweeted a congratulatory message to Pellegrino. 

Lisa Tyson, of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, says the national interest in the local race is due to the beginning of an anti-President Trump, anti-Republican wave in upcoming elections. 

"This was not expected. Not only did she win, she won by a landslide in a district that doesn't happen in. If I were a Republican, I'd be worried," says Tyson. 

Some political analysts say while there are indications to suggest that Pellegrino's win may be a sign of what's to come, it's too early to jump to that conclusion just yet. 

"We don't know yet if we're facing a wave situation. We don't know if this a backlash against Donald Trump from his voters. We don't know if this is a positive reaction to a strong Democratic candidate or a backlash on a local level against Oyster Bay Republicans," says Hofstra University political analyst Larry Levy. 
 

News 12 has recently updated to a brand new version of our iOS and Android apps. If you don't have auto updates enabled on your devices, head to the App Store or Google Play Store to update to the latest version. This will ensure you keep getting up-to-date local news, traffic and weather information.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 6:35 PM EST2018-11-13 23:35:07 GMT

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

  • Deadly wildfire devastates Northern California town

    Deadly wildfire devastates Northern California town

    The Northern California wildfire has killed at least 42 people, making it the deadliest in state history.

    The Northern California wildfire has killed at least 42 people, making it the deadliest in state history.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."