Island Vote: Suffolk County balance of power

Posted: Updated:
HAUPPAUGE -

News 12 Long Island is taking a look at the strategy being employed by Suffolk County Republicans to get their candidates into office this Election Day.

Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1 in the Suffolk County Legislature. Suffolk GOP Chairman John Jay LaValle says President Donald Trump's victory last year invigorated the Republican base as someone with no political experience who brought in big numbers. It's a formula he's now using in this year's local elections, and voters like George Wright seem to be OK with it.

ISLAND VOTE - Complete coverage of the 2017 races

"I think people who have a lot of political experience tend to be part of the system and they work with everyone else," Wright says.

LaValle says running what he calls real people from the private sector who are involved in their community is a sure-fire way of increasing the number of Republican voters on Election Day.

"It's going to be the traditional Republican vote -- on a little bit of steroids coming off the Trump victory -- plus the friends of these new people who are heavily involved in their community," LaValle says.

Suffolk Democratic Chairman Richard Schaffer says he's not worried about losing control in the Legislature. He says name recognition, experience and grassroots campaigning by Democratic candidates will work in their favor.

"We don't have them pop up in May," Schaffer says. "We have them pop up the year before and start working the district -- start meeting community leaders and knocking on doors and getting a feel for what the issues are in the district."

Voter Eileen Puerta says politics is a profession that requires some background.

"I think they should have some political experience," she says. "I don't think they should come in and not know what's going on because there's a lot of garbage to go through."

  • Island Vote 2017More>>

  • Saladino to stay as Oyster Bay supervisor

    Saladino to stay as Oyster Bay supervisor

    Wednesday, November 8 2017 12:05 AM EST2017-11-08 05:05:01 GMT
    Incumbent Republican Joe Saladino defeated Democrat Marc Herman and three other challengers Tuesday night to remain Oyster Bay town supervisor.Incumbent Republican Joe Saladino defeated Democrat Marc Herman and three other challengers Tuesday night to remain Oyster Bay town supervisor.

    Incumbent Republican Joe Saladino defeated Democrat Marc Herman and three other challengers Tuesday night to remain Oyster Bay town supervisor.

    Incumbent Republican Joe Saladino defeated Democrat Marc Herman and three other challengers Tuesday night to remain Oyster Bay town supervisor.

  • No new sheriff in town: Suffolk race too close to call

    No new sheriff in town: Suffolk race too close to call

    Wednesday, November 8 2017 12:29 PM EST2017-11-08 17:29:55 GMT
    Errol Toulon Jr., the Democratic candidate for Suffolk County sheriff, narrowly edged out a victory over Republican candidate Larry Zacarese.Errol Toulon Jr., the Democratic candidate for Suffolk County sheriff, narrowly edged out a victory over Republican candidate Larry Zacarese.

    Errol Toulon Jr., the Democratic candidate for Suffolk County sheriff, narrowly edged out a victory over Republican candidate Larry Zacarese. 

    Errol Toulon Jr., the Democratic candidate for Suffolk County sheriff, narrowly edged out a victory over Republican candidate Larry Zacarese. 

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Dog Day Fridays for October 19

    Dog Day Fridays for October 19

    Friday, October 19 2018 7:56 AM EDT2018-10-19 11:56:57 GMT
    Olive weighs in at 67 pounds, but she is incredibly gentle in all her ways and when on walks, and would do well in many types of homes.Olive weighs in at 67 pounds, but she is incredibly gentle in all her ways and when on walks, and would do well in many types of homes.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bideawee. The shelter is located at 118 Old Country Road in Westhampton. Their phone number is 631-684-0079.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Bideawee. The shelter is located at 118 Old Country Road in Westhampton. Their phone number is 631-684-0079.

  • Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest

    Monday, October 15 2018 10:02 AM EDT2018-10-15 14:02:36 GMT

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay on Oct. 13, 2018.

    Sights and scenes from the 2018 Oyster Fest in Oyster Bay on Oct. 13, 2018.

  • 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!

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Island Vote: Political newcomer takes on Rep. King in 2nd District

    Island Vote: Political newcomer takes on Rep. King in 2nd District

    Saturday, October 20 2018 5:24 PM EDT2018-10-20 21:24:43 GMT
    A Democratic political newcomer is hoping to knock out 25-year Republican incumbent Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District.A Democratic political newcomer is hoping to knock out 25-year Republican incumbent Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District.
    A Democratic political newcomer is hoping to knock out 25-year Republican incumbent Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District.A Democratic political newcomer is hoping to knock out 25-year Republican incumbent Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District.

    A Democratic political newcomer is hoping to knock out 25-year Republican incumbent Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District.

    A Democratic political newcomer is hoping to knock out 25-year Republican incumbent Peter King in the 2nd Congressional District.

  • Island Vote: A familiar matchup in 5th Senate District

    Island Vote: A familiar matchup in 5th Senate District

    Thursday, October 18 2018 6:24 PM EDT2018-10-18 22:24:12 GMT
    The race for the 5th Senate District seat is pitting a seasoned politician against a familiar opponent.The race for the 5th Senate District seat is pitting a seasoned politician against a familiar opponent.
    The race for the 5th Senate District seat is pitting a seasoned politician against a familiar opponent.The race for the 5th Senate District seat is pitting a seasoned politician against a familiar opponent.

    The race for the 5th Senate District seat is pitting a seasoned politician against a familiar opponent.

    The race for the 5th Senate District seat is pitting a seasoned politician against a familiar opponent.

  • Island Vote: Balance of power in NY Senate at stake

    Island Vote: Balance of power in NY Senate at stake

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 7:57 PM EDT2018-10-17 23:57:50 GMT
    Democrats and Republicans will be battling on Election Day for the balance of power in the state Senate.Democrats and Republicans will be battling on Election Day for the balance of power in the state Senate.

    Democrats and Republicans will be battling on Election Day for the balance of power in the state Senate.

    Democrats and Republicans will be battling on Election Day for the balance of power in the state Senate.

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."