Sammy González Seeks to Keep Martinez’s Seat in Hispanic Hands

Sammy González, of Puerto Rican heritage, is running for the legislator seat left vacant in Brentwood, Central Islip and North Bay Shore. (Photo via Noticia)

[Update: Sammy González (D) won the special election on March 19 to replace Mónica Martinez as Suffolk legislator for the 9th District.]

On Tuesday, March 19, a special election will be held on Long Island to choose the next legislator for Suffolk’s 9th District, which contains the towns of Brentwood, Central Islip and North Bay Shore.

The ballot will replace the seat left vacant by Salvadoran Mónica Martinez, who was elected New York state senator last November. Among those vying to succeed her is Democrat Samuel González, better known as Sammy, a community leader in Brentwood where there is a large Hispanic population. (…)

In an exclusive interview with Noticia, Brooklyn-born Sammy González told us that he has been working for the benefit of his community for more than 40 years. He is currently vice president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which belongs to Union Local 1430.

González is also the leader of a salsa band and belongs to the Puerto Rican Coalition, which works alongside other local organizations such as Latina Moms of Long Island, bringing music and joy to the elderly, and the Lions Club, which gives glasses to low-income people, among other charitable work.

An experienced activist, González is focused on addressing what is considered a cancer for Suffolk’s 9th District: the presence of violent gang Mara Salvatrucha [MS-13].

“I have been working on the gang issue for many years with several community leaders. I worked with my friend Evelyn Rodríguez, who lost a daughter to MS-13 and died last year while fighting for the same goal. We worked together until her death,” said González.

“As legislator I will try to bring money to the community to create programs and laws that would benefit our youth, such as after-school educational programs. It is important for our kids to remain active in sports and other programs that keep them away from gangs,” he added.

In a recent interview, state Sen. Mónica Martínez (3rd District) said that the next Suffolk legislator for the 9th District must be somebody with whom she can work hand in hand for the community. Sammy González agrees.

“Mónica Martínez fought for funds to combat gangs in Brentwood and Central Islip, and what I want is to introduce laws to protect youth,” he said.

“I have worked with Mónica for a long time; we raised funds for Roberto Clemente Park, we fought for kids to have a safe place to play. Mónica and I feel the same: a love for our community and our kids,” said González (…) who last year ran for council member.

In the March 19 especial elections, González, a Democrat, will run against Republican María Vidal and Conservative Anne Wiggins.

It’s important to note that Democratic-registered voters in the district heavily outnumber Republicans (21,174 to 4,557). The Suffolk Conservative Party has 304 registered voters and 8,991 are independent.

(…)

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