Councilwoman Jodi Giglio at the last town board meeting of 2019. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio is seeking the Republican party’s nomination for state office in 2020.

The three-term councilwoman confirmed tonight that she will be screening for her party’s nomination for the seat being vacated by State Senator Ken LaValle.

Suffolk Republican chairman Jesse Garcia said tonight Giglio is one of four people being considered for the GOP nod for the First Senate District. Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo and Brookhaven Town council members Jane Bonner and Dan Panico are the other three prospects.

“That may grow,” Garcia said tonight, “but those are ones I have reached out to.”

Should Palumbo get the nomination, Giglio said she is “serve in any capacity the GOP sees fit.”

In an interview last month, Palumbo declined to comment on a possible run for State Senate in the event LaValle decided not to seek re-election. He said he believed the veteran state senator would run again. Palumbo could not immediately be reached for comment tonight.

Giglio said if Palumbo is tapped by the party to run for State Senate, she’d seek the GOP nomination for Palumbo’s Second Assembly District seat.

“How lucky are we in the first district have so many great public servants so willing to serve the public,” Giglio said tonight.

“I’m honored to be considered,” she said.

On the state level, Giglio said, she’d work for affordable housing, farmland preservation and public water for people whose private water supply wells are contaminated by MTBE, 1,4 dioxane or PFOA/PFOS.

“No parent should have to worry about what the water quality of what their children are drinking and bathing in,” Giglio said.

Giglio also stressed the need for a “balance in power” in state government. With a Democratic governor and Democrats in control of both chambers of the State Legislature, New York is dealing with a Democratic agenda that has delivered sweeping criminal justice reforms that are adversely impacting local communities and a state budget deficit in excess of $6 billion, Giglio said.

“The governor’s plan is to spend more money that we don’t have,” she said. “It’s no wonder people are fleeing the state.”

First elected to the Riverhead Town Board in 2009, Giglio is in the middle of her last term as councilwoman. The town has a 12-year term limit for town council and town supervisor. Giglio, 51, owns a permit expediting and construction business. She lives in Baiting Hollow.

So far, three Democrats have announced their candidacies for the First Senate District — all before LaValle disclosed his intention to retire from the senate. They are Parents for Megan’s Law founder Laura Ahearn, Southampton Councilman Tom Schiavoni and Suffolk County Community College student Sklyer Johnson.

Will Schleisner, Democrat of Sound Beach, is thus far the only declared candidate for Second Assembly District. He announced his candidacy Jan. 2.

Party designating petitions are due to be filed at the county board of elections by April 2.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.