On the last day of campaigning the two candidates vying for the 7th District Assembly seat are focused on one goal but taking two different paths to be successful.
The goal is to get out the vote today as polls opened at 6 a.m. and close at 9 a.m.
Democrat Chris Bodkin will be on the phone a good majority of the day, after casting his ballot this morning at the West Sayville Fire House.
Republican Andrew Garbarino plans to be going door to door as part of a party push to put vote reminders on homeowner’s doors and voting this afternoon at Sayville High School.
The two longtime community members of the West Sayville-Sayville area also share a primary goal if elected: to reduce the school tax burden. That’s the message the two say they’ve heard continuously during campaigning and candidate night programs.
“The overriding issue is taxes,” said Garbarino, a lawyer making his first run for office, early Tuesday morning. “What I’m hearing is people telling me that as soon as their kids are grown they’ll be leaving Long Island because of the high cost of living.”
Bodkin, a former Islip Town councilman and now legislative aide to Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer William Lindsay, said jobs are the second most discussed topic among voters.
“Having a job, keeping a job and a proposed 65% town take hike are very much on people’s minds."
Bodkin and Garbarino are vying the vacated seat of Republican Phil Boyle. Boyle, who served as the district's assemblyman for six years, is making a run for the 4th District Senate seat of Owen Johnson who is retiring.
The last week of the campaign, acknowledged the candidates, hasn’t been very traditional given the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the gas shortage issue and the rebuilding facing much of the communities in the Assembly district.
“It’s been a very unusual election time as things have gone beyond any [typical political season] level,” said Bodkin, adding that the presidential race has also presented a “new dynamic.”
Garbarino believes all the factors will certainly have an impact on election results, but whether that brings him success at the polls is an unknown.
“It is definitely going to impact the turnout, but whether that means a small or a big turnout is tough to gauge. It all may be good or it all may be bad.”