A heated moment came when the topic of ethics reform was broached. Vicente admitted that while living in New York City before moving to Valley Stream, she ran a campaign for a politician who committed some unethical acts.
That’s when a member of the audience stood up and said, “You’re a crook, Google your name,” referring to her involvement with former New York City Councilman Miguel Martinez who was sentenced to prison for campaign finance violations, fraud, theft and other crimes.
The man then left the room. Vicente was also questioned about her own campaign finances for the Assembly race. Another man, identifying himself as Vicente’s treasurer, said all reports had been properly filed.
Vicente said that elected officials should be held to a high level, and Solages said ethics reform was needed, as well as electing the right people. “We need people with a strong moral compass, such as myself,” she said.
Both candidates said they support the rights of unions, and want to do more for youth. Solages said a community center should be created in Valley Stream, as well as a library annex in North Valley Stream, which doesn’t have its own facility.
Vicente said she would look for funding to provide more activities for teens and to develop the existing community center in Valley Stream, which was recently renovated by the village.
Solages said she would be the right person for the job because she works well with others and has a good understanding of how a bill becomes a law. She described herself as a good listener, and said that is what’s needed in Albany.
For Vicente, who took an active role in trying to fight the closure of Nassau County Police Department’s 5th Precinct, she said the district needs someone who will stand up for the residents. “You have a fighter in me,” she said. “I’ve demonstrated that.”
The primary will be held on Sept. 13. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The winner will square off against Republican nominee Sean Wright in November. There is also a primary for the Working Families line featuring Solages and Gary D’Annunzio, of Valley Stream.