Attorney, volunteer will vie to replace Vincent Muscarella | Herald Community Newspapers
The race to represent Nassau County’s 8th Legislative Ward intensifies as both Republicans and Democrats selected their candidates to replace legislature Vincent Muscarella in the November election.
West Hempstead’s Muscarella has served the district that includes Franklin Square, Floral Park, West Hempstead, and portions of Elmont and Stewart Manor since the County Legislature was established in 1995, the 2nd District, which includes the town of Hempstead and the town of Long Beach includes.
The county Republicans hope to replace Muscarella with John Giuffré, a nearly 30-year-old Stewart Manor resident whom county Republican chairman Joseph Cairo referred to as “Vinny Muscarella of the Last Days.”
Giuffré, 57, is a trial lawyer like Muscarella. He is a graduate of Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where he was editor of the Journal of International Law. He worked for a law firm in Manhattan before deciding in 2007 to start his own law firm in Stewart Manor, focusing on personal injury cases. He is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association’s Ethics Committee.
Giuffré served on the Village of Stewart Manor’s 75th Anniversary Committee and is a member of the Village’s Zoning Board. He is also involved with the local Lions club, and when many graduation ceremonies were canceled due to Covid-19 last year, Giuffré and his wife Lauren bought a Carvel gift card for every local graduate, whether they graduated from preschool or high school.
“He’s just a nice guy,” said Cairo. “We believe that if he represents the 8th district, he will do a good job.”
But Giuffré said he didn’t expect the Nassau Republican Club to invite him to run for Muscarella’s seat and when that happened he said he was humble and honored.
“I see the elected office as a civil servant,” he said, adding that if he was elected, he would try to work with his colleagues to reduce taxes. He brought this platform to his neighbors, many of whom he said saw their property values rise under the county’s revaluation system, and received “a very positive response.”
However, Nadia Holubnyczyj of Floral Park said she believes the Republicans have controlled the 8th district seat “far too long” and is the Democratic candidate.
She decided to run when she still thought Muscarella would seek re-election, claiming that he “only makes parrots what his party brings out” and has not been active in the community since the Covid pandemic started last year .
“I think the party has become apathetic,” said Holubnyczyj, noting in a statement that “the Nassau republican machine was engaged in selfish politics. [using] their power to use the system for themselves and politically connected friends ”and“ not to take into account the responsibility with which we have entrusted them ”.
“I don’t work like that,” Holubnyczyj, 52, continued in her testimony. “It’s wrong and against my principles.”
She told the Herald that she “always wants to give back” and was a member of her children’s school’s parent teachers’ association and president of the Hillcrest Civic Association. She has lived in the flower park with her husband Marco and their two sons Alexander and William for about 20 years. She was a member of various village committees, including the Committee for Citizens with Disabilities, with which she worked for elevators at the Long Island Rail Road Station Flower Park. Holubnyczyj has osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare genital disability that affects bone formation, and uses a wheelchair.
“We’re always striving for more inclusion,” said Jay Jacobs, chairman of the Nassau County Democratic Committee, of Holubnyczyj’s election as the party’s candidate for the 8th district seat, noting that she had over 100,000 residents of Nassau County Disabilities would represent.
But she’s also a force in the flower park, said Jacobs. She fought a proposal to build a casino in Belmont Park in 2016 and, during the pandemic, founded the Nassau County Chapter of Frontline Foods – a World Central Kitchen offspring who raises funds to help local restaurants pay for meals for frontline workers and unsafe food Familys. After a fire burned down many long-standing businesses on Covert Avenue last December, Holubnyczyj raised over $ 25,000 to help rebuild the community.
“If I could do this as a private person,” she said, “imagine what I could do if I were elected.”
She said she would campaign for more police reform and an end to hate crimes, and work with district manager Laura Curran on property valuation. “I think Laura Curran is doing a phenomenal job,” said Holubnyczyj. “She addresses the problems succinctly.”
Holubnyczyj ran for the village trustee in the flower park two years ago. It was the first race in the village in 10 years and although she didn’t win, she got 45 percent of the vote.
“I think she’s going to have a very impressive campaign,” said Jacobs, adding, “I think this is a race to watch.”