May 31, 2006

Panico Wins Assembly Nomination

He says he represents a new breed of Republican with a fresh new perspective that will energize and inspire a disenchanted electorate.

Last Thursday night Dan Panico won the Republican nomination, and will run for a seat in the First Assembly district, which includes the North Fork.

A native Long Islander, Panico, 27, describes himself as a product of Long Island. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a double major in history and political science. He then received his law degree from Touro Law School. He currently resides in Manorville, where he is president of the Manorville Republican Club. An attorney, he's employed as a deputy county clerk.

With Chris Como, a colleague in the clerk's office, about two years ago he revitalized the Suffolk County Young Republicans Club. Monthly meetings held in Islandia now boast as many as 100 attendees, and they're not all there for the free buffalo wings and cosmos.

"More and more people are voting with their feet," Panico said. "Our children and grandchildren are leaving in droves because of the lack of any real affordable housing, impossible property taxes, and the opportunity to begin their families elsewhere," he said.

Panico will face off against Democratic incumbent Marc Alessi. Alessi won his seat in a special election last September after longtime Assemblywoman Pat Acampora resigned to take an appointment with the Public Service Commission.

While the candidate wouldn't criticize his opponent directly, he said, "Assembly Democrats in general are people who see a light at the end of the tunnel and go out and buy more tunnel. We can't expect any real property tax or school tax relief from politicians who pass pork-laden budgets."

Since winning the nomination last Thursday night, Panico has already been on the stump in Ridge and Mount Sinai. Over the weekend he stopped by the East End Arts street festival in downtown Riverhead. "I'm enthusiastic and proud to carry the banner for the Republican Party," Panico said, adding, "The campaign's really coming together."

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