Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 14 January 2011 00:00
It’s official. After launching his campaign in March 2010, standing outside train stations, restaurants and local businesses and after a long and arduous court battle, Jack Martins can take the “-elect” off of the end of his new job title.
Former Mineola Mayor Jack Martins was sworn in as the Seventh District senator last Tuesday. Martins was accompanied by his wife Paula and the rest of the Martins family as he took the oath of senator around noon.
Before Martins was sworn in, Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) cited “spectacular wins throughout the state,” which garnered applause from the crowd of about 200 people. Skelos was sworn in as Senate majority leader last Wednesday.
Skelos is the first senator to ever be majority leader in three nonconsecutive terms. Republicans now hold a 32-30 edge in the Senate.
Martins, who defeated incumbent Craig Johnson by 451 votes after a grueling campaign, said his job now is to “ change the course of recovery in New York state” and “allow us to turn this state around” because the narrow win gave Republicans back the majority.
“Four hundred and fifty-one votes,” Martins said. “That’s 451 votes in a senate district on Long Island, that I will tell you today, will change the course of history here in New York State and will set us on the course of recovery in this state because of 451 people who came out and made the difference in that senate district.” Martins went on to say that people will think back years from now to the results in this election, because, “I wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t have the majority and we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re going to do right now.”
Nassau County GOP Vice Chairman Joseph Cairo introduced Martins to the floor. Cairo said that from the very beginning, he knew Jack was the man for the job.
“I knew he had the stuff,” Cairo said, adding “and the voters knew he had the stuff.”
Martins thanked 150 Long Islanders who came to the capital to watch the ceremony and said the key issues for the New Year include cutting spending, property tax relief and creating jobs.
“I have to thank my wife Paula for allowing me to do this,” Martins stated. “Public life takes a lot from family life and oftentimes we sacrifice a lot of the things that are so important to us to make room for this [job] which we have taken on so to my wife, my daughters and my entire family, thank you.”
Martins stated further that it was a privilege to serve as the mayor of Mineola. Furthermore, that he’s looking forward to working with his new colleagues in addressing the issues that are important to New York State.
“We made a lot of commitments and a lot of promises during the campaign,” he said. “I can tell you one thing, that we are committed to making sure that New York State returns to being the Empire State.”
The scope of Martins’ new batch of constituents is much larger now than it was more than two months ago. Rather than one, Martins now represents 33 separate villages in a section of Nassau County that stretches from Sands Point on the north shore to as far as Bellerose, Hicksville, and Franklin Square.
The district covers a number of other areas including Albertson, Carle Place, East Hills, Elmont, Floral Park, Garden City Park, Kings Point, Lake Success, Manhasset, Mineola, New Cassel, New Hyde Park, North Hills, Port Washington, Roslyn, Westbury and most of Old Westbury. Martins had been mayor of Mineola since 2003 and in that time worked with the village to reduce village debt by 30 percent, more than $10 million, produce a balanced budget every year, and curb ever-escalating property taxes.
He resigned as mayor of Mineola on Dec. 15, 2010.