Ex-cop seeks GOP nod for State Senate 

March 25, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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There’s a new contestant for the Republican nomination in the 22nd State Senate district.

Vito LaBella, a retired detective, is seeking the chance to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Andrew Gounardes in the recently redrawn district.

The district again includes Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend, with Boerum Hill, Gowanus and Sunset Park now in the mix. It no longer includes Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park or Sheepshead Bay.

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LaBella spent 32 years with the NYPD, 24 of them as a lieutenant. After his retirement, he got involved in public education and was twice elected to District 20’s Community Education Council. He also founded PLACE NYC, which advocates for accelerated education and for accountability and transparency in the Dept. of Education.

LaBella is not a fan of redistricting and says it favors Democratic candidates.

“On July 29, I testified before the redistricting committee and predicted that the Legislature would take over the process and, because there was a supermajority of Democrats, gerrymander the state to harm Republicans and favor Democrats,” he said on March 7. “That is exactly what happened. The courts said that there is a case but it is too late to do anything about it.”

LaBella said he will work to end cashless bail, reverse the Less Is More Act, fund drug treatment and mental health resources and enforce Kendra’s Law.

“I will also make our voices heard in Albany by pushing our governor to audit and subsequently fire any district attorneys who refuse to follow and enforce the law,” he said.

LaBella will face airline pilot Karim Elsammak in the primary. Elsammak is endorsed by the Brooklyn GOP and the Kings County Conservative Party.

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