The executive committee of the Staten Island Republican Party has endorsed Joseph Borelli to run for the South Shore Assembly seat.
But the party is still in search of a candidate to take on state Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn).
Meeting this week, the executive committee also endorsed Sam Pirozzolo, president of the Community Education Council, to run against Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island), and Paul Saryian, a retired NYPD captain, to battle Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-North Shore).
The panel also backed state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) for re-election.
Borelli, chief of staff to City Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-South Shore), is looking to replace GOP Assemblyman Lou Tobacco, who is not running for re-election and is going to work for Staten Island University Hospital.
“Mr. Borelli is a fine young man with exemplary government service as chief of staff to Councilman Ignizio,” said borough GOP chairman Robert Scamardella.
“His is a life of achievement ranging from becoming an Eagle Scout to serving as an adjunct college professor of political science.”
While a number of Republicans were said to be looking at the seat, only one other potential candidate, Anthony Reinhart, a Lanza staffer and former president of the Young Republicans, came for an executive committee interview.
Borelli, who teaches at the College of Staten Island, is a Huguenot resident who is also a member of the city Voter Assistance Advisory Committee.
He said he worked on his first GOP campaign at the age of 17, and registered with the party the next year.
“I’m thrilled that now, a decade later, I have this endorsement to run for the South Shore Assembly seat,” Borelli said.
Saryian said the endorsement means Republicans “have faith in my candidacy and believe I can beat the incumbent.”
Pirozzolo said he was “proud and honored” to have the executive committee’s backing.
“This is a pivotal race for them and for all of Staten Island,” he said.
Scamardella said the committee would meet in the next few weeks to interview Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-East Shore/Brooklyn), who is also up for re-election.
The party also hopes to have a candidate in place for Ms. Savino’s seat at that time. Scamardella has pledged that every Democratic incumbent will have a GOP challenger this year.
“I did say I would recruit for every position, and I’m trying to do the best I can,” said Scamardella.
While revealing no names, Scamardella said that “a couple of people are thinking” about the seat, “but they’re not there yet.”
The executive committee’s recommendations must be approved at a GOP county convention in May.