Cairo to take over as Nassau GOP chairman after Mondello resignation

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Nassau County Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello will be stepping down on Friday after 35 years in the position. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Nassau County Republicans will get a new leader at the end of the week after 35 years under Joseph Mondello’s leadership.

Joseph Cairo will take the party reins at the end of day Friday as Mondello’s resignation takes effect, according to Tom Van Riper, a Nassau County Republican spokesman.

The shift follows Mondello’s nomination to serve as U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago by President Donald Trump on March 19.

Mondello has served as the GOP chairman since 1983.

Cairo, 72, had been serving as first vice chairman of the party and worked closely with Mondello for years, Van Riper said.

Cairo also serves as the Republican leader of North Valley Stream.

“In terms of his abilities and experience he certainly seemed to be to the party the most logical choice,” Van Riper said.

Van Riper added that Cairo is an outstanding and “very widely respected” leader.

Cairo has also served as the North Hempstead GOP leader for the last several years, and Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello called him an exceptional leader.

“He has the ability to connect with the rank and file with the other party, and he’s the type of leader that you want to work for, you want to get things done,” Nicolello said.

Nicolello also noted Cairo’s use for sports metaphors, which Nicolello said helps to  motivate others.

During the Nassau County Republican convention last Thursday, where Cairo was named the new chairman, Cairo told his fellow Republicans, “If we come together … they can’t beat us,” according to Newsday.

“We’ve had some losses over the years. We took some tough ones last year,” Cairo added. “But the victories greatly outnumber the defeats.”

In November, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat, beat Republican former state Sen. Jack Martins.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen beat incumbent Supervisor Anthony Santino, a Republican, making her the first Democrat to win the seat in a century.

The Republicans still have an 11-8 majority in the Nassau County Legislature.

At the party convention, Mondello said a big part of him will always be at 164 Post Ave. in Westbury, the party headquarters, according to Newsday.

That is an address where “so much history was made,” Mondello said.

“And no matter what the media says, so much good was done for the people of Nassau County,” Mondello added.

Mondello awaits Senate confirmation for his ambassadorship.

He endorsed Trump in the 2016 presidential election in March, before the New York primary.

Mondello called Trump “the leader our nation needs at this critical time in history.”

At the time a number of Republican officials had denounced Trump.

In a statement following his nomination, Mondello said he looks forward to the confirmation process and “to meeting the many challenges that I am sure I will face as I enter this new and exciting chapter in my public service career.”

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