What’s a Name Worth?

Excerpt from Newsday’s The Point:
The family name
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto may still pull a win out of Tuesday’s election, but the family brand has taken a hit.

Democrats looking to take back the State Senate from the GOP in 2016 suddenly see Sen. Michael Venditto, the supervisor’s son, as vulnerable.

The younger Venditto, serving his first term in Albany, coasted to victory last year in the race to succeed Charles Fuschillo. Michael, 33, was plucked from the Nassau legislature, where he had only served 16 months on the strength of the family name.

His selection over more senior and experienced Republicans was defended by Nassau GOP chairman Joseph Mondello, who said Venditto was from a political family and had worked on his father’s campaigns. Mondello was right, the name carried the day and Michael won easily.

A year later, that name isn’t looking so stellar.

After casting ballots for John Venditto for nine terms, voters in the heavily Republican areas of Oyster Bay rebelled, angry over badly managed town finances and a federal investigation into how town concession contracts were awarded. The year-over-year comparison in the election districts that overlap the Senate district are stark. In 2014, Michael won them with 79 percent of the vote. On Tuesday, John’s margins in his home area and stronghold were only 59 percent.

Remember when the Bush name meant victory in politics?

— Rita Ciolli