Elmont attorney Monique Hardial announced on Jan. 21 that she is planning to run against Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages for the Democratic ticket in this year’s primary race. Hardial, 37, who made her speech at the steps of the state Supreme Court in Mineola, said that she understood the needs of the people from Elmont, Inwood, South Floral Park and Valley Stream.
“They want change,” Hardial said. “They want someone who represents their values, the values we believe in here in these communities.”
Hardial has served on the Elmont Memorial Library’s Board of Trustees for 10 years and is a member of the Dutch Broadway School Parent Teacher Association. She previously served in the Elmont Chamber of Commerce and Argo Civic Association. Hardial had also been active with fellow community advocate Mimi Pierre-Johnson last year when they brought awareness to the high cancer rates and poor water quality management in Elmont.
Hardial explained that she was running because of the community’s dismay over Solages’s arrest on domestic violence charges last June. Although Solages had pleaded guilty to reduced charges of disorderly conduct to resolve the case in September, Hardial urged the local community to speak out against those who assault or abuse women. She, along with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Democratic Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams, had called on Solages to resign in the aftermath of the arrest.
While Solages had been removed from meetings with his fellow Democratic legislators and stripped of his committee assignments after his arrest, the Nassau County Democratic Caucus has since restored Solages’s standing.
“Legislator Solages has resolved any outstanding issues and has the solid support of his constituents, who have overwhelmingly re-elected him,” said William Biamonte, chief of staff for the Democratic caucus.
“It’s not fair to say that he represents the community…and giving an abuser a position of power is something we do not accept,” Hardial said. “People wanted me to do something about this, so that’s why I’m running.”
Solages released a statement late Tuesday in response to the primary challenge. "I'm confident that I've delivered for my communities and that my constituents will continue to show me the strong support that they have given me since I was first elected," he said.
Hardial and her campaign are gearing up for petitions once the Nassau County Board of Elections announces the start of the season in the coming weeks. They are also waiting to see if the New York State approves a measure that would move the primaries from early September to late June. Political parties would be expected to make their endorsements in late February, early March.