Joe Mondello, former longtime head of the Nassau County Republican Party, dies at 84
Joe Mondello, the former longtime head of the Nassau County Republican Party, has died. He was 84.
At one point in his career, few political leaders in the country wielded as much power as Joe Mondello.
Pete King knew all sides of Joe Mondello -- the fiery and intimidating side -- and the softer schmoozing side.
King and Mondello started their political careers -- and their friendship -- nearly 50 years ago.
"He was a bulldog. He wouldn't stop. When Joe Mondello wanted something or wanted something for somebody else, he just went all out. If he could do it in friendly ways he would do that, if it was all out warfare, it was all out warfare," King says.
As a town councilman, supervisor and political leader, Mondello always preached what was the key to the huge successes of the Nassau Republican Party for many decades -- making sure the streets were cleaned and plowed, the garbage was picked up on time and that every neighborhood had a nice park.
"He saw the strength of the Nassau party as being able to deal with problems of just real people in their neighborhoods. Joe Mondello is going to be remembered by fellow Republicans as Mr. Republican. This was a guy who bled Republican red, from the time he woke up to the time he went to sleep," says Larry Levy.
Mondello spoke just this past January at the swearing-in ceremonies for some Hempstead Town officials, and he recalled his earliest days in politics.
"Of all the positions that I have held, the one I enjoyed the most was being a councilman in the Town of Hempstead. I mean that sincerely. It was the most fun job, the one closest to the people and the one that I got the most good feelings from," Mondello said at the time.
Mondello's parting message at his appearance in January could almost serve as the message he gave so many people seeking political office.
"You have to be dedicated, you have to be conscientious and you've got to be compassionate."
Most recently Mondello served as the U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. He was appointed by former President Donld Trump.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been released.