Endorsement: Fred Thiele for New York State Assembly

Assemblyman Fred Thiele (D-Sag Harbor) has been well known across the East End during his tenure in the New York State Assembly.

Since 1995, he’s represented the South Fork and Shelter Island, becoming a clear voice in Albany expressing concerns for residents of the region. But he’s more than that; Mr. Thiele is a doer, not just a talker. Only now, though, will residents in Southold Town have the chance to reelect Mr. Thiele, 69.

The recent redistricting shakeup has reconfigured the 1st District to include Southold Town, which had previously been part of the 2nd District under incumbent Jodi Giglio. Mr. Thiele is being opposed by 26-year-old Republican Peter Ganley, a first-time office seeker, who is also running on the Conservative line.

Mr. Ganley has tried to paint Mr. Thiele as a politician with one foot out the door, bound for North Carolina. Mr. Thiele, while confirming he has a second home there, reassured voters he’s committed to another term. 

Mr. Thiele is that rare person in government: a visionary who gets things done. People talk about “saving what’s left.” But Mr. Thiele did something about it, spearheading the Community Preservation Fund, a real estate transfer tax paid by buyers and used to purchase and preserve open space. Over the years, the CPF has raised over $1 billion for land preservation in the five East End towns.

When a crisis of polluted water threatened our aquifer, creeks, ponds and bays, Mr. Thiele again came through with an idea to help ensure an environmentally sound future by adding to the CPF for water quality projects. And when many thought trying to preserve the traditional diversity of income levels here was futile and welcoming young families was a hopeless case, Mr. Thiele got legislation passed that gives East Enders the opportunity to vote for funds to support affordable housing.

We endorse Mr. Thiele for reelection to the Assembly.