BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Congressman Tim Bishop (left) and Republican Challenger Randy Altschuler at a Riverhead debate in September.
First Congressional District
Tim Bishop (D-Southampton)
Five-term incumbent Tim Bishop, 62, worked at Southampton College for 29 years, starting as an admissions counselor and serving for many years as provost, the chief administrative post. He left the college when first elected to Congress in 2002, defeating incumbent Republican Felix Grucci.
Mr. Bishop says if re-elected his legislative priorities will include job creation and economic expansion, protecting the environment, working for seniors and the middle class, providing access to affordable health care and supporting veterans.
A twelfth-generation Southampton resident, Mr. Bishop received his bachelor’s degree from The College of the Holy Cross and his master’s from Long Island University.
He serves on the Committee on Education, the Workforce and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Congressional Arts Caucus.
Mr. Bishop voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, and his voting record reflects that he votes with the majority of House Democrats on almost every key issue.
Randy Altschuler (R-St. James)
Randy Altschuler, 41, is currently the executive chairman of CloudBlue, which recycles electronic equipment. Prior to that, he was the CEO of OfficeTiger, a company that provided office support services with employees around the world.
Mr. Altschuler ran for Mr. Bishop’s congressional seat in 2010, losing by 263 votes after an intense recount that proved to be the longest in the nation that year.
Mr. Altschuler attended New York City public schools, received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, studied abroad as a Fulbright Scholar and received his MBA from Harvard University.
If elected, Mr. Altschuler pledges to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, work for the Republican plan for Medicare and Social Security reform, reform teacher tenure requirements and support school voucher programs.
First New York Senatorial District
Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson)
Incumbent Ken LaValle, 73, has held the 1st District state Senate seat since 1977, having been elected in November 1976. He has been chairman of the Senate committee on higher education since 1979 and is chairman of the Senate Majority Conference. He was a teacher before entering politics. Since he’s been in office, he earned a law degree from Touro College and is now a practicing attorney as well.
Mr. LaValle said he continues to receive support from his constituents, which is why he has won his re-election bids by overwhelming margins.
He says he’s working to get approval for the commission that Riverhead Town has advocated as a way of fast-tracking projects at EPCAL and, among other things, has been instrumental in establishing the Stony Brook Business Incubator in Calverton; has secured grant money for the J. Kings food processing facility in Baiting Hollow; and has helped to create a synergy among the three East End hospitals.
Mr. LaValle also lauds the 2 percent government tax levy cap.
“We’ve also reduced taxes for every tax category, with the majority of it going to the middle-income taxpayers,” he said.
Republicans currently have a majority in the state Senate, while Democrats control the Assembly.
Mr. LaValle is the father of two grown children and lives in Port Jefferson with his wife, Penny.
Bridget Fleming (D-Noyack)
Challenger Bridget Fleming, 52, is a matrimonial attorney who has been a Southampton Town councilwoman since March 2010.
Prior to that, she has served as chief of a Manhattan district attorney’s office unit that prosecuted fraud in public assistance programs such as welfare, public housing and Medicaid. Before that, she said, she prosecuted sex crimes.
As a Southampton Town Board member, Ms. Fleming says she’s helped to eliminate a budget deficit, thereby restoring the town’s credit rating; focused on proper staffing and controls in the town finance department; and spearheaded economic initiatives such as the Farm Fresh Market in Flanders, which is run by teenagers and sells local produce, and the Youth Build Project in Riverside, which teaches young people about sustainable building methods while restoring blighted homes.
She claims Mr. LaValle has not been effective in bringing the East End its fair share of school aid and says the amount of money East End residents pay in state taxes is more than what they get back in state services.
“Money comes out of our district, goes up to the pot in Albany and then doesn’t come back with us getting our fair share,” she said a recent debate. “We need somebody who is fighting for our local needs.”
A resident of Noyac since 2001, Ms. Fleming lives with her husband, Robert Agoglia, a general contractor, and their 9-year old son, Jai.
First New York Assembly District
Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham)
Making his first bid for re-election, Assemblyman Dan Losquadro is opposed by Nicholas Deegan, a Mattituck carpenter.
Mr. Losquadro’s introduction to politics came in 2003, when he was elected to the county Legislature representing the 6th District. In 2006 he was named minority leader. He had previously worked as a senior property claims estimator for State Farm Insurance.
He won his Assembly seat in a very close race against Democratic incumbent Marc Alessi. Although Mr. Losquadro’s margin of victory grew in subsequent weeks, on Election Night the two were separated by only 40 votes.
Raised in Wading River, he currently resides in Shoreham.
He opposed the effort to shift Southold and Shelter Island to the South Fork’s Assembly district and supported the rollback of the MTA payroll tax on East End businesses and taxing entities.
Mr. Losquadro has said the region’s high taxes are a drain on business.
Nicholas Deegan (D-Mattituck)
Nicholas Deegan is a native of County Wicklow, Ireland, and ran unsuccessfully last year for a seat on the Southold Town Board. His first experience with local politics came in 2007 when he won a seat on the Mattituck Park District board of commissioners, running on a reform platform. He claimed park district cellphone and gas credit cards had been misused, and both were discontinued after he took office. He won a second term in 2010.
But in a move he believes is invalid, the park district recently told Mr. Deegan that he cannot serve as commissioner because he failed to take the oath of office at the start of his second term.
During a recent Mattituck Chamber of Commerce candidates luncheon, Mr. Deegan voiced support for strengthening women’s rights, increasing government efficiency and raising the state’s minimum wage.
Southold Town Trustee
Michael Domino (R-Southold)
Michael Domino, a former president of the North Fork Environmental Council, is running in a special election against Democrat Jeri Woodhouse of Orient.
He was appointed to his seat for one year after former Trustee president Jill Doherty won a seat on the Southold Town Board last November. Mr. Domino is a retired high school science teacher who owns a deli in Greenport. He also served as president of the North Fork Environmental Council.
In particular, Mr, Domino and Ms. Woodhouse diverged in their views on issues related to nitrogen levels in septic systems and their impact on the Peconic Bays.
Regarding the continuing debate on efforts to reduce levels of nitrogen entering local waters, Mr. Domino is not a proponent of a removal system known by the brand name Nitrex recently approved by the Suffolk County health department for use in residential septic systems.
Some environmental advocates have been pushing the county to mandate use of the system, while critics say it is too expensive and may not be effective.
“The problem is funding, as usual,” said Mr. Domino. “You don’t just throw money at a problem. In many cases, there’s no need to change the [septic] systems we have now. The discussion now is being driven by a company that has a technology that they are pushing. It may or may not work. I’m not advocating a real quick jump on very costly solutions. I would take a go-slow approach with something like that.”
Jeri Woodhouse (D-Orient)
Ms. Woodhouse, who owns the food business Taste of the North Fork, chaired the town Planning Board during Josh Horton’s administration and ran unsuccessfully for a Town Board seat in 2009.
Ms. Woodhouse disagree with her opponent on the septic system issue.
“There’s a lot of new research that shows there are new kinds of septic systems that can be put in place,” she said. “The problem is they’re very costly. I believe there’s funding available that can make it possible for people to purchase them. We should see if we can bring some of that money here because it’s vital to our economy to have clean water.”