Joe DeStefano (R-Medford) was officially sworn in to the New York State Assembly on New Year’s Day, after winning the election on Nov. 6. He will succeed Dean Murray, who unsuccessfully tried to ascend to the state Senate to follow Tom Croci. In a ceremony hosted at the Medford Fire Department, of which DeStefano has been a commissioner for 23 years, former assemblyman and current 5th District judge Alfred Graf gave him the oath of office, with assistance from Linda DeStefano, his wife (pictured). The now-assemblyman laid out his bold agenda, which includes reducing property taxes, making the state tax cap permanent, installing term limits for legislators, and improving state infrastructure. He thanked his supporters and his community for what he said was a grassroots campaign, and received praise from Brookhaven councilman Neil Foley, Suffolk County Legis. Rudy Sunderman, and Brookhaven GOP chairman Jesse Garcia. The first day of the 2019 legislative session is Jan. 9 and will run through June 19.