Beginning on Oct. 12, as part of our yearly election coverage, we provided our readers with comprehensive bios, platforms, and photos of our local candidates. This Nov. 2 edition includes shorter versions of our coverage for quick references prior to heading to the polls.
SUFFOLK COUNTY EXECUTIVE:
Former federal and state prosecutor Dave Calone (D) and current Brookhaven Town supervisor Ed Romaine will be vying for the Suffolk County executive seat as current county executive Steve Bellone is term-limited and will leave office at the end of 2023.
ED ROMAINE (R)
Ed Romaine said he is running to create a government that is fiscally responsive, just as he did with the town. He wants to increase the county’s bond rating and manage it in such a way that it becomes cost efficient while also restoring the public’s faith in government.
Romaine and his wife, Diane, have three grandchildren who live in East Moriches.
The Center Moriches resident began his career as a history teacher in the Hauppauge School District, then served in Brookhaven’s Housing and Community Development and Economic Development departments. Romaine was elected Suffolk County legislator, then county clerk, then was elected again as legislator between 1986 and 2005, during which time he wrote the county’s first Clean Water Act, acquired thousands of acres of open farmland, urged and supported dredging projects throughout the county, and froze county general fund taxes.
After winning the 2012 Brookhaven supervisor election to complete former supervisor Mark Lesko’s term, Romaine ran again in 2013 for his first two-year term, also on the Conservative and Independence lines.
As supervisor, some of Romaine’s top priorities included making sure the town was fiscally secure, to prevent overdevelopment and preserve open space near waterways, wetlands and environmentally sensitive areas. He is proud of the high credit and bond ratings that he said allows the town to borrow at lower rates as well as his commitment to green improvements across the town, including solar panels on almost all town facilities. Romaine was also the first supervisor to announce that the town landfill will be scheduled to close in 2024. He has also been working with the town board to set up adequate measures leading up to and following its closure.
He ran for supervisor and won reelection in 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and would have been up for re-election this year. Brookhaven Town deputy supervisor Dan Panico will be running to fill his seat against Brookhaven Democratic chairwoman and the mayor of Hamden, Conn., Lillian Clayman.
Romaine’s top goals include: Ensuring the financial stability of the county government; Clean water for Suffolk County; Public safety; Dealing with environmental challenges; and Reducing waste.
DAVE CALONE (D)
Dave Calone has served as both a federal and New York State prosecutor, where he prosecuted corporate fraud and terrorism and helped negotiate what was at the time the largest health care fraud recovery for taxpayers in state history.
He is currently a business leader who helps start and build technology companies on Long Island and around the country. Calone served as chair of the Suffolk County Planning Commission for eight years, where he spearheaded the creation of Suffolk County’s 2035 Comprehensive Master Plan. His work supporting renewable energy through unified solar permitting won Suffolk County a National Association of Counties Achievement Award.
He co-founded the Suffolk County Forward program, the county’s initiative to support local small businesses and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he served as chair of Suffolk County’s Superstorm Sandy Review Task Force.
Calone also created the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund to help launch new companies based on innovations at Long Island’s research institutions, and was the founding National Board chair of Patriot Boot Camp, a not-for-profit that helps veterans, active-duty service members and military spouses to start small businesses.
Calone has received the endorsement of RWDSU/UFCW Local 338, Iron Workers Local 361, IBEW Local 1049, and the New York State Iron Workers District Council. Also endorsing Calone at the start of the campaign are Long Island leaders John Durso (president of RWDSU/UFCW Local 338), New York State assemblyman Steve Englebright, Suffolk County Legislature minority leader Jason Richberg, Suffolk County Legis. Kara Hahn, Southampton Town councilmember John Bouvier, and Brookhaven Town councilmember Jonathan Kornreich.
Calone lives in Setauket with his wife, a Presbyterian minister, and three children.
If elected, his top goals include: Keeping Suffolk County safe; Creating jobs and supporting small businesses; Focusing on affordability; Sewer projects; and Lowering taxes.
BROOKHAVEN TOWN SUPERVISOR:
Romaine is running for county executive, leaving his town supervisor seat vacated. On the Democratic line, former Brookhaven Democratic chairwoman and three-time mayor of Hamden, Conn., Lillian Clayman, will run against current town deputy supervisor and Republican, Dan Panico.
DAN PANICO (R)
Brookhaven deputy supervisor Dan Panico, 45 (R-Center Moriches), was an attorney and senior deputy Suffolk County clerk before becoming town councilman for the 6th Council District in 2010. Panico has authored landmark legislation including the tax cap, anti-nepotism law, and sweeping ethics reform during his tenure as councilman. He has preserved hundreds of acres of farmland and open space, worked to prevent overdevelopment, and has emphasized redevelopment of our existing developed lands. He’s credited with spearheading the most aggressive crackdown on illegal housing and blighted structures in the history of the town. Raised in Mastic Beach, Panico attended William Floyd High School.
His accomplishments include: town ratings on Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s as AAA; sponsored and passed the town’s anti-nepotism law and ethics reform, and pushing projects like the Gleneagle Green project in North Bellport forward.
If elected, his priorities include: crime, redevelopment, and affordability; establishing government consolidation and efficiency; and keeping taxes low.
LILLIAN CLAYMAN (D)
Lillian Clayman served three terms as a town council member and three terms as mayor of Hamden, Conn., from 1991 to 1997. As mayor, Clayman increased services in the town and never raised taxes during her six-year term. She eliminated a looming town deficit, balanced the budget, and increased the town’s bond rating. She also introduced a townwide composting plan, built a linear park, and paved over 40 miles of roads. She earned a Series 7 securities license and worked as a financial planner. She served as a political director for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store union and an organizer for 1188-SEIU, the health care workers union. Since 2005, Clayman and her husband, Roger, have lived in Port Jefferson. She teaches labor and industrial relations at SUNY-Old Westbury, where she is a member of New York State United Teachers and serves on the executive board of United University Board of Professors. She also teaches at Opportunities Long Island, a pre-apprenticeship program, and taught financial literacy in Brookhaven Town’s Dress for Success program. Clayman is a former Brookhaven Democratic chair, who stood in for Marjorie Garant when she stepped down running for supervisor.
If elected, she said she would: tackle corruption; stop the delivery of fly ash; introduce composting; and address the landfill.
BROOKHAVEN TOWN COUNCIL:
Planning to run against longtime councilman Neil Foley (R-Patchogue) in the Brookhaven Town’s 5th District is Democratic candidate Francis Salazar. Back in 2019, Foley was reelected with over 60 percent of the vote against Andrea Stolz.
Democratic candidate Dr. Kerry Spooner will be running in District 6 for Republican councilman Dan Panico’s vacated seat. Karen Dunne will be running on the Republican line. Dunne is from Manorville, currently serves on the town’s planning board, and is the president of the Manorville Chamber of Commerce. Spooner is the founder of Sound Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities to justice-involved people in Suffolk County, including teaching college-oriented courses in Riverhead and Yaphank jails.
In District 4, Democratic candidate Cameron Trent will run against Republican incumbent Mike Loguercio. Loguercio was reelected in 2019 in a close race against Democrat Cheryl Felice, earning 46.61 percent of the vote.
Neil Foley (R), incumbent
Foley, 55, was first elected in a special election in 2014. Prior to that, he served on the Town of Brookhaven Zoning Board of Appeals. He is senior vice president for government affairs and sales at New York Cancer & Blood.
Creating parks and preserving open space are among Foley’s priorities. He points to the development of Roe Park in Blue Point, the Town of Brookhaven’s purchase of the Avery property in East Patchogue, and the purchase of a former gas station on Montauk Highway to create a park, as developments that will improve the quality of life for residents.
A shortage of housing is also a challenge, Foley said. He points to several residential projects in the works along Montauk Highway in East Patchogue, including the Greybarn apartments and Grove apartments, that will help alleviate the shortage, he said.
Foley, whose district includes part of Fire Island, wants the Army Corps of Engineers to add sand to the shoreline that is within Brookhaven Township to prevent erosion. The Army Corps will be dredging and adding sand on the beaches on the western end of the island. Foley wants that extended to the eastern end.
Foley has also been working with the superintendent of highways to address flooding in Bellport and East Patchogue.
Foley is a resident of Blue Point. He and his wife have four children.
Francis Salazar (D)
Salazar, 43, is a career educator and assistant principal at Copiague Middle School. He said his experience working with parents, teachers, and students makes him an experienced problem solver.
He ran for and was elected to the Patchogue-Medford School Board in 2022 because he wants to be active in the community.
One of the things he’s been working on is trying to get more crossing guards outside Medford Elementary School and South Ocean Middle School.
The town landfill is also a concern, Salazar said. He’s concerned about possible environmental effects and how the town is handling that issue, as well as how the town plans to make up lost revenue once the landfill closes.
Salazar would like to see town government become more efficient, including streamlining the process for obtaining a building permit.
He also said the Town of Brookhaven needs to do a better job of reaching out to Latino residents. He’d like to see Spanish-language content on the town’s website, including a function that translates English-language content into Spanish. The Patchogue-Medford School District has a similar program on its website, he said.
Salazar lives in Patchogue. He and his wife have two children.
Karen Dunne (R)
Dunne is president of the Manorville Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Eastport-South Manor School District Board of Education for 22 years, including serving as its president.
Dunne, who said she’s gained support from both Democrats and Independents, said her top priorities include preserving open space and the environment, while promoting sustainable development and maintaining the area’s quality of life. Brookhaven faces a challenge of providing affordable housing opportunities for residents, she said.
Dunne also wants to deal with coastal flooding in the Mastic Beach area and create more park space in Manorville.
Dunne has been talking with voters in her district who tell her they want to see more sit-down restaurants and businesses other than fast-food restaurants in the tri-hamlet region, now that sewers will be coming to the area.
The future of the Brookhaven Town landfill, including how to replace tipping fees that will end when the landfill closes, is a major issue, she said.
Dunne is married. She and her husband have four adult children and three grandchildren.
Kerry Spooner (D)
Spooner, who holds a doctorate from Stony Brook University, said she’ll be an independent voice on a town council on which Republicans currently outnumber Democrats, 6-1.
She wants to address quality-of-life issues in the town, which includes promoting safe drinking water, improved street lighting, repairing roads and bridges, and improving public safety in areas such as the children’s park at Robert Miller Memorial Park. She wants the town board to involve residents in making decisions on important issues, such as the town landfill, which needs to be closed, she said.
She’s been talking with residents who say the town needs to do a better job of enforcing parking laws at Webby’s Beach in Center Moriches, where, she said, non-residents take up many of the street parking spaces.
Spooner would also like to see the town work with the county to shore up the coastline in the Moriches and Mastic Beach to make it more resilient to climate change.
Spooner is married. She and her wife have one child.
Solid fiscal management is one of his priorities, said Loguercio, 65, who has been on the town board for eight years. He points to Brookhaven’s AAA bond rating and the town budget increasing by less than the state’s 2 percent cap as examples that the town board is managing finances prudently.
He said public safety and quality-of-life issues, including repairing roads, replacing street lights, preserving open space and redeveloping blighted areas, are among his other priorities. The town has demolished some 400 zombie houses, he said.
Loguercio wants to attract more businesses and housing to the Montauk Highway corridor in North Bellport. He points to businesses that are already there, including Holla Dolla, Dunkin’ Donuts and the Sunoco gas station.
Loguercio has worked with owners of auto salvage yards and repair shops along Montauk Highway to get them to clean up their properties.
He’s also been working with the Long Island Rail Road to get them to extend Zone 10 to include Bellport, so passengers would pay the same fare as those traveling from Patchogue.
Loguercio is vice president of EMS Rescue Squad and former Fire Police captain. He is single and has two adult children.
Cameron Trent (D)
Trent, 26, is deputy town clerk for the Town of Babylon and the owner of a lawn care business. He was legislative aide to Rob Calarco when Calarco was in the Suffolk County Legislature. A Bellport High School graduate, Trent has been on the South Country Board of Education since 2018. He was also a trustee of the South Country Library.
Trent said he wants to be a voice for people who don’t have one and to make Brookhaven Town government more responsive.
The town needs to do a better job of keeping citizens informed, he said. That includes keeping citizens up to date about issues at the town landfill, which is located in the 4th District.
Trent points to his work on the South Country school board as a model of how the town could be more transparent. When South Country schools were reopening, Trent held a question-and-answer session on Facebook Live to answer parents’ questions.
If elected, Trent said he would also improve the town’s website, making it easier to navigate, making more forms available online, and posting the agenda for town board meetings earlier than is done currently. He also wants to streamline the town’s permitting process.
Trent is single and expecting his first child later this year.
BROOKHAVEN HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT:
Democratic candidate Michael D. Kaplan will vie for Republican Dan Losquadro’s Brookhaven Town highway superintendent seat.
Dan Losquadro (R), incumbent
A lifelong Suffolk County resident, Dan Losquadro was raised in Wading River and attended Shoreham-Wading River schools. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in history from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Currently, Losquadro resides in Shoreham with his wife, Lynn, a math teacher in their local school district, and their children, Joseph and Meghan.
Losquadro first won election to represent Suffolk County’s 6th Legislative District in November 2003. During his seven years as a county legislator, he served as chairman of the Environment, Planning and Agriculture Committee, as well as the Veterans & Seniors Committee.
In 2010, he won election as the representative for the 1st Assembly District, where he served almost two terms before seeking the highway position. Before taking office, he worked as a senior property claims estimator for State Farm Insurance.
Following his reelection as Brookhaven Town superintendent of highways, Losquadro was sworn in for his fourth full term, and fifth time overall in 2020.
Since first being elected to superintendent of highways in 2013 a special election, he said he has undertaken a comprehensive strategy of reconstruction for the Highway Department, implementing initiatives that have brought accountability and transparency to the forefront, while saving tax dollars.
Losquadro said he is also proud of his $4 million project to upgrade streetlight fixtures across the town, replacing them with energy-efficient LED street lights. To date, crews have replaced Brookhaven’s 45,000 high- and low-pressure sodium light fixtures with LED street lights, saving the town about $1.5 million annually in electricity costs. By the end of 2024, the Brookhaven Highway Department will have converted all existing neighborhood post top fixtures to LED and replaced the old fiberglass poles with new aluminum poles.
Michael Kaplan (D)
Michael Kaplan has been a public servant since 1986 and worked for the Town of Islip Highway for 20 years. He also worked for the Town of Huntington Highway Office for 10 years and served in the U.S. Army for 10 years with two combat deployments.
While in Huntington working directly for the superintendent of highway, he said, he learned the following:
“In addition, I’ve designed, implemented, and believe in a three S system: Safety, Safety, Safety. This program ensures employee safety, and above everything else, the safety of anything within the town right of way, so all residents can be confident roads will always be maintained for safe travel,” he said of his platform.
Ryan McGarry, a resident of Patchogue Village, declared his candidacy for Suffolk County Legislature in the 7th District against Republican incumbent, Dominick Thorne.
Democratic contender Thad O’Neil will be running against republican incumbent Jim Mazzarella in the 3rd District. O’Neil is an advocate for education; he is an associate adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design, part of New School University in Manhattan.
Dominick Thorne (R), incumbent
Patchogue resident Dominick Thorne was elected to his first term as Suffolk County legislator in the 7th District in 2019. Prior to his seat on the legislature, Thorne worked at the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
Thorne has spent 27 years in the local fire and EMS services and said he has always put people first. His dedication to community service started in grade school, volunteering for the Salvation Army Thrift Store. At 12, he joined the Levittown Fire Department and at 16 he joined an organization of volunteers that patrol the parkways to help stranded motorists.
He moved to the area in the late ‘80s with his first wife, Jeanette. They were married for 24 years until her untimely death. He currently lives in Patchogue with his wife, Barbara, and daughters, Faith and Nicole.
He also joined the North Patchogue Fire Department as an EMT-critical care tech in 1990, where he served as captain of Emergency Medical Services for 10 years. He has helped train new team members and created a program to ensure every patient receives the highest level of pre-hospital care.
As legislator, some of his accomplishments include: seeing through the long-advocated-for stop sign at Corey Beach in Blue Point; the addition of sewer connections for 100 South Patchogue; completing the preservation of the Avery property; helping the Medford VFW Hall replace their leaking roof, at no charge to the taxpayers or veterans; $3.5 million for a feasibility sewer study to get started in the new year in North Bellport; adding 200 more police officers in one term; allocated $155 million towards waste management and preserved over 50 acres of open space; as well as passing a bill to allow police vehicles to carry epi-pens.
Ryan McGarry (D)
Throughout his career and in his personal life, Ryan McGarry has dedicated himself to public service working for the people of Suffolk County.
McGarry is a proud Class A firefighter in the Patchogue Fire Department and a member of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce’s Civic Association. He currently serves on the Patchogue Village Zoning Board of Appeals after having served a term on the village’s Community Development Agency.
Currently, he is the Suffolk AME’s chief of staff, advocating on behalf of all working people and the municipal employees who provide essential services. Formerly, he worked as the Suffolk County executive’s chief of staff and a legislative aide for the New York State Assembly.
During his time with the executive’s office, he said that he is most proud of overseeing the creation of the first three Suffolk County marathons for veterans.
He is also a member of The Greater Patchogue Community Organizations Active in Disaster Food Distribution, Patchogue Medford Youth Services, Island Harvest Food Bank, Patchogue Chamber of Commerce Civic Association, New York Cancer and Blood Specialists, the Gordon Heights Chamber of Commerce, and America’s VetDogs.
He graduated from Sayville High School in 2001 and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in labor relations from Cornell University, then his master’s in humanities and communications from Duke University.
He said his first priority, if elected, is to remain a vocal and consistent advocate for those who work for a living. In doing so, he intends to hold the line on taxes, while leveraging state and federal relationships to make smart investments, creating good-paying jobs in the process.
Such infrastructure investments include: 1) improving transportation infrastructure so that goods and services, consumers and laborers can move freely, efficiently, and productively through the regional economy; 2) expanding water-quality infrastructure in an effort to protect the safety of drinking water, revitalize tourism and heritage industries, and protect residents from future storm surges; 3) diversifying the energy sector and improving existing energy infrastructure to be prepared to handle the needs of tomorrow’s economy.