Suffolk Legislature (3rd LD)
Jim Mazzarella (R)
He was born and raised in the tri-hamlet area, now living in Moriches. As the eldest son of an immigrant father and a first-generation mother, he is most proud of his family’s blue-collar roots.
A graduate from William Floyd High School in 1984 and from SUNY Maritime College in 1988, Mazzarella was the secretary/treasurer of Local 342, Long Island Public Service Employees, and had a dedicated career improving the working conditions of public employees prior to his election.
Mazzarella and his wife, Mary, decided to raise their children, Sarah and Joseph, in the community they grew up in. He has also served on the board of the Mastic, Moriches, Shirley Community Library as a trustee and board president since 2009, and he is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of the Mastics and Shirley, and has been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International.
During his short time as legislator, he hopes to see the groundbreaking of the Forge River Watershed Sewer District. The next phase of advocacy, he said, will be to get the business and residential connection for Mastic Beach.
“So far, my proudest moment was the vote to secure the funding for the $225 million for the Forge River Sewer District,” he said, noting that it is the largest sewer district infrastructure in over a decade.
Since being elected in May during a special election to fill Legis. Rudy Sunderman’s vacated seat, Mazzarella has served for just a few months. In that time, he has been able to support the local historical society in Yaphank, engage civics, support the veterans of Post 1533 with the reconstruction of their kitchen, clean some of the local Smith Point County Park beaches and simply walk the district.
If reelected, he hopes to work with law enforcement to get rid of vagrancy and squatters while also continuing to partner with the Town of Brookhaven to eliminate zombie homes. He also promises to fight for the utilization of the county’s opioid settlement to help improve the treatment of drug addiction by supporting local programs as well as education for prevention.
“I have been working night and day, but that’s what it takes. We have a lot of challenges in the 3rd District,” he said of his time in office. “The No. 1 thing I think I have proven is that I am up to the task of working hard for this district and putting in the time that is required.”
He attributed his success to being born and raised in the district.
“I grew up here, I have a good pulse, I know the people and I know the issues,” he added.
Kate Browning (D)
Before taking office, Browning worked as a school bus driver for the William Floyd School District in order to make ends meet and have the same hours as her children while they attended school. Browning graduated with a bachelor’s degree from National Labor College.
Browning was born and raised in war-torn Belfast, Northern Ireland, during “The Troubles.” At 19, she left Belfast for Germany, where she met her husband Steve, who was serving in the U.S. military and went on to work for the NYPD. In 1989, she and her husband settled in Shirley, N.Y.
Browning is proud of her husband and her sons, Sean and Aodhan, who are serving their country in the military. Steve is a decorated detective in New York City Police Department and retired from the Army National Guard in 2006. Sean and Aodhan serve in the Air National Guard, 106th Air Rescue Wing, Westhampton, and Sean has served three tours in Afghanistan. Browning avidly supports service members overseas and their families here at home.
Her top priorities if reelected include completing the Forge River Sewer project by seeing through not only Phases 1 and 2 but also 3 and 4. She hopes to help find the funding for businesses to hook up and to see the expansion to Mastic Beach.
She also hopes to reimplement her long-fought-for ShotSpotter program.
“That’s a significant tool. Gun violence has gone up and we need to make sure ShotSpotter is in the community,” she said, referencing North Bellport, and promising to push for budget funding to reimplement it.
She also hopes to address the opioid epidemic by utilizing funding for recovery homes and to fix the sex offender legislation recently passed, which allowed sex offenders to essentially live wherever they want. Furthermore, she said, she wants to continue open-space preservation and to fight for the Yaphank community by being a voice.
“I never shied away from speaking out, whether it be for the community or against corruption,” she said.
“I have a proven record with a successful 12 years in office. I believe I served honorably,” she added as to why people should vote for her. “I will be a full-time legislator I am fully committed with no distractions.”
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