Four seek Democratic nod in 5th Congressional District
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He added that one of his primary concerns is the FEMA flood maps. “It’s a huge undertaking,” he said, “but it’s one that I welcome and embrace.” He also hopes to address the lack of affordable housing in Nassau County, especially for recent college graduates, and education. He said he believes that improving education would help resolve the short- and long-term issues the country is facing. “We cannot afford our children to be uneducated or undereducated while the rest of the world is advancing rapidly,” Marthone said.
Jennings, 45, who served on the City Council from 2001 to 2005, is also running unopposed in the Republican primary. Though he is a lifelong Democrat, Jennings said that the Republican Party offered him the opportunity to run because of his experience and track record.
“When I was in the council, I was a very independent Democrat,” he said. “I didn’t go along with party lines. I did what was right for my constituents, and I plan on going to Congress and representing everybody.”
Jennings said that the No. 1 issue facing the district is jobs, and that he would host at least two job fairs a year to help people find work. “I plan on making my office a one-stop job center,” he said, “so that people could come in and I will assist them and help them find jobs.”
All of the candidates live in the new district, and they have a variety of backgrounds. Scala, a hip-hop artist, said it is important that “we elect some everyday people who are in these communities, who understand the problems, who really feel the same pain that the rest of the constituents feel.”
As an accountant, Marthone said, he had to learn the ins and outs of company financial records. He has also been a community activist for many years. “The challenge that I’m going to be facing is one that I’m already embracing,” Marthone said, “which is to make sure that I get around to each of the areas, to each of the neighborhoods, to each of the communities and reach out to folks and listen to what people have to say.”