Two political hopefuls are looking to stake their claim to a new seat on the Nassau County Legislature. Due to the recent redistricting, the lines have been redrawn for Legislative District 1, which now includes all of Rockville Centre and most of Hempstead.
Both candidates have been hard at work since April to campaign for the upcoming elections. Ultimately, however, it will be up to the voters to decide who will represent this new district when they go to cast their ballots this November.
Candidate Profile: Michael Lucchesi
Republican candidate Mike Lucchesi, 39, is a financial advisor with Raymond James Financial Services, where he has worked for the last 15 years. Some of his past experience includes his work as a Rockville Centre Public Library Trustee and a past board member of the Rockville Centre Lacrosse Club.
Lucchesi said that he has been canvassing door-to-door for the last three months to connect with people living in the district about his platform, which seeks to reduce crime, lower taxes, improve county infrastructure and protect local zoning ordinances.
“This election is a local one and I have been making a point to meet with Democrats, Independents and Republicans. I have been talking with first responders and village workers who serve the two villages that make up the new District 1. I have spent time with Supervisor Don Clavin as well as village officials, discussing how we can develop synergies to perform municipal tasks more efficiently and in the most cost-effective manner,” Lucchesi said in an email. “I am focused on a community-based approach to government. I have reached out to neighbors in both villages in my district to identify priorities and develop strategies to address areas of need — from social service programs, daycare, health services as well as recreation and senior citizen services. I am committed to enhancing the lives of all residents in my district.”
One of his primary goals, if elected, is to utilize his financial experience to control county spending and freeze taxes while pursuing grant opportunities for economic development and infrastructure upgrades, including roadway repairs and safety enhancements.
He is also a staunch supporter of local law enforcement and is endorsed by the Rockville Centre Police PBA, the Nassau County DAI, and the Nassau County Superior Officers Association for his commitment to helping keep Nassau communities safe by providing the necessary resources to increase patrols and reduce crime.
“Nassau County is coping with the extreme legislation that has come out of Albany, especially in the area of so-called ‘criminal reforms,” Lucchesi said. “The dangerous ‘cashless bail’ laws have set free killers, rapists and drug dealers. The police arrest dangerous repeat offenders only to watch them be turned loose because of the ‘cashless bail’ laws.”
Lucchesi said that in addition to fighting back against the policies of state lawmakers, he also intends to fight back against New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s Urban Housing Plan, which was initially proposed in January as a budget mandate that would have granted the state authority to overrule local zoning codes and build high-rise apartment buildings in residential areas located near a LIRR train station.
“The Governor’s Urban Housing Plan is an unmitigated assault on the suburbs,” Lucchesi stated. “Her attempt to cram high-rise apartment houses next to single-family homes would destroy the suburban quality of life that neighbors have moved to the suburbs to enjoy. I will continue to fight this unwelcome overreach by Albany’s administration.”
Thus far, he has raised close to $40,000 for his campaign and plans to raise more to help him communicate his message to the public.
Candidate Profile: Scott Davis
Democratic candidate Scott Davis, 61, is a registered attorney with a law office in Forest Hills, Queens, where he has worked for the last 30 years. He is also an avid marathon runner, a former member of the Nassau County Assessment Review Commission, and a founding member of the RVC Friends of MLK, a non-profit organization that provides funding to support youth, adult, senior and community programs at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.
Davis also brings to the table an intimate familiarity with both communities in the district. He grew up in the Village of Hempstead and currently resides in the Village of Rockville Centre, where he has lived for the last 17 years. During that time he has also been involved in coaching youth sports, mentoring and outreach in both communities and has provided internships and employment opportunities for high school students as well as pro-bono legal services.
“These communities have meant a great deal to me and my family. That is the reason I have chose to run as a first-time candidate. I have always been community-minded and this is a great opportunity to give back,” Davis said in an email.
He said that the best part of the campaign has been having the opportunity to meet and speak to residents, local elected officials, members of law enforcement, community organizers, youth mentoring organizations, religious leaders, and various civic and block associations across the two villages about his platform.
“It has confirmed my belief that the district is comprised of residents who have more in common than most would imagine,” Davis said. “Most are exhausted with the current political climate and are eager for sensible, transparent, and reasonable representation.”
His platform focuses on a number of different issues both at the local level, with targeted goals for both communities and at the broader countywide level. Among the key issues he hopes to address, if elected, are the affordability crisis in Nassau County, the Sands Casino development project, and the opioid crisis on Long Island.
“An overwhelming majority of county residents are suffering from the tremendous tax burden of living in Nassau County,” Davis explained. “For many, including the younger generation, it is becoming unrealistic to live (here).”
Davis said that on a local level, public safety is a key issue for both communities, which he hopes to improve by fostering a good working relationship between residents and local law enforcement through community outreach and providing additional resources for police as they become available.
In Hempstead specifically, he would like to prioritize infrastructure development and coordinate with existing country resources to ensure that residents are aware of youth programs and mental health services available, and in Rockville Centre, he hopes to promote responsible development downtown, maintain open spaces and work with state agencies to investigate and resolve concerns of “brown water.”
Davis has also acquired the endorsements of several unions and advocacy groups including 1199 SEIU, Local 28 Sheet Metal Workers, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Moms Demand Action.
Thus far, he has raised close to $30,000 for his campaign and said that he intends to raise more through solicitation, campaign contributions, endorsements and fundraisers in the coming weeks leading up to the election in November.