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Barbara kicks off her campaign in the 19th L.D.

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Gina Barbara, a Wantagh resident running for Nassau County legislator in the 19th District, showed her love for community members during her official campaign kickoff on Feb. 25.

Barbara, a Democrat, officially kicked off her campaign, at Panera Bread in Bellmore, formally declaring that she is running for the seat currently held by Steven Rhoads, a Republican from Bellmore. She spoke about the main issues that concern her the most: tax assessments, disability rights, transportation and community integration. “We need someone in Nassau County who is going to advocate for the people,” she said. “Guess what? That’s me.”

Several of Barbara’s supporters came out to advocate for the 39-year-old’s grass roots campaign.

Alexandria Duran, of Freeport, came to support Gina, her “long-time friend.” She said if Gina gets elected, Duran is most looking forward to having the disabled community represented, as a member of it herself. “Our community is really not represented as well as it should be,” she said.

Although Randall Kovar, of Baldwin does not live in the 19th district, he came out to support Barbara. He said if she gets elected he is looking forward to her fair-minded decisions for her constituents. “I think she’ll work well with all the caucus members,” he said.

Kovar said the NICE bus system, as well as other buses, are often untimely. “It’s very annoying,” he said. “I think she’ll do a great job of straightening it out.”

Currently no north-south bus service connects passengers from Sunrise Highway to Hempstead Turnpike from Main Street in Freeport in the west to Hicksville Road in Massapequa in the east, Barbara said. The result is to strand large numbers of taxpayers, whose only options are shuttle buses or taxis.

Barbara said she supports Nassau County Supervisor Laura Curran in her efforts to deliver solutions to the tax assessment debacle. Assessments need to be explained in a better way, Barbara said, and education needs to be provided.

Barbara said that the community’s needs must be addressed. “There’s a lot of politics going on right now,” she said, “and people just need an ordinary person to [represent] them.

“I believe that the people should have a voice,” she added, “and right now, their voice is being totally diminished by party politics and pay-to-play agendas. My agenda is for the people. Period.”

Barbara is currently fundraising for her campaign alongside her supporters. They are also preparing to go door-to-door, obtaining constituent signatures and discovering what the people want to see changed in the county.