LONG ISLAND, NY — This November, Long Island residents will be hitting the polls to exercise their right to vote. While voters will be electing the president this Election Day, they will also be choosing their local representatives. In New York, state and federal races will also be on the ballot.
Democrat Fred Ianacci, 65, of Ronkonkoma is running for New York's 5th Assembly District. The seat is currently occupied by Republican Doug Smith, who is running for re-election.
The district covers Holbrook, Holtsville, Ronkonkoma, Lake Ronkonkoma, Lake Grove, Centereach, Selden, Farmingville, as well as parts of North Patchogue, Islandia, and Stony Brook.
He has worked in the construction industry for 45 years as a project manager and purchaser, among other roles.
In anticipation of the election, Patch asked candidates in the contested races to answer questions about their campaigns and will be publishing candidate profiles as Election Day draws near.
Check out the full Q&A below:
Why are you seeking elective office?
I ran for Brookhaven Town Council in 2017 because the block I live on hasn't been paved in thirty plus years. I ran alongside my campaign Manager Anthony Portesy who was running for Highway Superintendent because I wanted to make sure that we had a paving budget that was equally distributed throughout the town's six council districts. For too long, council district 3 was ignored by the Highway Department. I didn't win back in 2017, but I realized a lot of the budget concerns require Albany to allocate resources to tackle the issues we face with our local towns on Long Island. I also care deeply about the environmental impact of our energy consumption on our Island. We need to actively seek renewable resources like wind and solar to ensure that global warming does not erode the beachline we have all come to know and love here on Long Island. I care about creating good jobs on Long Island. It seems like every block in Brookhaven has a bank, a pizzeria, a CVS, and a McDonalds. These jobs are not the jobs that allow middle class families to buy homes, raise families, and pursue their American Dream. This is an issue near and dear to my heart because my daughter left Long Island because she couldn't afford to live here. What do all of these issues have in common? Albany controls the purse strings to make these things happen. We can create a vibrant alternative energy future on Long Island and create the good paying jobs that come with it. It will require Albany to look past the revenue generation of yesterday and create the optimism of tomorrow by reallocating budget resources to fix the issues on Long Island. It will require electing people who can convince those who have been in Albany for decades that the time to rebuild Brookhaven and the rest of Long Island's townships is today, not tomorrow. We will face tough budget decisions in 2021 and we will need strong suburban voices to fight the NYC juggernaut that sucks up all the revenue for our roads, our energy grid, and our future.
The single most pressing issue facing our nation/state/community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Climate change, crumbling infrastructure, taxes, etc.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)?
Assemblyman Smith Voted Against Long Island Working Families: Smith ignored the tremendous suffering of Long Islanders with his heartless radical votes: Smith voted against Mail-in-Ballots during Covid-19 for New Yorkers (Voted NAY-S8015) Smith voted against a NYS Mortgage Foreclosure moratorium during COVID-19 (Voted NAY-S8428) Smith voted against a freeze on evictions for New Yorkers who lost their jobs during COVID-19 (Voted NAY-S8192). Smith voted against payment plans for New Yorkers unable to pay traffic during financial hardships. (Voted NAY-A7463). Doug Smith and his fellow State GOP turned their backs on New York, when millions of Americans lost their jobs.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I am a Skilled Project Manager / Construction Manager / Production Operations Manager / Estimator / Field Supervisor / Outsourcing Manager Construction with over 40 years in my industry. I handled multi million dollar buyout agreements, weekly. I absolutely can handle this job.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
Never stop learning and growing as a person. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I also care deeply about the environmental impact of our energy consumption on our Island. We need to actively seek renewable resources like wind and solar to ensure that global warming does not erode the beachline we have all come to know and love here on Long Island. Climate change is the greatest threat to Long Island now.