A Huntington attorney with a history of public service has stepped forward to become the Democratic Party’s next challenger for the state’s 12th Assembly District.
Centerport resident Avrum Rosen has become the Suffolk County Democratic Committee’s candidate to face off against incumbent Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R- East Northport).
“I had been thinking about running again as we’re in pretty upsetting times, I don’t think we can be complacent anymore,” Rosen said. “I don’t think any Republican candidate who takes the positions Raia takes should go unchallenged.”
“I don’t think any Republican candidate who takes the positions Raia takes should go unchallenged.”
— Avrum Rosen
A panel of four judges in New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Brooklyn ruled Aug. 22 that Northport resident Michael Marcantonio, 31, Raia’s original challenger, did not meet the state’s minimum five-year residency requirements after casting his 2014 ballot at Duke University in North Carolina while enrolled as a law student.
As such, Rosen said he decided to contact the Democratic Party about running for the position. He previously unsuccessfully ran for a state political office once before in 1996 in the 10th Assembly District against the late Jim Conte.
“I was a complete novice at the time,” Rosen said. “With no funds and a lot less experience than I have now, I ran a very competitive race.”
Rosen currently runs a Huntington-based law firm, specializing in bankruptcy claims in addition to handling commercial and residential real estate cases. He received his law degree from Hofstra University.
“I went into bankruptcy work as it’s not that different from social work,” he said. “I call it economic social work to fix things in businesses and in people’s lives.”
The Democratic challenger served on the Town of Huntington’s planning board for nine years starting in 2002, where he said he’s fought for changes to put more restrictions on business operations like 7-Elevens — including opposing the 7-Eleven built in Centerport.
“… I think there are some solutions no one had talked about, including the municipalities’ rights to levy carbon taxes that might get LIPA to modernize the Northport plant.”
— Avrum Rosen
Two other key issues Rosen hopes to be able to address are state gun laws in the wake of school shootings such as Parkland, Florida, and Long Island Power Authority’s tax certiorari case to get the Northport Power Station reassessed.
“I’m a kind of think outside the box type of guy,” he said. “I’ve been doing my homework and I think there are some solutions no one had talked about, including the municipalities’ rights to levy carbon taxes that might get LIPA to modernize the Northport plant.”
Admittedly, Rosen said he had “a lot of work to do” and there’s still a chance he may not wind up on the Nov. 6 ballot. Marcantonio will be pleading his case before the judges in the state Court of Appeals Aug. 29, and if they do, he hopes to have the Appellate Division’s decision overturned to get his name back on the ticket.
“We feel confident they will hear our case given the importance of the issues at [hand] right now,” Marcantonio said Tuesday afternoon. “We need to raise the issue of student voting as they are prohibiting a common practice among New York students who participate in life of their college communities, and are preventing them from being able to run for office.”
Raia also confirmed there is an appeal filed against the Appellate judge’s decision that allowed the Suffolk Democrats to designate Rosen as the party’s new candidate. If overturned, he said the petitions could be found invalid and Rosen could also be ineligible to run.
The results of the court proceedings were not available by the publication’s press time.