The 2020 race for the New York State Senate 2nd District seat will pit two political newcomers against each other. Mike Siderakis, a retired state trooper from Nesconset, has been tapped by Suffolk County Democrats to run for the vacant seat previously held by former Minority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport). Republicans have chosen Mario Mattera, a St. James resident, local union official and Suffolk County Water Authority board member.
Republicans aim to keep control of a district they’ve had for the last 16 years, while Democrats see a real opportunity to retake the seat and further expand their majority in the state Senate.
Democratic candidate Mike Siderakis believes he is the right man for the job.
“We need someone that will be able to fight for the people of Senate District 2, I believe I am the right candidate,” he said. “I want to continue to serve the community and protect suburban interest [in the district].”
Siderakis said his time spent in Albany meeting elected officials as vice president and legislative director of the Police Benevolent Association of the New York State Troopers inspired him to run for office.
“I saw the job, and I thought some of these politicians didn’t have the best interests in mind for their constituents,” he said. “I knew I could do a better job than them. I care about this community.”
Siderakis said one of his main concerns is dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on the state and on local businesses.
“We’re going to have to make some tough decisions on future state and local budgets,” the Democratic candidate said. “We’re going to figure out how we are going to raise revenues.”
Assisting local businesses and attracting jobs to the area is another priority.
“Small businesses play a big part in keeping people in the district,” Siderakis said. “They have faced hardships during this pandemic, some have been forced to close down. We have to support them.”
The Nesconset resident added that he wants to attract industries and other businesses to Long Island to make sure the district is not losing young professionals by providing better-paying jobs as well as affordable housing.
“We need someone that will be able to fight for the people of Senate District 2, I believe I am the right candidate.”
— Mike Siderakis
“I’ve lived in the area for the past 25 years, my daughter also lives on the Island — it’s expensive to live here,” Siderakis said. “I want to make this a great place for people to raise their families and for future generations.”
The Democratic candidate said he also wants to address rising property taxes. He hopes with the influx of new businesses and highly skilled workers they would be able to increase the tax base.
Other issues include continuing to support doctors, nurses and other essential workers. Also, making sure all individuals have access to health care and that frontline workers have the proper equipment and medical coverage to fight coronavirus. Siderakis wants to ensure students and teachers are in a safe environment when schools reopen.
The Democratic challenger said he is someone who can work on both sides of the aisle to get things done for the 2nd District.
“Partisanship is dividing us, there is a need for compromise,” he said. “If we listen to each other and come to a common ground we can get better results. [The district] needs someone who on day one can advocate for the people of SD2 and I feel I can do that.”