Former Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills) said he knew his neighbors best and his confidence was backed up when the ballots were counted Tuesday night.
Special Election Results
Steve Stern (D) 5,748
Janet Smitelli (R) 3,949
Stern became the first Democrat elected to represent the 10th Assembly District in New York State Assembly in more than 30 years by defeating Republican candidate Janet Smitelli, 5,748 to 3,969 votes, in the April 24 special election.
“I look forward to being a strong voice for Long Island,” he said “That’s exactly what’s needed in New York State Assembly.”
Stern received approximately 59 percent of the ballots cast, according to the unofficial results posted by Suffolk County Board of Elections. He ran on the Democrat, Working Families, Independence, Women’s Equality and Reform lines.
The newly elected assemblyman called it a “historic win” indicative of the larger political dialogue happening across the country.
“So many people in our community believe that the federal government is going in a dangerous direction,” Stern said. “If Washington is not going to address the issues and what’s going on, we have a responsibility to do it up in Albany.”
“If Washington is not going to address the issues and what’s going on, we have a responsibility to do it up in Albany.”
– Steve Stern
Stern will be sworn in April 30 to take over the seat vacated by Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R). The new state assemblyman thanked his campaign volunteers and said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) had called to offer his congratulations.
The state’s 10th Assembly District has been represented by Republicans since the early 1980s. The longest-serving assemblyman was Huntington Station resident Jim Conte (R) who held the office from 1988 until his death in October 2012. Lupinacci, who worked for Conte, then won the seat in a 2012 special election.
“I’d like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to my opponent Steve Stern upon his victory,” Smitelli posted April 24 on Facebook. “During this campaign we discussed the issues and got the community engaged. I wish him the best of luck.”
She could not be reached immediately for further comment.
Stern previously said if elected he intended to continue local efforts but on a much larger scale, such as combating gang activity, which he has done by helping to get county funding for automatic license plate readers that target criminals. He’s also passionate about protecting the environment and the area’s water quality, having co-sponsored legislation identifying key areas of importance when it comes to developing sewer infrastructure. Stern said this legislation plays a key to downtown revitalization of Huntington Station. He said he’s a strong supporter of term limits and bipartisanship.
His first action upon being elected, in keeping with a personal tradition started during his days in county Legislature, Stern said, was driving around town starting to pull up his campaign signs.