Stating he was “uniquely qualified,” Southampton Town Councilman and North Haven resident Tommy John Schiavoni announced Friday, November 15, he will run for the New York state senate seat currently held by Ken LaValle.
Schiavoni is a former member of the North Haven Village Board, Sag Harbor School Board, and is a retired teacher.
“Over one-third of the state budget is spent on education,” Schiavoni pointed out. “As a teacher for 30 years in Center Moriches, I can bring new energy and a new vision to Albany.”
A Democrat, Schiavoni, was easily elected to the Southampton Town board in 2017, and will retain that seat should he lose in his bid for senate.
LaValle, a moderate Republican, is 80 and has held his seat since 1976. He did not immediately return calls for comment.
“I don’t plan on attacking him. I don’t believe in contentious elections,” Schiavoni said. “A lot of enabling legislation needs to happen in Albany.”
Schiavoni spent his entire life in the district, and is now raising his family there. He hopes to take this native knowledge to the state capital to address the environmental, economic, and public-health issues unique to the communities of eastern Suffolk County.
“The environment is precious and intertwined with the day-to-day lives of all of us here. Our health, small businesses, land values, and peace of mind depend on clean water, tended green spaces and beaches, and a comprehensive approach to eliminating tick-borne illnesses,” Schiavoni said. “We need to reallocate funds for the Clean Water Infrastructure Act while helping municipalities keep taxes low and housing affordable.”
Schiavoni began working in his family’s heating and plumbing business at age 12, and continued in the trade through high school, college, and summers when he began teaching.
“At the top of the list of things to do legislatively is to enable the establishment of local sewer districts for the health of our residents and waterways,” Schiavoni said. “Also, as a retired educator, I’ll be able to examine the funding of public schools, which represents more than 30 percent of the state’s total budget and significant portions of local taxes.”
Schiavoni launched his candidacy for state senate with a website and public relations video, viewable at www.tommyjohnfornewyork.com.