Congressman Peter King’s GOP Heir Apparent?

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Andrew Garbarino
Mike LiPetri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Representative Peter King was first elected to the House of Representatives back in 1992, he ensured it would remain in Republican hands all the way through last year’s announcement that he was retiring from Congress after wrapping up his 14th term. His seat in New York’s 2nd congressional district stretches in the west from Levittown and wends east through North Wantagh, Seaford, South Farmingdale and Massapequa right into a number of Suffolk County communities including Amityville, Copiague, Lindenhurst, Brentwood, Babylon, Oakdale and Ronkonkoma. In the upcoming Republican primary, Sayville resident Andrew Garbarino, who was tapped to run by Long Island Republican leaders, is squaring off against Massapequa’s Mike LiPetri. Garbarino has been a four-term assemblyman since 2013. LiPetri is a fellow legislator coming off of serving his first term. New York State’s primary election will be held on June 23.

Andrew Garbarino
Garbarino is a third-generation local businessman who works at his family law firm in downtown Sayville. During his four terms in the Assembly, he has taken on several positions of leadership. He is the Ranking Minority Member of the Committee on Insurance and also sits on the Codes, Health, Higher Education, and Racing and Wagering Committees. Garbarino has also been heavily involved in the work of the National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), where he is a member of the executive committee.
Q: Why are you running?
AG: At first, I asked myself why I wanted to leave. I have a safe seat, am doing what I want to do and I’m helping people. Then Congressman Lee Zeldin called and asked what I was thinking and I said that I wanted to run but I didn’t know if it was the right move. He said when he ran in 2014, he was in a safe seat, doing good things and helping people. But he said now he’s helping people and doing good things down here [in Washington DC]. He said you can do good in more than one place. But down here, you can do it on a much bigger level and get involved in a much bigger way. It’s about making people’s lives better and being able to do it now on a bigger scale down in DC.
Q: What are some major planks in your platform?
AG: Bringing the focus back to infrastructure spending. I know President Trump talked about doing a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill and he had agreements with Democrats. Bringing money home and doing this work is going to make somebody’s life better. The SALT deduction—getting that back is going to be tough. But this is where negotiation comes in. As an attorney and a legislator—New York and Long Island needs this. It’s only going to come through negotiation. Bringing back money to protect the Great South Bay is also another
big plank.
Q: How has your time as an assemblyman prepared you for this Congressional seat?
AG: It’s about knowing the issues and being in the legislature. You need to be able to read legislation, how it affects people and think outside of the box. It’s also about having the experience of not only working with your party, but across the aisle. People get sick of partisanship a lot. People want results. At the end of the day, if I wasn’t prepared and ready to do this job, there is no way in hell Congressman King would have been supporting me for this seat.
Mike LiPetri
LiPetri is a Massapequa resident, attorney and first-term legislator. He has fought to hold criminals accountable and root out and prevent public corruption in state government. LiPetri has also been an advocate for reduced state spending, small business growth and the elimination of regulations that hamper statewide economic development. He has taken steps to provide additional resources to help curtail the proliferation of heroin and other opioids in communities across the state and has been fighting hard to preserve water quality so Long Island can be a sustainable community for future generations.
Q: Why are you running?
MLP: I’m running to make sure the people have a voice on behalf of Long Islanders. Not anybody who is going to do something because of political pressure. I want to have it where we can count on a voice to represent us and to vote on bills that are going to ultimately help Long Island. For me, what I’ve done as a state legislator, action speaks louder than words. Where I come from as a self-made guy, I believe that’s what the people are looking for more than ever. Not where it’s nepotism or about who you know. It’s about who the best person is for the role.
Q: What are some of the major issues facing your potential constituents?
MLP: In this day and age, it’s a post-COVID-19 economic rebirth. We had a 16 percent unemployment rate across Long Island in April and we need to immediately change that and get people back to work and businesses back up and running. What I want to do is draft legislation providing for all administrative agencies to waive any federal regulation that imposes an economic burden on American businesses, charities, educational institutions and other employers. I’m looking to expedite the economic recovery. I want to create a means where we can reduce costs, assist in the recovery and increase private sector employment and job opportunities.
Q: How has your time as an assemblyman prepared you for this Congressional seat?
MLP: I’ve been a leading voice in New York State on behalf of Republican values, principles and issues. Whether it’s providing funding for mental health services for veterans, speaking up against driver’s licenses for people who are here illegally, cash bail elimination or the call to eliminate ICE. In addition, I spearheaded a statewide water quality task force that allowed us to develop proactive solutions and created a report that I’m now handing over to State Democrats for them to implement so people can have clean drinking water for decades to come.

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