03/08/11 8:00pm
03/08/2011 8:00 PM

Congressman Tim Bishop’s office, which had been located on Route 112 in Coram since he was elected eight years ago, was moved to Patchogue last weekend.

Bishop aide Jon Schneider said the office was moved primarily due to logistics, but also because of some maintenance issues.

“When a ceiling tile falls on the congressman’s chair, shall we say, it’s a sign from above?” Mr. Schneider said. “We loved the location. Coram is right in the heart of our district, but Patchogue is too and we’re excited about the new location.”

While the new space for Mr. Bishop’s staff of seven people isn’t much bigger than the former location, one positive difference is its proximity to a train station, Mr. Schneider said.

An open house will be held at Mr. Bishop’s new office, located at 31 Oak St., later this month.

The new phone number is 631-289-6500.

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02/13/11 1:40pm
02/13/2011 1:40 PM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Congressman Tim Bishop was one of 11 Suffolk County elected officials in attendance at Saturday's Legislative Breakfast at Longwood High School.

Suffolk school officials got their first shot this weekend at publicly lobbying local lawmakers to fight Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state aid cuts.

Education advocates, including superintendents from 25 school districts, attended Saturday’s annual Longwood Legislative Breakfast at Longwood Middle School, where they urged 11 elected officials to help ensure Long Island doesn’t bear the brunt of the governor’s proposed cuts.

Gary Bixhorn, chief operating officer of Eastern Suffolk BOCES, said Nassau and Suffolk counties’ schools are hit with disproportionate cuts under Mr. Cuomo’s proposed state budget. Mr. Cuomo has pitched cutting aid to Long Island schools by an average of 9 percent, compared to the 7.3 percent cut to the rest of the state, Mr. Bixhorn noted. Those cuts would come on top of a system that has seen local schools shortchanged for years, he said, noting Long Island schools enroll about 17 percent of all students in the state, but receive just 12 percent of school aid from Albany.

Under current formulas, Foundation Aid — which accounts for the vast majority of state aid to public school districts — every Long Island student gets about $3,300, versus $4,800 for students in the rest of the state – a 31 percent difference.

“This impact will be real and at least must be made fair across the state,” said Jim Kaden, president of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association.

Newly elected state Senator Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) called on elected and school officials to join forces in demanding equitable aid share for Long Island’s students. “I don’t understand why Long Island is paying a share that’s so significantly higher,” Mr. Zeldin said. “What the governor’s done is not fair to Long Island. That’s why we really need to stand and fight.”

Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney said she’s confident the legislators will work to secure a fair share of state aid for Suffolk schools.

“I do think there’s going to be some compromise and I’m hopeful that we will get some of our state aid restored,” she said.

She said the proposed $2.9 million cut in state aid for her district is a tough blow, as the district is also facing increases in the Teacher Retirement System and Employee Retirement System, while no longer receiving stimulus funds given in previous years.

“What’s really challenging for us is that everything is coming at one time,” she said. The expenditure increases and state aid cuts “make for an enormously challenging budget year.”

Superintendent Harriet Copel of the Shoreham-Wading River School District told a reporter after the breakfast that proposed aid cuts perpetuate the inequitable school aid formula. And that’s leaving administrators with tough choices.

“We have very, very hard decisions to make about programs that are near and dear to our hearts,” Dr. Copel said.

Elected officials also said relief from unfunded state mandates is a necessary component to freeing up cash and providing programs and services for students. Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) said those sentiments are on the radar of elected leaders in the federal government.

“All of us believe mandate relief is absolutely critical,” he said.

State Assemblyman Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham) said reform is also needed for the pension system, as teacher pension contributions are eroding school budgets. “We’ve created a monster that’s fed upon our pension system,” he said of the system that’s evolved to fund and disperse pensions to retired education officials.

Despite the promises and strong words, Mr. Zeldin did not sugar-coat that there will be financial hardships coming school districts’ way.

“It’s another year that you have to tighten your belts,” Mr. Zelden told the school officials and the rest of the crowd of about 250. “We’re going to do our best to improve the governor’s budget proposal, but you have to be prepared for the worst.”

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12/01/10 2:40pm
12/01/2010 2:40 PM

Randy Altschuler

With Republican Dan Losquadro declared the winner in the state’s 1st Assembly District race, the prolonged battle between Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop and his Republican challenger, businessman Randy Altschuler, remains the only undecided race in the region. And the last undecided congressional race in the country.

At last report Thursday, Mr. Bishop was leading Mr. Altschuler by 259 votes.

The race will likely be decided by a state Supreme Court judge who arrived at the Board of Elections in Yaphank about 3 p.m. Wednesday to start making calls on contested absentee ballots sent to the district by mail.

Some 71 military ballots, which had to be in officials’ hands by Nov. 24, were counted Tuesday, which narrowed Mr. Bishop’s lead over Mr. Altschuler’s by 20 votes. The candidates’ camps then agreed to concede a total of 418 previously contested absentee ballots — 209 each — and that ended up adding 32 votes to Mr. Bishop’s lead, according to the incumbent’s spokesman, Jon Schneider. Mr. Bishop then picked up an additional 12 votes after the judge made his first ruling Wednesday, allowing 161 paper ballots that for various reasons weren’t scanned on Election Day to count in the race.

Both sides have had a roller coaster ride since election night, when preliminary tallies had Mr. Bishop up by about 3,500 votes. Then a re-canvassing of the optical voting machines, used for the first time in a Suffolk County general election, put him behind his challenger by 383 votes. But Mr. Altschuler watched that lead vanish after the week-long process of counting some 11,500 absentee and affidavit ballots wrapped up last Tuesday, leaving Mr. Bishop up by 235.
Both camps agreed Thursday to allow an additional 52 ballots be counted, 29 that were being contested by Mr. Bishop and 23 by Mr. Altschuler.
Of the 1,473 still-contested ballots that were awaiting the judge’s review, 1,123 were being challenged by the Republican side and 510 by the Democrats.

A required audit of 3 percent of voting machines has revealed no problems with the equipment, officials said.

And while Mr. Bishop appeared ready to declare victory, the rival camp’s suspicions of voter fraud have prompted Republicans to stay and fight — leaving the outcome up to the judge and the court system.

Rob Ryan, Mr. Altschuler’s campaign spokesman, said the courts have subpoena power to require that a voter prove his or her residency in the district, something Board of Elections commissioners can’t do.

Mr. Ryan estimated Mr. Bishop’s lead to actually be closer to 150 votes, considering the Democrats have challenged the votes of some 94 Republican poll inspectors who voted outside the district.

“We should get them back,” Mr. Ryan said of those votes, adding that he expected to see “a lot of contested ballots” end up in the hands of the judge.
He said that, above all, Mr. Altschuler wants to be sure that only the votes of people who can legally vote in the district are counted.

“The Bishop campaign put out their stuff yesterday saying they wanting to close things down,” Mr. Ryan said. “But two short weeks ago [when Mr. Bishop appeared down], they were calling for a hand recount of every single ballot. And now for some reason they don’t want to wait until this residency issue is dealt with, and the possibility of widespread fraud.”

Potential voter fraud was outlined by FoxNews.com writer Eric Shawn in a report earlier this week. According to the FoxNews story, 48 of the 438 absentee ballot voters “reviewed” by the Fox News Voter Fraud Unit were cast via absentee ballot in Suffolk by people who “are also listed as ‘active’ voters on the New York City rolls. Being registered in two separate jurisdictions is illegal and is a felony in New York State.

“In addition, our investigation reveals that one absentee ballot was apparently submitted in the name of a Democratic voter enrolled in Suffolk County, while election records at the Board of Elections in New York City show that the same voter voted, on Election Day, in Manhattan.”

The story did not name the voter in question. Mr. Altschuler’s campaign circulated the FoxNews report by e-mail Tuesday.

Mr. Bishop’s spokesman called the fraud allegations “nonsense.”

“We’re not saying Altschuler should concede,” he said. “We’re just saying let’s open the ballots and count the votes,” Mr. Schneider said. “And this FoxNews thing is nonsense. Great, you found one guy who voted twice, but let’s move on. Show me two, show me 10, show me 50 who voted twice.”
He said that no votes had been counted on Thursday, and that the judge wouldn’t be back to the Board of Elections until Wednesday, “so there goes another week.”

“I’m sure there’s not going to be any movement unless they start dropping [contested] ballots,” he added. “We want to all get on with our lives. I’m not worried about the outcome of this election; I’m worried that I’m going to be here on Christmas.”

Mr. Bishop, of Southampton, is seeking his fifth two-year term in office. No 1st District congressman since Otis Pike of Riverhead, a Democrat, has served more than four terms. Mr. Pike served nine terms before retiring in 1978.

As for the state Assembly race, which dragged on exactly three weeks after Election Day Nov. 2, Democrat Marc Alessi conceded to Mr. Losquadro last Wednesday after it appeared he could not make up the more than 800 votes by which he trailed. Both men are residents of Shoreham.

“It has been an absolute privilege to serve the residents of the First Assembly District over the past five years,” Mr. Alessi said in a statement sent just after 4 p.m. last Wednesday. “I’ve taken the state’s problems home with me, internalized them and tried to help — both on the large scale and individually — one constituent at a time.”

In his statement, Mr. Alessi blamed Albany dysfunction for his loss and touted his record in office.

“For five years, I worked tirelessly for the hardworking families of Suffolk and kept my pledges to the people who elected me. I will forever be proud of that,” he said. “While I accomplished much of what I set out to do for Suffolk, there is still more work to be done.”
The attorney said he would focus on his family, as his wife, Gretchen, is expecting the couple’s third child in January.

The two candidates were separated by just 40 votes on election night but Mr. Losquadro increased his lead after election night results were verified and corrected and also during the absentee ballot count.

Mr. Losquadro’s win sets up a special election to finish out the final year of his term in the county Legislature, where he serves as minority leader. Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner has been reported as a possible Republican/Conservative nominee to replace Mr. Losquadro, whom she served four years as a legislative aide before seeking her first public office in 2007.

A source in the Democratic Party did not rule out the possibility of Mr. Alessi pursuing the county seat.

The third local race this year was not a close one, with longtime incumbent Republican state Senator Kenneth LaValle of Port Jefferson trouncing Democratic challenger Jennifer Maertz of Rocky Point, taking 67 percent of the vote.

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11/19/10 4:46pm
11/19/2010 4:46 PM

Randy Altschuler and Congressman Tim Bishop

Democratic Congressman Tim Bishop has taken an even larger lead — by 206 votes — over his Republican challenger Randy Altschuler as absentee ballots continue to be counted, a spokesman for Mr. Bishop said Monday evening.

Mr. Altschuler had led by 383 votes after Election Day, but Mr. Bishop went ahead by 15 votes on Friday afternoon. In all about 11,500 absentee ballots were cast in New York’s 1st Congressional District race.

As of the close of the work day Monday, counting had wrapped up in Smithtown, Southold, East Hampton, Southampton, Riverhead and Shelter Island, and 169 election districts in Brookhaven, leaving ballots from 125 districts.  In total, 9,200 ballots have been reviewed, leaving 1,912 ballots remaining, said Mr. Bishop’s spokesman, Jon Schneider.

Mr. Schneider also pointed out that the Republican side has been much more aggressive in challenging ballots — 95 percent of which, according to Mr. Schneider, typically do not get overturned. As of the close of day Friday Mr. Altschuler’s camp had challenged 337 more votes than did Mr. Bishop’s, Mr. Schneider said in a statement.

But Rob Ryan, Mr. Altschuler’s campaign spokesman, has repeatedly taken exception to that assessment.

“The challenges made by the Altschuler campaign are made on residency requirements as outlined by state law; we expect them to hold up,” he said Saturday. “Bishop, on the other hand has challenged the ballots of active duty military personnel and Election Inspectors who were working on Election  Day in other areas of the county and were unable to cast their vote by machine..They are trying to disenfranchise legitimate voters and that’s wrong.”

The counting of absentee and affidavit ballots began on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

County Board of Election officials will not provide figures until the count is complete.

Neither the Republican or Democratic side seemed to expect military ballots, which have until Nov. 24 to arrive by mail, to affect the election’s outcome. “There’s no major military installations in the district,” Mr. Ryan said. “I don’t think it’s going to be a comparatively huge number [of ballots].”

He did say that military ballots typically lean Republican.

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11/10/10 12:25am
11/10/2010 12:25 AM

With a new paper ballot system in place for its first general election, the Suffolk County Board of Elections knew it was in for a trying Election Day this year.
The troubles started early, with some residents having difficulty figuring out the new way to cast their votes. And the problems ended late, with many election districts not reporting final results until after midnight.
But nobody expected things to be this out of whack.
More than a week later, a winner has yet to be determined in a pair of local races that have seen major vote swings during the vote-counting process.
On election night, Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) went to sleep with a lead of nearly 3,500 votes. By Friday, after the memory cards in each of the voting machines had been double-checked, he learned that he trailed Republican challenger Randy Altschuler of St. James by about 400 votes.
Assembly candidate Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham) left headquarters with only a 40 vote lead last Tuesday over incumbent Democrat Marc Alessi. When contacted Saturday, he said he now led by nearly 900 votes.
How could that be?
“If you know the process, you know how it can happen,” said Wayne Rogers, Republican commissioner for the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
That’s because human error can enter into the equation on election night. Results are phoned in by poll workers who read them off a tally sheet before entering them onto a worksheet. The person on the other end of the phone then keys the numbers into a computer and publishes them online.
With a new system in place, it is widely believed that workers had a more difficult time reading the tally sheet this year. And if that was the case, it wasn’t just a handful of workers having difficulty.
“The information we’ve received shows different numbers now than on election night in 38 percent of election districts,” said Bishop spokesperson Jon Schneider. “It’s not like there are only 10 election districts that wildly shifted.”
In the Assembly race, Mr. Losquadro said he picked up votes in several districts that had Mr. Alessi ahead by a wide margin.
“I knew my numbers were going to move,” he said. “When you see some election districts that had 92 percent or 86 percent for Alessi, you figure you’ll gain some votes there. I didn’t see any anomalies like that where I was leading big.”
The dramatic shift now has local Democrats, who have lost nearly 5,000 votes since election day in the two races, calling for a hand recount. Republicans have not expressed support for that, insisting any errors were not the fault of the new machines. Lawsuits were expected to be filed by Democrats early this week demanding the hand recount.
“At this point the only way to be sure of the accuracy of the count is to do a full hand recount of all the ballots,” said Mr. Schneider, who also serves as chairman of the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee. “There is a reason that Suffolk County residents insisted on having a paper backup and these circumstances demand we use it.”
It was a far cry from the tone of the Bishop camp last week, when they all but declared victory.
“The only people who think this race is ‘too close to call’ are on Randy Altschuler’s payroll,” Mr. Schneider said the Wednesday after Election Day. “Tim Bishop is leading by a solid margin, which will only grow as we count absentee ballots.”
Altschuler spokesperson Rob Ryan said the results now show the Altschuler camp had been right all along in its decision to not concede.
“We knew the Bishop team had jumped the gun on claiming victory,” he said.
On Monday, the Board of Elections began its state-mandated audit of 3 percent of all machines, according to Mr. Rogers. Absentee and military ballots won’t even be counted for another week. There are bout 9,500 absentee ballots in play in the congressional race.
Mr. Ryan said he believes a winner will not be declared in the congressional race until the end of the month.
Mr. Rogers, speaking in a Board of Elections building “filled with lawyers,” declined to estimate when the 2010 election finally would be over.
“We have a lot still to do,” he said.
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11/06/10 5:18pm
11/06/2010 5:18 PM

Randy Altschuler

Saturday 10:30 p.m.
In a letter to supporters Saturday, Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) asked for donations to reach a $25,000 goal by Monday to cover legal expenses in his battle to win re-election. He also asked voters who experienced problems casting their ballots to report those issues.
“The integrity of the electoral process is frankly more important than even the result of this election,” he wrote.
He also asked supporters to volunteer their time during the recount process.

Saturday 11 a.m.
A  recount by the Suffolk County Board of Elections now has Congressman Tim Bishop’s Republican challenger Randy Altschuler pulling ahead by about 400 votes in the race for New York’s 1st Congressional District, according to both camps.
After polls closed Tuesday, the BOE listed Mr. Bishop as having nearly a 3,500 vote lead over Mr. Altschuler. However, a recanvassing of the machines show that Mr. Altschuler now has a slight lead.
The results shifted after the Board of Elections finished downloading the electronic results directly from the new electronic voting machines. Previous results could have been altered through human error, as they were reported from individual polling places.
“This happens,” said Altschuler spokesperson Rob Ryan. “Especially with these new machines.”
Mr. Ryan said an official winner may not be declared until the end of the month. Military ballots are not due until Nov. 24.
Bishop spokesperson Jon Schneider said the congressman would like to see a recount by hand.
“At this point the only way to be sure of the accuracy of the count is to do a full hand recount of all the ballots, ” he said in a telephone interview Saturday. “There is a reason that Suffolk County residents insisted on having a paper backup and these circumstances demand we use it.”
It was a far cry from the tone of the Bishop camp Wednesday, when they all but declared victory.
“”The only people who think this race is ‘too close to call’ are on Randy Altschuler’s payroll,” Mr. Schneider said Wednesday. “Tim Bishop is leading by a solid margin, which will only grow as we count absentee ballots.”
Mr. Ryan said the results now show the Altschuler camp was right all along in its decision to not concede.
“We knew the Bishop team had jumped the gun on claiming victory,” he said.
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11/03/10 2:33pm
11/03/2010 2:33 PM

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO Election night featured a lot of waiting around, and still nobody knows the end result in two key local races.

Local residents who stayed up all night Tuesday to find out who will be their next representative in Congress are still waiting for the final word.
The tight race between Congressman Tim Bishop and Republican challenger Randy Altschuler has still not been called, and Mr. Bishop said he’d wait until the absentee ballots were counted to claim victory.
The incumbent Southampton Democrat was leading the St. James businessman by fewer than 3,500 votes in New York’s 1st District race, according to unofficial results from the Suffolk County Board of Elections, but they did not include a reported 9,500 absentee ballots.
Mr. Bishop called it the most heated election of his political career “by far.”
“My first campaign was when I went to unseat an incumbent and to win that by a narrow margin is one thing,” Mr. Bishop said of his two-point win over Felix Grucci in 2002. “But to be an incumbent and hang on by this kind of margin shows you how tightly contested the race was.”
It was so tightly contested, the Altschuler camp was still holding out hope Wednesday that things would break their way.
“The 1st Congressional District race is too close to call,” said campaign  spokesman Rob Ryan in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “Our election lawyer is currently collecting needed information at the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Thousands of absentee ballots are in play and that number is sure to increase over the next few days. We plan to proceed in a judicious fashion until every vote has been actually counted.”
But by late Wednesday afternoon, the Bishop campaign was highly skeptical that absentee ballots could sway the outcome of the race.
“The only people who think this race is ‘too close to call’ are on Randy Altschuler’s payroll,” said Bishop spokesman Jon Schneider. “Tim Bishop is leading by a solid margin, which will only grow as we count absentee ballots. For the record, the AP has called this race for Tim Bishop and the State Republican party asked for ballots to be impounded in a district upstate, but not in the 1st Congressional District.”
If the results hold up, Mr. Bishop would be the first East End congressman elected to five terms in 40 years — Democrat Otis Pike of Riverhead served 18 years in the House before retiring in 1978.
But Mr. Bishop would be serving in the minority this time around. The GOP was expected to have won at least 60 seats in the House, once all the votes are finalized. It needed 39 to take control.
Mr. Altschuler’s defeat at the hands of Mr. Bishop would be one of the few disappointments suffered by Republicans Tuesday.
And it’s not for a lack of trying. Mr. Bishop’s seat, in a district where registered Republicans outnumber any other party’s registration number, was a major focal point for GOP and Conservative leaders for the past two years.
Mr. Altschuler, who spent $3 million of his own money on the long campaign, tried to capitalize on anti-Democratic sentiment nationwide, calling Mr. Bishop a “rubber stamp” for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership — which took a major hit across the country Tuesday.
Knowing what happened elsewhere around the country, Mr. Bishop was somewhat somber following his apparent victory Tuesday.
“It’s hard to be elated when I know many of my fellow public servants have had a tough night,” he said. “What we need to do is dig in and fight back.”

Other races
The local race for Assembly is also still too close to call, with Republican challenger Dan Losquadro leading incumbent Marc Alessi (D-Shoreham) by just 40 votes. Mr. Losquadro believed he would win the race, despite the close results.
“We’re confident that I will win this because we were aggressive with absentee ballots,” he said Tuesday night.
Mr. Alessi told his supporters it was still way too close to call.
“The election isn’t over,” he said. “It’s just beginning.”
Longtime Senator Ken LaValle was the only local candidate able to claim a certain win Tuesday night. He gave his victory speech in his landslide 30-point trouncing of Democratic challenger Jennifer Maertz of Rocky Point three hours before the final votes were even tallied.
“It always feels great to win,” Mr. LaValle said, “but it’s all about getting to the number 32. Winning the majority is critically important to my district, Long Island and the state.”
That balance of power in the Senate was also too close to call Wednesday with Democrats claiming they had held on to their majority early Wednesday morning, but several newspapers were calling close races in favor of the GOP. The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Senate could wind up with a 31-31 split. 
Long Island Senators Brian Foley (D-Blue Point) and Craig Johnson (D-Port Washington) — who both voted in favor of the controversial MTA payroll tax — appeared to have lost their seats Tuesday, but several other races throughout the state were too close to call.

Samantha Brix and Jennifer Gustavson contributed reporting to this story.
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11/02/10 7:57pm
11/02/2010 7:57 PM

Tim Bishop

A look at the local candidates in today’s election:


Tim Bishop

Tim Bishop, 60, (D-Southampton) is a lifelong Southampton resident who came to Congress after serving in the administration of Southampton College for 29 years, many of them as provost. He started at the school as an admissions counselor and retired in 2002.

Mr. Bishop says his priorities include focusing on job creation; protecting middle-class families and seniors; controlling spending; strengthening education; and protecting benefits for veterans. He supports legislation to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by creating alternative energy jobs. He has pledged to work to secure the United States from terrorism; to safeguard the environment; and to work toward getting Long Island its fair share of federal aid.

Mr. Bishop favors elimination of the Alternative Minimum Tax; and supports expanding the Child Tax Credit and raising the maximum income limit for the 10 percent tax bracket to increase the number of people eligible to pay the lowest percentage of their personal income in federal taxes. He has promoted legislation to protect Long Island Sound and Long Island shorelines and beaches. He is pro-choice on the abortion issue and opposed the war in Iraq.

Like many  Democrats around the country, Mr. Bishop is charging that a lot of the money flowing to Republican and Tea Party candidates comes from foreign sources and is being contributed illegally.

Randy Altschuler

Randy Altschuler, 39, (R,C- St. James), grew up in New York City and moved to St. James in 2007. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who holds an MBA from Harvard. He was co-founder and CEO of CloudBlue, an electronics recycling company, and OfficeTiger, a company that supplies back room office staff for major corporations.

He remains executive chairman of CloudBlue but has suspended any active involvement with the company during the campaign, his spokesman Rob Ryan said.

Mr. Altschuler reportedly wanted to run for Congress in New Jersey, where he previously lived, but he never made the race.

He denies that he has outsourced jobs to other countries and said he instead has created more than 700 jobs for Americans.

Mr. Altschuler favors lowering taxes and reducing spending. He pledges to lower corporate taxes; support a fence on the U.S. southern border to improve security; repeal the health care bill; issue tax credits to students attending non-public and charter schools; support domestic energy production, including oil drilling, coal mining and natural gas extraction; and invest in creating alternative energy sources.

Mr. Ryan said Mr. Altschuler not only favors retaining the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 but would also favor cutting taxes further to give small businesses and individuals more money to invest.

Mr. Altschuler is pro-life on the abortion issue.


Kenneth P. LaValle

State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, 71, has served in his current position since 1976. He is the Republican, Conservative and Independence party candidate.

Mr. LaValle is widely credited for his work as a former executive director of the Senate Education Committee and as chair of the state senate’s Higher Education Committee to improve education. Locally he is respected for his authorship of the 1993 Pine Barrens Preservation Act. He has also helped to establish numerous health care programs throughout the First Senate District.

Mr. LaValle was also one of the architects of the state’s STAR school property tax relief program.

Mr. LaValle, a graduate of Hempstead High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University in 1961 and received a master’s degree in education from SUNY New Paltz in 1964. He received his juris doctorate from the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 1987. He was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 1993 and is a practicing attorney.

Mr. LaValle lives in Port Jefferson with his wife, Penny, and is the father of two grown children.

Jennifer Maertz

Jennifer Maertz, 34, currently serves as the vice chair of the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee. Ms. Maertz, a litigating attorney for the GEICO insurance company, was chosen by Democrats to face off against Mr. LaValle after former Democratic and Working Families Party candidate Regina Calcaterra was forced to drop out of the race because she had registered to vote in Pennsylvania for part of the last five years.

Ms. Maertz had sought the Democratic nomination for Brookhaven Town Board last year but was not chosen by party leaders. She had been working for Ms. Calcaterra’s campaign when the former candidate’s run was ruled invalid.

Ms. Maertz, who lives in Rocky Point, is a graduate of St. John’s University and Touro Law School and received an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. She has also served on the Rocky Point Civic Association, North Shore Youth Council and Brookhaven Business and Community Alliance.

She supports state budget reform, property tax relief and better jobs for Long Island communities. She often distinguishes herself as supporting marriage equality. Mr. LaValle voted against gay marriage.


Marc Alessi

Assemblyman Marc Alessi, 34, of Shoreham, has been in office for five years, having won a special election to fill the remainder of Pat Acampora’s term in 2005, and then being re-elected twice. He is on the ballot on the Democrat, Independence and Working Families lines.

An attorney, Mr. Alessi says he has been instrumental in bringing reform to LIPA’s management and in passing legislation requiring state review of health insurance rate increases. He says he opposed the MTA payroll tax and was instrumental in getting train service restored and improved on the North Fork. Mr. Alessi now is working on legislation designed to keep high tech industry within New York State, where many patents are developed but not implemented.

Before his election to the Assembly, Mr. Alessi was the downstate director of intergovernmental affairs for the state comptroller, where he says he helped uncover corruption in school districts like Roslyn and William Floyd.

Mr. Alessi has a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany and completed his law degree at Touro Law School, where he studied health care law.

He and his wife, Gretchen have a son and daughter.

Dan Losquadro

Dan Losquadro, 38, also of Shoreham has represented the Suffolk County Legislature’s sixth district for the past seven years and has been the leader of the Legislature’s Republican minority since 2006. He is on the ballot on the Republican, Conservative, Green Party and School Tax Relief lines.

Before his election to the Legislature, Mr. Losquadro was a claims adjuster and fraud investigator for State Farm Insurance, investigating such incidents as arson, auto thefts and staged accidents.

He says he wants to run for Assembly because New York has “high taxes, a lack of good jobs and a terrible business environment” and he feels the Democratic majority in both the Assembly and the state Senate primarily represent the interests of New York City interests, and Long Island interests need to be better represented.

Mr. Losquadro grew up in Wading River, graduated from Shoreham-Wading River schools and graduated from SUNY/Stony Brook with a bachelor’s degree in history. He and his wife, Lynn, a teacher, have a son and a daughter.