Smith said more needs to be done to connect the district’s distinct communities, including parts of affluent Garden City and lower-income areas like Hempstead, via common initiatives for small businesses and veterans. “We should want to bring it together as one,” Smith said. “We need to bring them on the same level.” He said he supports redevelopment efforts for Hempstead that go beyond strip malls and supports public ownership of the Freeport Armory, whose status has long been in dispute. Smith said he would be a visible presence in the district, something he said his opponent, who has been in office for nearly 30 years, has not. “I’m not a political person. I’m a person who cares for the people,” Smith said.
Smith, 47, of Lakeview, who is on the Republican, Conservative and Reform party lines, is a business banking specialist at Astoria Bank. He is a graduate of Malverne High School and has attended Nassau Community College and Empire State College in Old Westbury. Smith, who lost a bid for this seat in 2014 — and has also run for Malverne school board and Nassau County Legislature — is a co-founder of NAU Global Inc., a nonprofit teaching kids about banking and finance. He is married with four children.