Education is a big issue the state government must tackle next year, said McDonough, especially the remnants of Common Core. “Even the Gates Foundation admitted it was rolled out incorrectly,” he said. “In a nutshell, we need more educator involvement.” Almost 70 percent of his district of Merrick opted out this year. “The tests are not age appropriate.” The ongoing heroin crisis among teens is also an important issue to McDonough. He said he goes to schools to talk with kids about it. “What was passed in this last budget was significant; more hospital availability and educational programs in the schools.” Jobs are on his agenda, too. “Nassau County has the lowest unemployment in the state right now, but we still need to do more.” To help veterans, he said, “We will be doing more in the coming sessions to give more benefits to our veterans in New York state.”
McDonough, 79, is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence, Tax Revolt and Reform party lines. The North Merrick resident was elected to the Assembly in a special election in 2002, and has served eight terms. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and also graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. McDonough served in both the U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force. He is a ranking member of the transportation committee and also sits on the health, education, veterans affairs, and consumer affairs committees. He is ranking chair for the Assembly’s task force on public safety, which coordinates with the FBI, Homeland Security, police, firefighters, Secret Service and courts. He has been a member of the local Kiwanis Club for 30 years, and past president of the Nassau County Council of Chambers of Commerce, representing 50 chambers. He is married with three children.