DOUGLAS M. SMITH
BACKGROUND: Smith, 28, is running on the Republican, Independence, Conservative and Reform party lines. He won a special election in April to succeed former Assemb. Al Graf. For the past seven years, Smith was the chief of staff to Graf. Smith is a graduate of Sachem High School and St. Joseph’s College, where he earned a degree in Mathematics, Adolescent Education. He is a certified math teacher through New York State. He is a small-business owner who operates a website design and hosting company. He was previously on the board of directors for the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce. Smith is a member of both the Centereach and Ronkonkoma civic associations. He attends Westminster United Presbyterian Church in West Islip. Smith is married with a daughter.
ISSUES: Smith said he wants to make Long Island more affordable by reducing property taxes and utility rates. Instead of Long Islanders relying on PSEG and LIPA, he envisions part or all of Nassau and Suffolk counties, including their hamlets and villages, having their own electric companies similar to Greenport and Rockville Center. Another top priority is to increase school funding. Smith said his district is eligible for $42 million in state aid as part of a 2014 voter approved $2 billion bond for school technology and safety. "School safety is a concern," Smith said, citing gang violence across Long Island schools. "MS-13 is a major problem." Smith said he’s against Common Core, wants to help families combat the heroin epidemic and is advocating for laws that protect victims of domestic violence.