O’Connor said he’s running because “on a personal level I have a real fundamental belief in public service,” he said. “I’ve always tried my best to serve my community and give back.” He believes the town’s current leadership is doing well, especially financially. “I think it’s important to point out Islip has a AAA bond rating, which is the highest bond rating you can get. Even the biggest detractors have to concede that the town government, from a financial perspective, is well run,” he said, calling Islip “a great place to live.” O’Connor said if elected, he wants to tackle “the scourge of the opioid addiction crisis” by implementing “stronger community systems” to help people in need. He also wants to deal with gang culture in the town with more youth programs.
O’Connor, 54, of Great River is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Women’s Equality lines. He grew up in Westbury and Carle Place and moved to Great River 13 years ago. An insurance attorney, he received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston College in 1985 and his law degree from Hofstra University in 1988. He is a Great River fire commissioner and part of the Knights of Columbus. He is also secretary of the New York State Bar Association’s Torts, Insurance, and Compensation Law section, and the first vice president of the Defense Association of New York. He also is active in autism awareness causes. In 1995, O’Connor was elected to the North Hempstead Town Council and served one term before losing a bid for re-election in 2001. He lost a bid for Suffolk County executive in 2015. He is married with three children.