John M. Kennedy Jr.
BACKGROUND: Kennedy, 62, is running for his second term on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines. Kennedy graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University, a master’s degree from Adelphi University and a law degree from St. John’s University. Before he was elected comptroller, Kennedy represented the 12th district in the Suffolk County Legislature for 10 years. Kennedy, an attorney who said he has served in government for more than 40 years, previously was the Official Examiner of the Title for the County Clerk’s Office. He also worked for several county executives.
ISSUES: Kennedy said he wants to “continue with the reforms and progress” he put into place, including upgrading outdated financial systems and conducting more audits. Kennedy, of Nesconset, said that the county has saved $35 million by refinancing its $640 million in debt. He touted the success of a fraud hotline and of his office’s audits that have led to the closure of two allegedly fraudulent homeless housing agencies and the recovery of $1.1 million in unpaid taxes and fees from the Beach Hut, a former parks concessionaire. Kennedy said his office overhauled the financial management system to comply with state law, and he plans to upgrade the county payroll system to help monitor employee time. He said he wants to procure capital budgeting models and a system to track vendor orders.