BACKGROUND: Sharpe, 50, came into politics via the U.S. Marine Corps, the teaching world and the trucking business. He was born in Manhattan and joined the Marines when he was 17, leaving home just after finishing high school. After leaving the military, he taught English and then went into trucking and distribution. After selling his business, he shifted to selling advertising and eventually launched Neo Sage, a Manhattan-based business that trains sales and management professionals. He ran unsuccessfully to be his party's vice presidential candidate in 2016. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland. He is married with two children and lives in Queens.
ISSUES: Sharpe wants to legalize marijuana, end the “war on drugs,” repeal the “Safe Act” (New York’s new gun law), reduce government regulations for businesses and cut government spending. “New York businesses are overtaxed and overregulated,” he says. He supports abortion rights. He proposes not charging employers payroll tax for two years if they hire an ex-convict returning to society. He would allow hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has banned. He has said state-paid pensions are “bankrupting” New York and need to be scaled back. He would end Cuomo’s practice of giving companies direct incentives to locate or expand in New York, and instead lure them by lowering overall taxes. His mass transit plan includes a proposal to cut tolls on tunnels and bridges by selling naming rights to MTA facilities (like with sports stadiums).