Sapienza said he would make economic development his top priority, with a focus on lobbying for the full reopening of the Long Island Rail Road station at Belmont Park and supporting the redevelopment proposal for the site that will create the most jobs. The state is currently considering several bids for the site, including a new arena for the New York Islanders and a soccer stadium. Whichever proposal is chosen, Sapienza said he would also like to see room for a hotel and convention center on the site. He said he doesn’t think the site is the right fit for a community center or park, which some residents favor. “I feel that those really don’t provide economic development,” he said. Sapienza said the district’s commercial corridors also need improvement, and supports more funding for streetscape projects to attract new businesses.
Sapienza, 65, of Elmont, is making his first run for public office, on the Republican and Conservative lines. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John’s University. He owns and operates Sapienza Bake Shop in Elmont, which his father opened in 1967 and Sapienza took over in 1973. Sapienza is president of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce and past president of both the Nassau-Suffolk Bakers Association and the New York State Bakers Association. He is on the board of directors for the Elmont youth nonprofits Gateway Youth Outreach and the Martin DePorres School for Exceptional Children. He is married with three children.