Mike LiPetri: 9th District Assembly
Mike LiPetri

Photo provided

Mike LiPetri: 9th District Assembly

Story By: LIZ FINNEGAN
10/11/2018


This is a first-time political run for South Farmingdale attorney Mike LiPetri. He said a comment from his grandfather weighed heavily on his decision to enter the Assembly race. “If you want something to be better, get involved,” said LiPetri, recounting his grandfather’s words. “It’s important for a younger generation to step up and build a pathway to the future. We don’t have the right leaders in office to get that done,” the candidate added.

LiPetri has successfully prosecuted or aided the prosecution of criminals for tax fraud, drug trafficking and disability discrimination while working for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Albany County District Attorney and the Attorney General of the State of New York.

In addition to work experience, he said he’s been exercising his civic duties for a number of years, participating in various community groups and staying active in a number of fraternal organizations such as the Knights of Columbus. Now he said he’s ready to take the next step in public service.

He noted that an important reason for his candidacy is concern for the future of Long Island. 

“Here on Long Island, families need two incomes since the cost of living and taxes are so high,” he said.  If elected, LiPetri said he’d focus on reforming the reckless spending he said is occurring in Albany that’s driving many senior citizens and young people away from New York, which is considered one of the most expensive states in which to reside. “We are next to last in affordability,” he added.

Referring to a recent study, LiPetri explained, “Seventy-one percent of 18- to 34-year-olds will be leaving New York State in the next five years. One million have already left in the past eight years,” he added.

LiPetri said he’d work to control spending, noting that his incumbent opponent had voted for a “socialized medicine” bill that could have increased state income taxes from 6.45 percent to 18.3 percent. Ultimately, the bill didn’t pass. “That one bill [would have] nearly doubled the budget,” he remarked.

LiPetri said he believes the tax cap should be made permanent. And if elected, he’d work to make sure there would be a permanent moratorium on unfunded state mandates. He also would like to see property taxes frozen for senior citizens over age 65.

He is not in favor of the Common Core standards and is opposed to those standardized tests. He believes in restoring local control to teachers so that the curriculum would be the focus of education and not just teaching to pass state tests.

“We have to develop critical thinkers,” he said, “and [understand] that not everyone is meant to go to college.” He said the focus of education beyond high school should also include the trades by supporting more apprenticeship programs and entrepreneurial ventures.

The candidate is opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana, considering it a gateway drug. “There are too many unanswered questions,” he remarked. And the opioid crisis is one he said is particularly troubling. He’d like to see stronger sentences for those individuals that deal hard drugs and more treatment centers with better follow-up care for addicts.

The MS-13 problem that has taken many young lives is also troubling to the candidate. “I don’t see how making New York a sanctuary state will help Long Island,” he said.

LiPetri said he would work with law enforcement, other agencies and the community to eradicate gangs.

Water quality is also a big concern. He plans on working hard to impose bans on harmful chemicals that are seeping into our water.

Over the past few months, LiPetri said he’s been walking neighborhoods, knocking on doors, meeting the people he hopes to represent and feeling good about making those connections.

“I love it,” he said. “You have to have someone [in office] who is passionate, who cares and who will spend the time to work with the community. I’ll make the best decisions for the good of the people.”