Name: Michael Gianaris
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Occupation: Assembly Member
Decision to Run: I decided to run for the Senate because, as a leading reformer in state government, I know how much needs to be done to reform Albany and get our economy working again. We need to initiate real change to ensure that government works for New Yorkers and not the special interests. In my time in public service, I pushed for concrete reforms to improve government and help working families as they struggle with the increasing cost of living.
Major Issues: Jobs and Education. The people of western Queens want to get back to work. We have to generate good jobs at good wages. We also must ensure that our children are given the tools to succeed in the modern economy. Education must be a priority.
Top Priority: I would focus on getting the people of New York back to work by stimulating job growth and economic opportunity. The current economic recession has caused too much suffering for too many New Yorkers. Economic recovery must be job number one for our government.
Name: Jerome Patrick Tina
Party Affiliation: Republican
Decision to Run: Being an American requires one to step into situations when needed. My opponent, Mike Gianaris, was running unopposed for the 12th District State Senate seat. I felt that the people of the district deserved a choice. If we have uncontested elections our democratic republic will cease to exist.
Major Issues: Like all New Yorkers, being overtaxed is a major concern for the constituents of the 12th District. High taxes are hurting New Yorkers who currently live here and have driven many others to leave the state. This lowers tax revenues and then the Democratic Party feels the need to raise taxes more. This is an ongoing cycle that must be broken to bring New York out of the financial despair we are in now. We must help entrepreneurs open small business by keeping their tax burden down thus helping them get through the critical first few years of business.
The lack of faith and trust in the elected officials on the state level has reached a pinnacle. The people I have met while campaigning are extremely upset with the current state of the ethical challenges in the Democratic Party and have expressed a desire for integrity in Albany over all issues, including the economy.
Top Priorities: My first task, if elected, would be to deal with the educational system in New York. There needs to be an approach on all fronts from; testing to reviewing the current curriculum to sitting down with the leaders of the teacher’s union. We need to look at all areas of choice including charter schools and voucher. We must put every option on the table to better service the youth of the state.