New York State Assembly- 3rd District Candidate Joe DeStefano (R)
NYS Assembly 3rd District Republican candidate Joe DeStefano

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New York State Assembly- 3rd District Candidate Joe DeStefano (R)

Story By: NICOLE FUENTES
10/11/2018


 

Lifelong Medford resident and longtime firefighter Joe DeStefano will be running on the Republican, Conservative, Independent and Reform party lines for a spot on Dean Murray’s vacated NYS Assembly 3rd District seat.

His promise is to cut taxes, eliminate wasteful spending, fight to keep the communities he serves safe and increase educational opportunities, running as an “experienced, dedicated and reliable” candidate.

DeStefano, 58, currently lives in Medford with his wife of 34 years, Linda. Together they have two grown children and a 4-year-old grandson named Jack. 

For the last 27 years, he has worked in the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office as a communication supervisor, promising to retire upon election. He says he is ready to retire and be dedicated as a full-time politician serving his community.

DeStefano has also served as an elected fire district commissioner since 1996, an active member of the Medford Fire Department since 1980, at 19 years old, and an active member of several community groups including the Medford Taxpayers and Civics Association. At the fire department he has held the title of fire police lieutenant, 2nd lieutenant, department recording secretary, department vice president, and department president.

As a member and commissioner of the Medford Fire Department, he said he is most proud of his part in helping to get the cancer bill passed, which was implemented earlier this year, allowing all different types of cancer to be covered for all interior firefighters. 

He has also held numerous leadership roles in multiple fire service organizations as both secretary and treasurer for the Suffolk County Fire District Officers Association, the president of the Brookhaven Town Fire Districts, and regional director, secretary and treasurer of the NYS Association of Fire Districts. In 2017, the Suffolk County Fire District Officers Association named him Commissioner of the Year.

If elected, he said he would continue to follow up with Murray’s bills that would be left behind including his focus on the fight against Common Core, sex offenders, opioids and gangs. He also said he plans on being more active in the communities he serves by attending multiple community and civic meetings on a regular basis.

In addition to walking the entire Coram, North Patchogue, Mastic, Mastic Beach, Middle Island, Yaphank, Gordon Heights, Ridge, East Patchogue, Holtsville and Farmingville district, DeStefano said he has also attended a number of civic meetings including Mastic, Yaphank and Pattersquash, with still more to come.

“Some of these areas are often ignored. Like the Mastics, these people are hurting and I am listening,” he said. “I will have a working relationship with Legis. Rudy Sunderman (R) and councilman Dan Panico. We will work together to get stuff done.”

He said he also looks forward to starting new projects by listening to the people of the district and their needs.

“It will be a fresh start in Albany. I want to listen to the people and what affects them most,” he said. “It’s about the people, not politics. I am not going to play partisan politics. If it doesn’t help my people, I am not going to be in favor of it.”

He also promises to take a look at the district’s infrastructure, including the declining condition of Route 112. 

“Our roads need to be better,” he added.

As for East Patchogue, he said he wants to continue the revitalization of the Village of Patchogue and move that forward, all the way to Mastic Beach.

Thus far, DeStefano has gained several endorsements, including but not limited to the Suffolk County Sheriffs Office, Suffolk County PBA, SC Corrections Officer Association, the Nassau Suffolk Building Trades Council, NY AFL-CIO and the Long Island Federation of Labor.

“I am a community-minded, family-oriented person. I believe it’s people, not politics,” he said. “I am not a partisan guy. I am a guy that will do right thing by the people I represent.”

DeStefano was nominated in June and has since been walking door to door encouraging his district to get out and vote on Nov. 6. For more information, visit www.votejoedestefano.com.