Stephanie Bontempi for Suffolk Legislative District 18
Stephanie L. Bontempi, a fifth-grade teacher at a private school, is seeking a public post for the first time, promising a new perspective on district issues.
Bontempi, 55, a Republican from Centerport, cites preserving the environment as a key priority, but says good programs will need to be supported by putting the county on “its best tax base.” She insists on compromise and the need to follow the comments of her constituents, which she believes would be her main responsibility.
Outgoing Democrat William Spencer, a doctor, faces charges in Suffolk County for trading oxycodone pills for sex. The tone of the general election campaign to succeed Spencer has become needlessly negative, with some involving campaign finance slanders that fail to enlighten district voters on their choices.
Bontempi wants the county to maintain its police force and talks about the need to improve and allocate more resources to the county social services department. She says she would give up teaching if she was elected to focus on her public office.
Democratic candidate Mark A. Cuthbertson, 55, of Huntington, has served on city council since 1998. He’s an inside actor who knows how the system works, but far from a reformer. He has a different vision of how to follow the collective will of the neighborhood, asserting that part of the work of an elected official consists in reassuring people about meritorious projects, sometimes against strong resistance from a few.
Cuthbertson says he would continue practicing law if elected to the legislature, seeing this as a positive thing that “helps me stay grounded in the business world” – meaning he wouldn’t. need to hold on to the government post.
Bontempi better offers the promise of openness to new ideas.
Newsday supports Bontempi.
Suffolk Legislative District 18 covers Northwestern Huntington, Northport, Greenlawn, part of Huntington Station.