Name: John Kevin Wilson
Party Affiliation: Republican
Occupation: Actor; Bartender
Decision to Run: I was asked by neighbors to run. They told me that they did so because they thought I could articulate a strong case against the incumbent. Mostly, I believe I have been able to.
Major Issues: The core of my campaign is a commitment to provide the best possible education for the children of this state, whether or not entrenched special interests find that inconvenient. I am a proponent of Charter Schools because they have been proven, statistically, to achieve greater academic success while spending less money. Forty thousand families are on a waiting list to get in to a Charter School. I do not understand why, then, there is a “cap” on the number of Charters; I would remove the “cap.”
Secondly, our financial crisis will only worsen if we continue on the path that has besought us to the brink of disaster. I would fight to reduce business and personal taxes – to promote job growth, investment, and jobs – and examine every area of waste in order to reduce foolish spending.
Top Priorities: I would systematically contact every business in the district, and, after learning their specific needs, I’d assure them that they have a new friend in Albany who’ll cut their taxes and fight to remove impediments to their ability to grow – and hire. For instance, the city has a proposal to require small businesses to provide 5 paid “sick days” to their employees. Business owners have made it clear that this will force them to fire workers – people making $20 to $50 thousand who can least afford to lose their jobs. I’d fight against it.
Name: Catherine Nolan
Party Affiliation: Democrat/Working Families
Occupation: Member of the NYS Assembly
Decision to Run: Despite the challenges, I feel my record, particularly on education, makes a difference for Queens families. As a public school parent and full time legislator, I led the floor debate that brought our state $700 million in federal funds. I am a life-long resident of my district, and I think I reflect local concerns in the issues I have focused on in Albany, including labor and mass transit. I want to continue to fight for our communities. I have been successful in getting funding for senior citizens centers, schools, veterans, job training programs, the arts and the environment. I have worked successfully to bring funds to LaGuardia Community College and Elmhurst Hospital.
Major Issues: Education and Mass Transit. As the first Democratic woman to chair the Education Committee, I have focused attention on adult education, including aid to our Queens Library, a better GED program, and family literacy. I also have advocated for mass transit assistance and improvements at the MTA, which are so important to our economy and our environment, including an intermodal bus/subway terminal in Ridgewood, repairs to the No. 7 line and station improvements in Queensbridge/Long Island City.
Top Priorities: New York State’s economy. Also, obviously the crisis in state government; ethics, budget and better state agency performance are going to be my priority. I also want to get involved in the fight against hydrofracking that threatens our water supply. As past chair of the Labor committee I want to continue to work on issues of worker safety, privacy and protection as well.