David Bressler thinks that its time for a fresh perspective in Albany, which is one of the reasons he decided to run in State Assembly District 26.
On Nov. 6, the former the regional manager of a national bakery conglomerate will go head-to-head against the eight-year incumbent Ed Braunstein for the assembly seat, which serves areas including Bayside, Douglaston, Glen Oaks, Little Neck, North Shore Towers and Whitestone.
“The interest of running was in me because I’d been going around since I’ve been a candidate since March and no one could look me in the eye and say that they’re happy with Albany,” Bressler said. “They feel Albany is dysfunctional, they feel Albany is corrupt and they feel Albany has wasted dollars.”
In an interview with QNS, Bressler highlighted the fact that he is not a career politician but recognized key changes he wanted to enact in Albany. He said that his business acumen and knowledge of finance and budgetary processes were things he would utilize if elected.
“I’ve wanted term limits, I wanted more accountability and transparency over our taxpayer dollars, the budget. So instead of complaining about it, I started going into politics, getting involved.”
Though Bressler views his opponent in a positive light, calling him a “gentleman and a family man,” the candidate believes that his time in Albany is up.
“There’s a lot of upset of the incumbents and I think people are tired of the incumbents,” said Bressler, who is a firm believer in setting term limits for state representatives.
The former businessman said that his first piece of legislation in Albany would be to set term limits for state politicians, similarly to the city council’s policy of two four-year terms for their representatives.
“You can’t get it done in eight years, you shouldn’t be there,” he said.
Before throwing his hat into the race, Bressler served as one of the board managers of his community at The Bay Club and a board member of the Queens Village Republican club. He shared that despite being a Republican, he would be opened to working with Democrats to find solutions.
“I’m a Republican, but I’m a Republican that if a Democrat has a good idea, I could work with [them]. I’m not a Republican with a wall. I’m very open-minded to things, I’m just not gonna give up my principles for it.”
An issue where he finds common ground with his Democratic counterpart is about the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) which he said should not be abolished.
“Anyone could take the test, it’s not race-based. But it should be merit-based. Those that work hard, those that study and get the best scores should be entitled to it. And [Mayor de Blasio] wants a certain percentage of different ethnic groups to be able to go into those specialized high schools even if they don’t achieve those scores.”
Instead, Bressler said that the New York City educational system should be fixed so that students can be better prepared for the test.
“Let’s reach every student, I know there’s a free tutoring program so why don’t we expand on that? What better way to spend our taxpayer dollars? Why don’t we put it towards the children?”
From a dollars and cents perspective, Bressler thinks that it’s unwise to shut down Rikers Island in favor of building a prison in four of the five boroughs. The 8,200 inmates in the prison would have to be reduced to 5,000 under the new plan.
“It’s gonna cost $10.2 billion to build those prisons, but they didn’t even get a quote on just renovating Rikers. Why don’t you get a quote and see what we could do? It probably could cost $2 billion to renovate it and make it a lot better than it is and keep it there,” he said.
He added that building prisons in the boroughs would be dangerous for the residents in the event that they were able to escape into the neighborhoods.
The midterm elections are on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Click here to confirm the location of your local polling site.