Photo by Joe Anuta
By Phil Corso

Abe Fuchs contends that what sets him apart from the other candidates running for state Assemblyman Rory Lancman’s (D-Fresh Meadows) seat is his willingness to shoot straight.

“I tell a story like it is,” Fuchs said. “I’m not bound by party dogma and I am not afraid to say things as they are.”

Fuchs, 56, has thrown his hat into the race for the 25th Assembly District seat as a Republican, pushing hardest on his education-first agenda.

“I think education is at the core of all this,” Fuchs said. “I think it is really time that we get a hold of what is happening in our public schools.”

If elected, Fuchs said he would focus on instituting character development education to fill a void left by a fading religious influence.

“Children are really aimless without the right character development,” Fuchs said. “Public schools are not coming through with the test scores, drop-out rates or with behavioral development and we should be willing to provide school vouchers for private, charter and parochial schools.”

The Kew Gardens resident was born in Washington, D.C., before he landed in Queens and attended Jewish day school at Mesivta High School of Forest Hills. He spent three years at a rabbinical seminary after high school and also studied at Empire State College before he said a course in American government led to his dropping out after one year.

“Perhaps an overreaction, but that made me drop out of college,” Fuchs said. “Ironically, when I left college, I slowly did develop a curiosity about politics.”

Fuchs said education was critical to his platform because he views an investment in education as an investment in the future.

“Kids are the future,” Fuchs said. “If we have a more educated population, we have more job fulfillment.”

Fuchs, a retired U.S. postal worker, is the fourth candidate to officially file for Lancman’s seat, including Republican Party-backed William Garifal Jr., and Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece and Nily Rozic, who are Democrats.

When approaching the economy and tax structure, Fuchs said he was in favor of tax hikes for millionaires and tax breaks for the middle class. He said he believed the middle class held the ultimate purchasing power and could benefit local businesses if given a tax break.

Lancman, who lost his bid for the redrawn northeast Queens House seat last month, will not seek reelection and said he would endorse a candidate for his seat but has not yet made a decision.

The newly drawn Assembly district lines run from Flushing to Douglaston and also include most of Bayside Hills.

As for his familiarity with Queens, Fuchs said although he was not particularly familiar with many local establishments in the district he would represent, he still had the most important role in governing: ideas.

“I don’t think it is necessary to know a neighborhood block by block,” Fuchs said. “I think good policy that would better govern education and tax structure would best benefit the neighborhoods in Queens.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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