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Voter Guide: The Race for the Ninth State Assembly District

Assemb. Andrew Raia and challenger Christopher Dempsey vie for Ninth State Assembly seat.

Editor's Note: This is one of many articles in Patch's voter guide for the upcoming election. You can expect to see coverage here on every national, state and local race affecting Northport. Click here for more articles in the 2010 Patch Voter Guide

The Situation

The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York State Legislature and convenes in Albany.  Assembly members serve two-year terms, receiving a base salary of $79,500. 

The territory covered by the 9th District includes parts of Huntington, Greenlawn, Northport, East Northport, Dix Hills, Centerport, North Babylon, West Islip, and Deer Park.

Fast Facts:

Raia, the incumbent, was elected in 2002 to his first term for the 9th Assembly District. His priority is "fighting for a fair share of New York State's assets for Long Islanders." Raia received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1991.

Dempsey, the challenger, works for Off-Track Betting and is a volunteer firefighter in Greenlawn. Neither he nor the Huntington Democratic Committee responded to requests for interviews.

The Rundown

  • Candidate:                    Andrew Raia                               Christopher Dempsey
  • Age:                                  42                                                    55
  • Residence:                    East Northport                          Greenlawn
  • Political Party:          Republican                                  Democrat                             
  • Website:                         raia.nyracc.com                        huntingtondems.org
  • Phone:                            631-261-4151                              631-421-3399


The Issues

East Northport resident Andrew Raia is coming to the end of his fourth term as the Ninth District Assemblyman and still feels he has a lot left to accomplish.

"I still haven't lost that fire in the belly that I had eight years ago," he said. "One of my main purposes is going to Albany and getting many of my colleagues to understand that we're not all rich here on Long Island, that we have some of the highest taxes in the country, and therefore, we deserve our fair share of government funding."

Some of the areas Raia would like to see that funding applied to is education. Raia is also opposed to tax increases, and is in favor of Medicaid reform.

"If we cut $20 billion in waste and fraud out of our Medicaid system, that's not just a one-shot," he said. "That's re-occurring. That's a revenue source we need to go after."

Raia said he has also has taken steps to protect homeowners in difficult financial times.

"As ranking member on the Banks Committee, we've implemented some of the strongest laws in respect to mortgage brokers," he said. "They're supposed to have your best interests at heart; not the banks."

Raia wants his constituents to understand that he's a man of the people, and that he's experiencing the the same financial trouble as many of the residents.

"When I go to Albany, there's two things I always remember," he said. "One; I never forget who my employer is, and that's the residents of the 9th Assembly District. And two; I never forget it's their money that we're spending. I pay taxes as well, and I'm broke, so you can bet that I'm going to treat the taxpayer dollars like they were mine, and make sure they're going to get the biggest bang for the buck."

Christopher Dempsey (D)

Raia's challenger and political newcomer, Democrat Christopher Dempsey, 55, resides in Greenlawn and is making his first bid for public office.  He has worked in the customer service department for the Off-Track Betting Corporation for many years.

Dempsey did not return phone calls for comment by press time.

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