At initial glance it may appear Democrat William Lindsay and Republican Anthony Musumeci, contenders for the 8th district legislative seat long held by Lindsay’s father, Bill, until his passing in September, don’t have much in common.
Yet dig a little deeper and the two candidates actually may have more in common than differences.
Both are taking their first stab at a political office.
Both have worked in the private sector, though Musumeci has served as a member of the Town of Islip Planning Board since 2012. Lindsay works as regional vice president for Capacity Coverage, an insurance brokerage. Musumeci is the manager of Program Services/Engineering at Emtec.
Both grew up on the south shore; love boating, the beaches and promise to make sure the Great South Bay remains a clean viable waterway.
Both are married with two children and live in Bohemia. Musumeci, 36, grew up in Sayville while Lindsay, 41, grew up in Holbrook.
Both are members of local chamber groups and civic associations. Lindsay had served as a Melville chamber vice president for seven years before resigning to run for office.
And both are not mud-slinging fiery political personalities. At a recent Bayport Civic Association Meet the Candidate
event the candidates squared off on a number of local issues in a very similar
low-key speaking style.
On the political issues front, both promise to help residents enjoy a high quality of life while keeping taxes down.
They both say they’re wary of the impact of big box stores and proposed retail developments on small downtown business areas such as Sayville.
Lindsay is vehemently against one such project, the Serotta Islip Pines proposal. Musumeci, due to his role on the town planning board, is not permitted to comment or voice an opinion on the project but said as a local resident he “has concerns” about such developments.
“I do have grave concerns about traffic and this project is going to require a lot of thought and input from the community,” said Musumeci.
Lindsay’s view is a bit more strident as he’s completely against the project citing that it would be too much of a burden for local fire department resources to handle and would create too much traffic.
“We’ve already got plenty of vacant shops for business. The last thing we need to do is add to that,” he said.
Both want greater transparency in the legislature’s budget process though Lindsay says Musumeci’s quest to open up the budget decision process beyond a handpicked eight-member panel of legislators won’t make a big difference.
“Just changing that process won’t solve the issue,” he said.
The two contenders are also concerned about increasing taxes which are forcing young residents to leave, as well as empty nesters, and which are hurting downtown store rental activity.
“I want to preserve the communities we have,” Musumeci told the civic group audience.
Lindsay spoke mostly of his father’s legacy and his intention to continue his father’s efforts.
“I’m running because I’ve seen the positive effect he had and want to keep that going,” he said.
The 8th district encompasses south shore communities between Great River on the west to Blue Point line on the east and north from Sayville and Bayport into Holbrook and Ronkonkoma.