New York State Assembly, 9th District

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Michael Lipetri
Republican

Background: LiPetri, 27, of South Farmingdale, is running on the Republican, Reform and Conservative party lines. He is an associate at a law firm in Uniondale. Before that, he was an assistant New York City corporation counsel, defending police and firefighters against legal claims. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University at Albany and his law degree at the Albany Law School of Union University. He was a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York and interned in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York. He is a member of the Sons of Italy Columbus Lodge, the Knights of Columbus Maria Regina Council, Sons of AmVets Post 88, and the Massapequa Lions.

Issues: LiPetri declined to speak with Newsday. His website says he is "running for the New York State Assembly to reform the high-tax, reckless spending and corruption-plagued climate of our state government."

Christine Pellegrino
Democratic

Background: Pellegrino, 49, of West Islip, was elected to the Assembly in a special election in May 2017 after former Assemb. Joseph Saladino was appointed Town of Oyster Bay supervisor. She is running on the Democratic, Working Families, Independence and Women's Equality party lines. Pellegrino previously was an elementary school reading teacher for 25 years, 18 of them in the Baldwin Union Free School District. She earned her bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's degree in reading from St. John's University. She also earned a professional diploma in school supervision and administration from Long Island University. Pellegrino is involved in her parish and worked for education reform in the opt-out movement. She has two children.

Issues: Pellegrino is focused on education and wants to return control of evaluating teachers to local school districts. "I want to return professionalism to teaching and take standardization away," she said. "We lost almost a generation of kids to standardization that has not been successful — you can see it in the opt-out numbers on Long Island. It's a clear rebuke to the educational testing system." She said she will reintroduce legislation to decouple testing from teacher evaluations. She also will work to get more state aid back to Long Island so residents get back more of the tax dollars they pay to the state, while also working to lower property taxes. "I will identify opportunities to drive funding to good programs," she said, and look for more creative ways of getting revenue and lowering costs. She said she supports the New York Health Act and looks to the state to offer better coverage through its economies of scale.

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