New York State Assembly, 16th DistrictPosted: Updated:
Background: D'Urso, 79, of Port Washington, is running on the Democrat, Working Families, Independence, Women's Equality and Reform party lines. Elected to the New York State assembly in 2016, he serves on the environmental, economic development, veterans and government employees committees. D'Urso immigrated to the United States from Italy at 21 and worked in construction while learning English and attending school part-time. D'urso earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. D'Urso worked for the New York City Department of Housing for more than 30 years, and an additional 16 years was assistant commissioner of the city's Division of Architecture, Engineering and Construction. D'Urso served as North Hempstead town councilman from 1991 to 2005. He is currently active in the Cellini Lodge, Order Sons of Italy, in New Hyde Park, the Port Washington Kiwanis, the Rotary Club of Great Neck, and the Dell Assunta Society of Westbury.
Issues: D'Urso said that since his retirement from public service, he has been "using his own time and resources" to make 40 trips to Africa, Central America and Haiti "to help people in need." During his first term in the New York State assembly, D'Urso said that he co-sponsored legislation with Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) to prohibit the use of the chemical 1,4 dioxane, which he called "an environmental contaminant," in the production of household cleaning products. D'Urso said he will resubmit the bill in the assembly in January. Among his other environmental concerns, D'Urso said he opposes drilling for natural gas and oil off the Long Island coast and instead supports developing alternate energy sources. He said, "We are making a lot of progress with renewable clean energy such as solar, wind power and thermal energy." D'Urso, who supports banning outside income for state senators and assemblypersons, said, "In January I want to submit a package of bills to take money out of politics and elections." D'Urso said elections should be "public funded."
Byron A. Divins Jr.
Background: Divins, 47, lives in Flower Hill. Divins is currently a registered Democrat, but he recently switched his party registration to Republican, a change he says will take effect after the Nov. 6 election. Divins is running on the Republican and Conservative party lines. Divins grew up in Roslyn and graduated from Roslyn High School in 1988. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from SUNY Albany, a juris doctor law degree from Touro Law Center in Central Islip and a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee. After law school, Divins served for 20 years in the Navy, from which he retired in 2017 with the rank of commander. Divins owns and is a partner in Divins & Divins P.C., a law firm in Garden City. He coaches Roslyn Little League. Divins is married and has two children. This is his first run for public office.
Issues: Divins said he is running for the Assembly because he wants to serve his community "as an independent voice in Albany." Divins said he will "fight to make the tax cap permanent, and to lower the cost of living and doing business on Long Island." He said he will "work to keep our schools safe and fix the problem of over-testing." Divins said he will also "make it a priority to end the culture of corruption in Albany, and to protect Long Island's waterways."