There are two candidates seeking to take the New York State Senate seat for District 42, which covers most of Orange County. Dorey Houle is running on the Republican and Conservative party lines and James Skoufis, the incumbent, is running on the Democratic party line.
As a mother of five children and wife of a recently retired NYPD officer, I know the repercussions of New York’s recent policies on crime, education, and cost of living. Criminal justice reforms have advocated for the criminals while handcuffing police officers, causing crime to escalate. Our children are being exposed to curricula in schools that are not developmentally appropriate, violate our morals and values, and bring us further away from gaining academic achievements equal to other first-, second-, and even third-world countries. With rising energy and fuel costs, feeding a family of seven is becoming increasingly difficult.
As a Monroe town councilwoman, former college lecturer and director of the American Sign Language program at CUNY/College of Staten Island, I have the skills and experience to tackle these challenges and develop common-sense policies that will bring about the change that we need to get New York moving in the right direction. As a former trustee of the village of Monroe, I have been involved in balancing and approving several budgets, all of which stayed below the state required tax cap.
Bail reform and discovery laws were an egregious overstep by the NYS legislature. As your representative to the Senate, I will fight to repeal these laws and work with the judicial branch, law enforcement, and attorneys to develop reforms that provide for efficient and effective criminal justice and restore public safety. I will fight for parents’ and students’ rights to developmentally appropriate curricula that are challenging and successful at producing life-long learners adept at critical thinking and problem solving skills. I will fight for a state spending cap and make sure that dollars paid to us by taxpayers are being used responsibly.
When I moved with my family to Orange County in 1995, it was for many of the same reasons we all have chosen to live in the Hudson Valley: we were seeking a better quality of life, an excellent education, and a caring community. And during my decade in the state legislature — first as a state assemblyman and now as a state senator — I’ve fought to uphold those values by leveling the playing field for local families.
I’m running for a third term as your state senator to continue the work my team and I have dedicated ourselves to: cracking down on corporate welfare, securing record school funding and universal pre-kindergarten for Orange County’s families, and leading the fight against overdevelopment in our backyard, including opposing Kiryas Joel annexation proposals.
Having spent the first many years of my life in New York City public housing and being only one generation removed from food stamps, I understand what the uncertainty of tomorrow feels like for many of our families. After graduating from Monroe-Woodbury High School and working my way through college, I served as a Woodbury town councilman before being elected to the assembly at age 25 — the youngest member at that time. Since winning the state senate seat I now hold, I’ve jumpstarted the long-dormant Investigations and Government Operations Committee, which fights corruption and works to make New York more equitable for everybody.
My wife, Hillary, and I are raising our daughter, Ava, here in Orange County because we’ve found exactly the caring community my parents sought back in the ‘90s — and it’s one I’ll always fight for. Thank you for affording me the privilege of serving you in the NY State Senate for the past four years.