Contesting the status quo in Lawrence

Four running for two trustee seats, petition deadline May 14


The Village of Lawrence will have its first contested election since 2010 and only the second one since 2003 as David Seidemann and Alex Edelman will challenge incumbent trustee Michael Fragin and his running mate Jeffrey Hirth in the June 18 election.

Seidemann, 53, who received 22 of 43 total write-in votes in the uncontested 2011 village trustee election, will partner with Edelman, 64, to run under the Unity Party banner. It is the first time that Seidemann, Edelman and Hirth are running for public office. The deadline for candidate petitions is May 14. In the at-large election, the two candidates with the most votes win the two seats.

Running for his third full two-year term, Fragin, 39, a board member for the past five years, will team with Hirth, 39, and represent the Good Government Party. Incumbent Trustee Joel Mael is not running for re-election.

“When an issue comes up in Lawrence there are a multitude of opinions that are expressed with anger,” said Seidemann, a matrimonial lawyer and a professor teaching business law at Touro college in Brooklyn. He considers himself a consensus maker: “If there is no unity, there is no community,” he said.

An owner of healthcare, transportation and real estate businesses, Edelman has lived in Lawrence for the past decade after living in Far Rockaway for 32 years. “I think I have a tremendous amount of business experience, I have been successful and I have a lot to offer,” said Edelman, adding he wants to be a constructive community contributor.

A lawyer, who now runs a technology consulting firm in Valley Stream, Hirth served on the Lawrence Association Board of Governors and said this is the next step. “It is time residents hear from ‘younger’ Lawrence,” he said.

Fragin wants to run for re-election because “there is still a lot to do,” he said. “I am very concerned that taxpayer dollars are used wisely and appropriately,” Fragin said. “The village has a lot of challenges.”

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