History was made once again last Friday, as Joshua Lafazan, a Democrat from Syosset, became the youngest elected legislator to hold public office in Nassau
County. He represents district 18, which includes Glen Head, Brookville, Bayville, Oyster Bay, Syosset, Cove Neck, East Hills, and Woodbury.
“I can’t thank the voters enough for giving me the honor of a lifetime,” Lafazan said.
On Tuesday, the Lafazan family hosted a special inauguration ceremony for Lafazan’s friends, relatives, and constituents at Jericho High School. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli administered the oath of office to him, and both local and state officials were present to celebrate the historic victory.
Event emcee, Robert Zimmerman, of Zimmerman/Edelson Inc., said Lafazan’s win over incumbent Donald MacKenzie was distinguished by his grassroots-style campaign, which reflected the legislator’s values and ideals.
“He lives, eats, sleeps and breathes this community, and makes sure everyone is taken care of,” said David Schwartz, a lawyer and friend who first introduced Lafazan to Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs, and eventually to local politics. “There should be more people like him in office on either side of the aisle.”
County Executive Laura Curran spoke at the ceremony, applauding Lafazan’s ability to get younger demographics namely his interns interested and involved in public service.
Lafazan applauded their efforts as well. “This victory cannot be singularly claimed by me,” he said. “I have to thank my interns and my team who worked together towards the goal of good and honest government that I plan to replicate during my term.”
Former Congressman Steve Israel spoke as well. Lafazan was once his intern. “He is a relentless advocate for the principles and the people that he serves,” Israel said.
Curran added that despite being in office for two weeks, Lafazan was already hard at work to roll out legislation to fight the opioid and heroine epidemics, including opening a 24-hour treatment center for recovering addicts. He is also committed to ending the culture of corruption in the county by seeking term limits for elected officials and putting an end to campaign finance loopholes.
Fellow county Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, a Democrat from Glen Cove, is looking forward to working closely with Lafazan. “His enthusiasm and intelligence is inspiring, and it’s something the Legislature could use,” she said.
In his closing remarks, Lafazan compared assuming the position as legislator to a marriage with his constituents, and appropriately recited a list of vows to the people of the 18th district. “I vow to never sacrifice doing what is right for political expediency, and to always put my constituents first,” he said.