New York State Comptroller
DiNapoli has been a trusted name in Long Island and New York State politics for nearly four decades. A former 20-year veteran of the Assembly who was also a frontrunner for the lieutenant governorship, DiNapoli’s credibility became even more apparent when colleagues from both sides of the aisle chose him as the state’s chief fiscal officer. DiNapoli has transformed the role of the state Comptroller’s Office from watchdog into attack dog, hungry to expose fraud and corruption. His Open Book New York initiative has given taxpayers unprecedented access to how governments spend their money. His proven track record will be clutch to his re-election bid.
Navigators Global Principal
The former Republican state senator is a leading expert in homeland security issues, even serving as an advisor to President Obama’s transition team. Since 2009, he’s been a shining light in the New York office of Navigators Global, an international governmental relations firm. The private sector may appeal to him now, but don’t rule out a major move back into the political sphere for this savvy Long Islander. He’s done with Albany, but could be headed to D.C. Balboni’s showed his willingness to cross party lines and put the people first—and he certainly knows his way around there.
Former U.S. Senator/Park Strategies Founder
The Chaminade High School alumnus rose through the local political ranks of the Nassau County Republican Party to become one of the most powerful and well-known politicians in the country. He was a U.S. Senator for 18 years. He is a master networker and a kingmaker, as the introduction of Gov. David Paterson’s pick to fill outgoing Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat is testament. Who was standing alongside Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand? Yup, Big Al. His business development and public policy firm, Park Strategies, continues to provide avenues for D’Amato to wield his influence and vision—on a global scale.
Bishop William Murphy
Diocese of Rockville Centre
Faced with serious budget problems, the Good Shepherd of the sixth-largest diocese in America has had to offer voluntary separations for his flock, and 560 employees have agreed to go. Plans to consolidate parishes and share services are on hold for now. Lord knows, it’s a tough world out there. But coping with the Church’s economic woes may be a blessing in disguise, given the sex scandals still rocking the Vatican. Our bishop might find more peace studying a balance sheet than waiting for the latest news from Rome.
Arthur “Jerry” Kremer
Empire Government Strategies Chairman
Kremer’s a part of the political fabric of Long Island. He is a 23-year veteran of the Assembly, where he was the only legislator from LI to head the influential Ways and Means Committee. He has taken to working with various community, business and charitable organizations in between frequently chiming in as a political pundit. Last year, Kremer founded EGS, the only statewide grassroots lobbying firm with representation in eight regions across New York State. As a powerbroker statewide and in Washington, D.C., Kremer remains as recognizable a representative of LI as ever.
New York State Senate Minority Leader (R-Rockville Centre)
Rockville Centre’s favorite son is serving his 13th term in the State Senate. As such, he remains the ranking state senator for LI. A tough negotiator who can take credit for several key pieces of legislation, including the New York version of Megan’s Law, Skelos became Majority Leader following Sen. Joseph Bruno’s departure in 2008, and Minority Leader when Democrats won control of the Senate five months later. Deano temporarily claimed the top spot once again last year, when two Dems switched allegiances in a controversial coup that infuriated Gov. Paterson and ultimately ground Albany to an unprecedented halt. He remains a force to be reckoned with, for sure.