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New Candidate Considering New York State Assembly Run Aims To Save North Fork Farms

Riverhead Town Councilman George Gabrielsen wants to advocate for North Fork farmers.

Another contender has stepped up to consider a run at the seat left vacant by the North Fork's New York State Assemblyman seat left vacant by Dan Losquadro.

Riverhead Town Councilman George Gabrielsen announced Friday that he was considering a run for the position.

Losquadro recently won the highway superintendent post in Brookhaven, leaving an open First Assembly District seat, a handful of Republicans have reportedly come forward to fill Losquadro's shoes.

On Friday, Gabrielsen said he met with the Riverhead Town Republican commitee members to discuss the possibility.

Gabrielsen said he has already been up to Albany with Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, lobbying for Enterprise Park at Calverton.

His main reason for seeking a seat on the New York State Assembly, Gabrielsen sai, would be to advocate for farmers.

"We wan to remain rural, with open space," Gabrielsen said. "When it comes down to farmers, we're under such pressure from the state."

Gabrielsen, who owns farms in Jamesport and a hay farm upstate, said many groups are trying to totally eliminate pesticides. 

"The farming community is left now with no alternatives -- and under all kinds of pressure," Gabrielsen said. "We've got to save these family farms. Some are not going to be here in five years."

Farmers are under extreme economic pressure, Gabrielsen, and, while he said clean water and air are critical without pesticides, farmers are "unable to protect our crops."

That's why a run for an Assembly seat makes sense, he said. "We need someone to represent the agricultural community," he said. "What it comes down to is the guy in the field, working seven days a week 12 hours a day. We have to kick it upstairs and we need people in Albany that will represent these communities. Everything comes back to the farmer."

Gabrielsen said, as a farmer with a parcel upstate, he would be able to engage in a common dialogue with farmers in the upstate region. 

The bottom line, he said, is farms in Riverhead and the North Fork are essential to maintaining the region's rural character. "If we get to the point where we're shutting down farms it will be devastating beyond what people can dream of."

In addition, Gabrielsen would like to push to move forward with the town's plans for EPCAL on the state level. "It's a regional economic generator," he said.

Another bonus, Gabrielsen said: His wife Janice was born and raised in Albany and has family there. "We were right at home," he said, of a recent visit.

While he said he is not "100 percent" sure of his intent, and would still need to screen with the GOP, Gabrielsen said, as of right now, his goal "is to pursue this and see where it goes."

not 100 per intent right now is to pursue and see what it oges

Others have thrown their names into the ring: According to County GOP Chair John Jay LaValle, the party will likely start screening candidates next week, with the following names throwing their hats in the ring so far: Southold Councilman Chris Talbot; Bill Faulk, former legislative aide to Ed Romaine; Bob Ghoshio, Southold Town Trustee; and Stephen Kiely and Tony Palumbo, both lawyers on the North Fork.

The special election will be the North Fork's second already in 2013, following a race for County Legislature which saw Democrat Al Krupski gain two-thirds of the vote over Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter.

Doug Stares March 15, 2013 at 07:38 PM
How about looking out for the backbone of the North Fork---THE TAX PAYERS!
William Swiskey sr March 15, 2013 at 09:36 PM
If he means real farms Good. Vineyards no way.

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