CORNWALL – Zak Constantine (New Windsor), former Community Outreach Coordinator to New York State Senator Jen Metzger, announced his candidacy for the 99th New York State Assembly District on Sunday, February 27th in Cornwall at the Cromwell Manor Historic Inn. The district includes the communities of New Windsor, Cornwall, Highlands, Woodbury, Palm Tree, Stony Point, and part of Monroe.
Zak, the endorsed candidate of the Orange County Democrats, said during his speech Sunday, “When I see a problem, whether it be in my own party, in my community, or in my state government, I will always speak up and seek solutions, especially when that means working across the aisle, listening to anyone, and remaining accessible to the people I serve. I’m sure I’ll be shaking things up in Albany, but it won’t just be as a ‘Democratic’ member. It will be as a Hudson Valley member, who will represent our values.”
Zak was raised in the Hudson Valley by his mother, a small business owner, and his father, a retired New York City Police Officer. He graduated from Goshen High School following years of community involvement which included organizing blood drives, volunteering with local senior groups, and serving as a student representative on the Board of Education.
Working in the State Senate, Zak made a name for himself as one of the legislature’s youngest staffers. While fulfilling his professional responsibilities, he also worked toward earning his degree in Public Policy & Management from SUNY Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, where he plans to graduate in May. He is also a proud graduate of the Leadership Orange Signature Program where he served as a Project Manager during the creation of the new Larkin Family Young Professionals Development Program, a workforce development course that trains young people who are beginning their careers in Orange County. If elected Zak would be the State Assembly’s youngest member at 22 years old, a title previously held by Senator and former Assemblymember James Skoufis.
“This is a young man who is wise beyond his years. He is sharp as a tack. He knows the issues. He’s built the relationships, and, most importantly, I would argue, he over these years has put in the sweat equity,” Senator Skoufis said of Zak. “I want and need a governing partner in the state legislature from the 99th Assembly District. Our communities demand an Assemblymember who is going to deliver for them, and that person is going to be Zak Constantine.”
Other speakers included Cornwall Town Supervisor, Josh Wojehowski and County Legislator and former Chief of Staff to James Skoufis, Laurie Tautel. Both echoed the sentiment that local leaders need an Assemblymember who will put their partisanship aside and secure critical resources for the people and communities of the 99th District.
In his remarks, Zak laid out some of his legislative priorities which include: cutting property taxes by fixing the way we fund our schools; fully funding K-12 public education and making SUNY and CUNY colleges tuition free for New York residents; addressing the scourge of mental health challenges facing the generation of young people who have been beaten up by the pandemic; making major investments in in-home healthcare services for senior citizens and those who are disabled; ensuring access to affordable prescription drugs; reforming our IDA system to help small businesses rather than massive corporate welfare projects; protecting our access to clean air and water; modernizing our energy grid while fighting utility cost hikes; making EMS providers an essential service in New York; combating the epidemic of addiction; and, giving law enforcement agencies the resources they need to fight and prevent crime.
Voters can learn more about Zak by visiting his website; www.zakconstantine.com.