Dean Skelos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Senator Dean G. Skelos
Majority Leader of the New York State Senate
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Pedro Espada, Jr.
In office
June 24, 2008 – December 31, 2008
Preceded by Joseph Bruno
Succeeded by Malcolm Smith
Minority Leader of the New York State Senate
In office
January 7, 2009 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Malcolm Smith
Succeeded by John L. Sampson
Acting Lieutenant Governor of New York
In office
June 24, 2008 – December 31, 2008
Preceded by Joseph Bruno
Succeeded by Malcolm Smith
Deputy Majority Leader of the New York State Senate
In office
January, 1995 – June 24, 2008
Leader Joseph Bruno
Member of the New York Senate
from the 9th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January, 1985
Preceded by Carol Berman
Personal details
Born (1948-02-16) February 16, 1948 (age 66)
Rockville Centre, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Gail Skelos
Residence Rockville Centre, New York
Occupation Attorney

Dean G. Skelos (born February 16, 1948[1]) is an American politician and the Republican Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate. Skelos represents District 9 in the State Senate, which comprises the southwest region of Nassau County.[2] He is the second Long Islander to hold the position of Majority Leader, following Ralph J. Marino.

Early life[edit]

Skelos graduated from Washington College with a B.A. in History in 1970, and earned a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1975.

Early political career[edit]

New York State Assembly[edit]

Dean Skelos first won elective office on November 4, 1980. Skelos, running on the Republican, Conservative and Right-to-Life party lines defeated Democratic and Liberal party candidate Peter S. Kilcommons, Jr. by a 64% to 36% margin (30,749 to 17,371), to win election in the vacant 19th Assembly District representing Nassau County. The New York State Assembly seat became vacant when incumbent Assemblyman Raymond J. McGrath decided to run for an open seat in the United States House of Representatives due to the retirement of nine-term incumbent John W. Wydler.

New York State Senate[edit]

1982[edit]

After one term in the Assembly, Skelos gave up his seat to challenge incumbent Democratic-Liberal New York State Senator Carol Berman. The 1982 reapportionment changed the boundaries of the 9th Senate District, which previously included parts of Nassau and Queens County. The new district, drawn by Senate Republicans, was now entirely within Nassau County and favored Republicans. Skelos was endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties. Berman, running on the Democratic and Liberal party lines won the race by 6,108 votes (55,504 to 49,396). Matthew Doyle, the Right-to-Life party candidate, received 2,520 votes in the three-way race.

The 9th Senate District today includes the city of Long Beach, the villages of Rockville Centre, Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, East Rockaway, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor, Hewlett Neck, Island Park, Lawrence, Lynbrook, Malverne, Valley Stream, and Woodsburgh, and the hamlets of Baldwin, Barnum Island, Elmont, Franklin Square, Hewlett, Inwood, North Valley Stream, Oceanside, West Hempstead, and Woodmere.[2]

1984[edit]

In 1984, Skelos challenged Berman in a rematch. This time, Skelos, who had President Ronald Reagan visit the district and campaign for him, defeated Berman in a two-way race. Skelos won 50.7% to 49.3% (67,834 to 65,875).

1986[edit]

In 1986, Carol Berman challenged Skelos in their third consecutive state senate contest. Skelos, running on the Republican and Conservative party lines defeated the Democratic-Liberal candidate Berman in a three-way race, winning 53% of the vote (49,761) to 43.7% (41,005). Right-to-Life party candidate, Joan McDermott received 3.2% (2,967) of the vote.

In the Senate[edit]

He also served as the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee before stepping down from that post after ten years. While serving as chairman Skelos was credited with authoring the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC), which assists senior citizens in defraying the cost of prescription drugs.

Senator Skelos was also instrumental in the passage of the Sex Offender Registration Act, also known as Megan's Law, which mandated that convicted sex offenders register with local law enforcement authorities and that local communities be apprised of the presence of all known sex offenders.

As Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Breast Cancer and Pesticides, Senator Skelos helped to draft the Health Research Science Law, which established a Pesticide Registry within New York State.

Intimately involved in events in Long Island, he is also credited with creating the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.

Since 1989, Senator Skelos has been Co-Chairman of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Apportionment, a position that requires he and his colleagues to redraw the boundaries of Assembly, Senate, and congressional districts within New York State.

In 1993, Senator Skelos was appointed as Chairman of the Task Force on Economic Recovery and Job Development.

He was Deputy Majority Leader of the New York State Senate from 1995 to 2008, and Majority Leader in 2008 after the resignation of Joseph Bruno.

In 1998, he was appointed by Governor George Pataki to sit on the four-member Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Program Review Board.

Senator Skelos has been a member of the board of directors of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation since 1998, as well as a member of the National Conference of State Legislators and National Conference of Insurance Legislators.

In 2011, Skelos voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which the Senate passed 33-29.[3] In a statement he said, "this is a very difficult issue and it will be a vote of conscience for every member of the Senate."[4]

In 2013, as Senate Leader, Skelos was responsible for suspending Senate rules and bringing the NY SAFE Act to the floor. He later voted for the SAFE Act and advocated its passage.;[5][6]

In addition to his service in the New York State Senate, he is also counsel to Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ New York Library Association: Sen. Dean Skelos (R-NY 9th District) biography
  2. ^ a b http://www.nyssenate9.com/9/DistrictMap.aspx
  3. ^ roll call
  4. ^ Skelos' Statement
  5. ^ "Rally held in Rockville Centre to protest Sen. Dean Skelos' recent vote for the NY SAFE Act". February 16, 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Skelos On Gun Control: ‘Perhaps We Did Act In Haste’". Capital Tonight. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Raymond J. McGrath
New York State Assembly, 19th District
1981 - 1982
Succeeded by
Armand Paul D'Amato
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Carol Berman
New York State Senate, 9th District
1985–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph L. Bruno
Temporary President of the New York State Senate
2008
Succeeded by
Malcolm Smith
Preceded by
Joseph Bruno
Acting
Lieutenant Governor of New York
Acting

2008
Succeeded by
Malcolm Smith
Acting
Preceded by
Malcolm Smith
Minority Leader of the New York State Senate
2009
Succeeded by
2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis1
Preceded by
2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis1
Minority Leader of the New York State Senate
2009 - 2010
Succeeded by
John L. Sampson
Preceded by
Malcolm Smith
Temporary President of the New York State Senate
2011–present
Incumbent
Notes and references
1. Both Skelos and Smith claimed to be Majority Leader