Fred W. Thiele Jr.

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Fred Thiele
Member of the New York Assembly from the 1st District
2nd District 1995-2012
Assumed office
February 15, 1995
Preceded by John L. Behan
Personal details
Born (1953-08-08) August 8, 1953 (age 63)
Southampton, New York
Political party Republican (1982-2009)
Independence (2009-present)
Alma mater Long Island University (B.A.)
Website Official website

Frederick W. Thiele Jr. (born August 8, 1953) is the Assembly member for the 1st District of the New York Assembly. The district includes East Hampton, Shelter Island, Southampton and portions of Brookhaven in Suffolk County. He is a member of the Independence Party of New York, after switching from the Republican Party in October 2009. He caucuses with the Democrats.

Personal life[edit]

Thiele is a native of Sag Harbor, New York and graduated from Pierson High School in 1971. He graduated from Southampton College of Long Island University in 1976 with a B.A. summa cum laude in political science and history. Thiele received a law degree from Albany Law School in 1979 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1980.

Thiele resides in Sag Harbor. He has a daughter who recently graduated from Colby College and two sons, one living and working in Manchester, New Hampshire, and the other in Brooklyn, New York. The Thiele family are lifelong fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Mets and the New York Islanders.

Political career[edit]

Thiele began his political career as counsel to former Assemblyman John L. Behan, a position in which he served until 1982.[1] Subsequent to his service as a legislative assistant he became Southampton Town Attorney and East Hampton Town Planning Board Attorney, from 1982–1987 and 1982–1986 respectively.

In 1987, Thiele won a bid to represent the 16th District within the Suffolk County Legislature, a position he would hold for the subsequent four years. After serving in the Suffolk County Legislature he would go on to be elected as Southampton town supervisor, where he would serve until winning a 1995 special election to succeed his former boss in the State Assembly.

Although Thiele had been a lifelong Republican, he has always been somewhat independent-minded. After being elected to the Suffolk County Legislature, he joined the chamber's nine Democrats to elect a Democrat as presiding officer. On October 1, 2009; Thiele announced he was joining the Independence Party, saying the Republicans no longer stood for "pocketbook issues." He sought and received permission to caucus with the Democratic supermajority; the other (now former) Independence Party assemblyman, Timothy P. Gordon, also caucused with the Democrats.[2][3]

Thiele, the only Independent in the Assembly, supports an open primary in New York State and supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary.[4]

New York Assembly[edit]

In 1995, Republican Governor George Pataki appointed Assemblyman John L. Behan as New York State Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs. Behan resigned from the New York Assembly, leaving a vacant seat in the 2nd District. Thiele ran for the seat and defeated Democratic nominee Leo Davis 69%–28% in the March 1995 special election.[5]

He won re-election to his first full term with 62% of the vote.[6] Between 1998 and 2006, he never won re-election with less than 59% of the vote. In 2008, he defeated Democratic nominee Michael Pitcher 62%–38%.[7][8] He won re-election for the first time as a member of the Independence Party, defeating Republican nominee Richard A. Blumenthal 59%–41%.[9]

Before his switch, Thiele had been ranking minority member on the Assembly Education Committee and vice chairman of the Assembly Minority Joint Conference Committee.

He currently sits on the House Committee on Education, House Committee on Election Law, House Committee on Environmental Conservation, House Committee on Oversight, House Committee on Transportation, and House Committee on Ways and Means.[10]

Election history
Location Year Election Results
Suffolk County
District 16
1989 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 74.31%
Roger E. Cullen 25.69%
Southampton Supervisor 1991 General √ Fred Thiele (I) 45.11%
George S. Stavropoulos (R) 33.27%
Ronald J. Moss (D) 17.21%
John D. Eckart (Conservative) 4.42%
New York Assembly
District 2
1995 Special √ Fred Thiele (R) 68.92%
Leo P. Davis (D) 27.84%
Valerie Hegeland (Right to Life) 3.24%
New York Assembly
District 2
1996 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 61.90%
Melissa A. Walton (D) 30.90%
Margaret A. Eckart (Conservative) 4.55%
Michael J. Bradley (Right to Life) 2.65%
New York Assembly
District 2
1998 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 59.85%
Margaret A. Eckart (D) 29.94%
Marie F. Mulcahy (Conservative) 10.21%
New York Assembly
District 2
2000 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 60.17%
Kevin R. Mitchell (D) 34.48%
Marie F. Mulcahy (Conservative) 3.88%
Van Buren D. Howell (Green) 1.48%
New York Assembly
District 2
2002 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 68.89%
Harriet Blossick-Sanchez (D) 25.49%
Patricia Guarino (Conservative) 3.37%
Robert Colapinto (Right to Life) 2.25%
New York Assembly
District 2
2004 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 60.93%
M. Treewolf West (D) 35.98%
Patricia Guarino (Conservative) 3.09%
New York Assembly
District 2
2006 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 59.22%
M. Treewolf West (D) 40.79%
New York Assembly
District 2
2008 General √ Fred Thiele (R) 62.06%
William M. Pitcher (D) 37.94%
New York Assembly
District 2
2010 General √ Fred Thiele (I) 59.35%
Richard A. Blumenthal (R) 40.62%
New York Assembly
District 1
2012 General √ Fred Thiele (I) Unopposed
New York Assembly
District 1
2014 General √ Fred Thiele (I) 60.54%
Heather Collins (R) 32.41%
Brian DeSesa (Conservative) 7.02%
New York Assembly
District 1
2016 General √ Fred Thiele (I) 62.35%
Heather Collins (R) 37.65%


External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
John L. Behan
New York State Assembly
2nd District

Succeeded by
Daniel P. Losquadro
Preceded by
Daniel P. Losquadro
New York State Assembly
1st District