Theresa Mari, a Centerport resident, is running for a seat on the Huntington Town Board on the Republican line.
The Hofstra University Law School graduate has been a practicing attorney for the past 34 years, first in business law and now mostly in family and real estate law at her own firm.
This is her first time running for public office.
“I’ve spent most of my adult life representing children [in court] and doing charitable and philanthropic work, so running for office semed to be the next step for me in serving my community,” Mari said. “I believe I can use all my skills to improve Huntington.”
Mari grew up in Port Jefferson Station and moved to Centerport in 1993 — “I chose Huntington. This where I plan to stay,” she said.
The candidate cited development and infrastructure as two of the large issues currently facing the town. Though Mari recognizes the need for housing in Huntington, she opposes large development projects as a solution.
“We live in a beautiful suburb. We’ve all chosen to live here and we want to keep Huntington a suburb,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with Queens, but that’s not where I’ve chosen to live. We need more housing but we can’t add that housing at the cost of changing our community.”
Still, Mari said that as councilwoman she would “look at each project and judge it on its own merits.”
Mari added that she would “hold the line” on taxes and ensure that residents’ taxes do not increase, while still looking to improve infrastruture such as paving of the roads and keeping aquifers and drinking water clean.
Mari also noted that keeping Huntington’s children safe and ensuring their bright futures is another top priority for her. She hopes to bridge the gap between youth organizations and school districts to create positive programming for young people.
To do this, Mari plans to work with Huntington’s youth court, local drug rehabilitation centers, and school districts, whose leaders she has already contacted.
“There’s not a lot of mental health help available,” she said. “It’s important to me that we make sure our youth is supported.”
Mari is also a breast cancer survivor and hopes to bring awareness and charity work around the issue of breast cancer.
There will be two vacant seats on the Town board, left by outgoing council members Democrat Joan Cergol and Republican Eugene Cook, for voters to decide on in November.