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'Frustrated' exec to challenge Suffolk County Legislature GOP incumbent

Main Street in Smithtown. (Feb. 20, 2012)

Main Street in Smithtown. (Feb. 20, 2012) (Credit: Erin Geismar)

A Smithtown business executive has been tapped by town Democrats to challenge Suffolk Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset).

Gary Jacobs, 46, said he decided to run because he believes the county is providing insufficient services to Smithtown. He said he would develop plans to assist businesses in Smithtown hamlet, where he said he recently counted 25 empty storefronts.

“I’m tired of being on the outside and looking in, and getting frustrated with what’s going on,” said Jacobs, a partner with Vo-Toys, based in Harrison, N.J. “I don’t see the money coming back to Smithtown, and in my opinion, it’s because [Kennedy] is not part of the legislative majority.”

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Kennedy, 57, represents the 12th Legislative District, which covers parts of Commack, St. James, Hauppauge, Nesconset, Lake Grove and Centereach. He first was elected in a 2004 special election and has been re-elected four times since. Terms are two years.

Kennedy, the legislature’s minority leader, said he would push to extend county sewer service to the Smithtown and Kings Park business districts in hopes of attracting development. “I welcome the opportunity to go ahead and talk about the issues,” he said. “I’m going to run on my record.”

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