Twenty years after his last run for elected office, Democrat Lewis Yevoli, a former Oyster Bay Town supervisor, is coming out of retirement to run in a primary against Nassau County Legis. Arnold Drucker (D-Plainview).
Yevoli, 78, of Old Bethpage, is known as a political maverick who often broke with Democratic colleagues on fiscal issues and clashed repeatedly with party leaders.
“It’s time for an independent voice that won’t necessarily vote in lockstep with Nassau Democrats,” Yevoli said in an interview. “We need to come up with real answers and stop kicking our problems to the next generation.”
Yevoli said Democrats failed to address Nassau’s mounting debt or provide real fixes for its underfunded bus and tax assessment systems.
Yevoli served in the State Assembly from 1974 through 1991, and then became the first Democrat to lead the GOP-dominated Town of Oyster Bay since the 1960s. Yevoli challenged Republican County Executive Thomas Gulotta in 1997, but Gulotta won easily.
Yevoli, who serves on Oyster Bay’s Zoning Board of Appeals, screened with the Nassau Democratic leadership last year to run for the 16th Legislative District seat after the death of Legis. Judy Jacobs but the party chose Drucker, a Nassau Community College trustee.
Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, who served as finance chair for Yevoli’s county executive campaign before they had a falling out, criticized Yevoli’s past contributions to the Nassau Republican Committee and Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), and his endorsement of Republican Anthony Santino for Hempstead Town Supervisor in 2015.
“This is just about Lew Yevoli and his ego,” Jacobs said.
Drucker said he was “confident that residents of the district have come to know me and will support me in the September primary.”