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Anti-red light camera activist seeks Suffolk legislative seat

Stephen Ruth speaks out against red light cameras

Stephen Ruth speaks out against red light cameras during a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature in Hauppauge on July 16. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Stephen Ruth, an anti-red light camera activist who has crossed the law in his crusade, is back.

After swearing off appearances before the county legislature last September, Ruth filed papers with the Suffolk Board of Elections in Yaphank to become the Libertarian candidate for county legislature in the 4th District.

It will put him in a race against GOP Legis. Tom Muratore of Ronkonkoma and Democrat challenger David Bligh of Holbrook.

Ruth’s return is not a total surprise. He made an appearance at the county legislature last month at a public hearing on whether the controversial red light camera program should be continued for another five years. Before his hiatus, Ruth appeared at most legislative meetings, armed with a video camera, for three years.

In the past, Ruth, 46, of Centereach, filed petitions to run a GOP primary in 2017 and ran for state Senate in 2016. Ruth, who claims the red light camera program is a government money grab rather than a safety program, ran afoul of the law, pleading guilty to a felony charge of criminal mischief for cutting red light camera wires at 17 locations in 2016. He also was ordered to pay $85,000 in restitution.

In addition to Ruth, Libertarians have also added to their slate Republican contender Linda Kabot of Quogue in the 2nd District, and GOP candidate Dominick Thorne of Patchogue in the 7th District.


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