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Robert Lofaro to run for New Hyde Park mayor

Downtown shopping district in New Hyde Park along

Downtown shopping district in New Hyde Park along Jericho Turnpike. New Hyde Park's main street is Jericho Turnpike. (Sept. 16, 2011) Credit: Amra Radoncic

It has been a long time coming for Robert Lofaro.

A New Hyde Park village trustee for the past 14 years, Lofaro finally will have his turn to run for mayor. After the village's longtime leader, Daniel Petruccio, announced he would retire after his term expires this spring, Lofaro, the deputy mayor, said this week he would seek the mayoralty.

If things had worked out differently, Lofaro said, he might have been the retiring mayor, passing the baton off to his colleague Petruccio.

But that was not to be.

In 2001, Lofaro was planning to run for mayor, but he was working for a financial institution, he said, that would not allow him to do so.

Petruccio and Lofaro, who became outspoken after a 1997 tax hike sparked intense opposition to the village -- including a court action seeking to abolish it altogether -- formed The Village Party with other residents and campaigned to unseat the incumbents. Lofaro became a trustee in 1999; Petruccio was elected mayor in 2001.

Over the years, Lofaro said, he set aside his mayoral ambitions, saying he was satisfied with Petruccio's performance.

"It would have been nice to be in Dan's role, and in 12 years be passing it onto someone else," he said in an interview Tuesday. But now, he's employed by a new company, Deutsche Bank, that will allow him to run for mayor.

Lofaro, 53, has lived in New Hyde Park for nearly three decades, and he and his wife raised his two daughters there.

Petruccio, also 53, announced his retirement last week, saying he accomplished "most of the things I set out to do when I ran."

The Village Party on Monday announced that trustees Lawrence Montreuil and Donald Barbieri would also seek re-election, as would Village Justice Christopher Devane. The elections are scheduled for March 19.

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