David Franklin, the Republican candidate running for the District 6 council seat in the Town of North Hempstead, said he is seeking public office in spite of and due to his disregard for politics.
“I hate politics, that’s why I’m involved,” Franklin said.
Franklin, 66, is vying for North Hempstead’s District 6, which encompasses Port Washington and parts of Manhasset. He is challenging Democrat incumbent Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte.
Franklin is the deputy commissioner for Nassau County Parks, Recreation and Museums, a role he has served in since March 2022.
He was born in Syracuse, NY, and grew up in Jersey City. He attended St. Louis University and shortly after began his career at the radio station KBIL in St. Louis.
He then had a 36-year-long career at cable television company HBO as a radio frequency engineer, rounding off his career as an operation supervisor.
Franklin said when he moved to Port Washington 36 years ago, it was his first real sense of community. Being thrust into such an environment, he said he was inspired to get involved as well.
“I never say no to charity because I believe if life is good you have to give back,” Franklin said.
During Hurricane Sandy, Franklin was a member of the original Port Washington crisis relief team to help aid residents affected by the natural disaster. He would help set up shelters where people could access power when their homes had lost it.
Franklin said he loves new challenges, believes in not becoming complacent in one’s life, and that this mantra has led him to pursue a career in public office.
“I never sought public office, the office always sought me,” he said.
Franklin said that due to his public service, he has been asked to run for numerous positions. This included Port Washington police commissioner, which he served as for nine years.
He said the nine years serving as police commissioner were some of the best years of his life due to public service and working with some of Port Washington’s finest men and women.
“We got a lot done, we got a lot accomplished,” Franklin said.
He said that as police commissioner, he negotiated contracts with the Police Benevolent Association that are still saving money for the community and will continue to do so.
Franklin said a goal of his as police commissioner was transparency and communication with the community in order to better serve their needs.
“It’s not about what I want, it’s about what the people want,” Franklin said.
Franklin also ran for New York State’s 7th Senate District in 2020, losing to former State Sen. Anna Kaplan. He said he lost the race due to the anti-Trump vote and voters not wanting to vote for Republican candidates.
He said he doesn’t consider himself a politician but rather a public servant who does not care about political parties.
“If it’s a good idea for the people, let’s go with it,” Franklin said. “I don’t care who came up with it. I take no pride in ownership. Let’s just do what’s right for the people.”
He said running for the Town board was a decision he made in order to continue giving back to his community and help to do things better.
Franklin said one issue he wants to address within the town is its Building Department and the struggle for local businesses to get permits.
“You go up and down Main Street, how many closed-up stores are there?” Franklin said, stressing the importance of The town supporting local businesses.
Franklin, who opposed Gov. Kathy Hochul’s housing plan, said his platform is also against building new housing. He said additional housing would further impact traffic and put more pressure on local school districts.
“It’s unsustainable,” Franklin said. “At what point do you get full? And we can’t just keep bringing more and more people in.”
He said rather than housing, he is more in favor of building additional parking so that people can easily access local stores like those along Port Washington’s Main Street.
Another platform Franklin is running on is boosting Port Washington’s entertainment and tourism to draw in outside people. He said local entertainment facilities, like the Sousa Band Shell, can be better supported to offer more entertainment to draw in individuals.
“Port Washington is a destination,” Franklin said. “We have to give people a reason to come.”
He said he would want to achieve this by advertising Port Washington on the Long Island Rail Road and fostering partnerships between the town and businesses to offer incentives and deals for individuals.
Franklin said the current town board is dysfunctional, with many members voting against Supervisor Jennifer DeSena “just for the sake of voting against her to make her look bad.” He said it is counterproductive and lends to partisanship at the expense of the constituents.
“There should not be politics at this level,” Franklin said. “I think these people forgot that they took an oath of office and not an oath of party. They should be devoted to the people.”
This is as the root of Franklin’s motto: “People over politics.”
Franklin said this is what sets him apart from other candidates as his focus is on serving the public.
“Whatever is best for people should be done,” Franklin said.
When asked about national politics, Franklin said he does not have a favored Republican nominee for the presidential election. He said that every candidate has something good to say, but it’s got to “boil down” to fewer candidates.
Franklin said that with Trump’s ratings so far eading the Republican presidential nominee pack, he’s a strong contender who brings good and bad qualities. When asked who he would vote for between President Joe Biden and Trump, Franklin said he would not be able to vote for Biden as he has “ruined the country.”
When asked if he believed Biden was elected in a free and fair election, Franklin said he’s not sure if the truth will ever be fully known.
“The results are in, he won. That’s the end,” Franklin said. “Who knows what happens behind the scenes.”
He said he is more concerned about local government than federal politics, as local governance is more accessible and personal to individuals in a community.
Franklin said that with the months ahead preluding the election, his focus will be on listening to the people more than he will be speaking.
“It’s got to be about what the people need,” Franklin said.