Williston Park village trustee challenges Ra for Assembly seat

Williston Park village trustee challenges Ra for Assembly seat
Williston Park Trustee William Carr is running for state Assembly. (Photo courtesy of William Carr)

William Carr said it is time for regular people to start running for office, which is why the Williston Park village trustee said he decided to take on the role of Assembly District 19’s Democratic candidate.

“It just seems to me that a lot of the politicians nowadays are lawyers or multimillionaires,” Carr said in an interview. “So why not a regular person.”

Carr will face four-term incumbent Republican Ed Ra in the November election.

Ra won his last election in 2016 with nearly 62 percent of the vote.

Ra has raised more than $52,000 for the coming election, according to campaign filing records.

No campaign finance records have been filed for Carr, according to the state Board of Elections.

Carr has lived in Williston Park for 19 years; he originally hails from Freeport.

He is currently serving his second term on the village board and is up for re-election in March.

Carr views his position on the board before running for state office as “working [his] way up,” he said.

“I know local government, so I know what the struggles of the local governments are,” Carr said. “And I like to believe that if elected I should be able to help all the villages, not just mine, and even if I can’t help them I understand where they’re coming from because I worked on their level before.”

If elected to the Assembly, Carr said he would step down from his position on the village board.

With spending a significant number of days in Albany he doesn’t think it would be fair not to give “100 percent” to the village.

Service has always been a part of Carr’s life.

Before moving to Williston Park, Carr was a volunteer firefighter in the Freeport Fire Department.

In addition to his time on the board, Carr has served his local community as a coach for St. Aidan’s Church Catholic Youth Organization’s girls volleyball, and as a coach for the local Little League and lacrosse leagues.

The father of four also volunteered with the Boy Scouts.

Despite his dedication to service, Carr initially said no when community members approached him about running for Assembly, he said.

“And then with different people encouraging me I said, ‘You know what, why not,'” Carr said. “If I don’t run then who runs.”

Carr has been a union electrician for 22 years – a position in which he’s helped to “build New York, literally,” according to his campaign website.

Carr said he “absolutely” thinks being a union member will help him if elected to the Assembly.

One of his top priorities is protecting New York state prevailing wage laws, he said. A bill was supposed to come to the floor this year regarding the issue but did not come to a vote, he said.

Prevailing wage laws set the wage rate for trade employees performing public works projects.

He also wants to make sure state tax incentives and Industrial Development Agency money have labor standards attached to them, he said.

Carr said he’d also like to help attack the drug epidemic. One way he plans to do so is through funding community after-school activities, he said.

“If you keep these kids occupied, maybe they won’t go down the road of getting fixed on whatever drug it might be,” Carr said.

This is the first time Carr has run for office above the village level.

He said it’s been a “learning experience” and he has received positive feedback from residents he’s spoken to.

“I’m motivated to run a good, clean campaign,” Carr said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Klar by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 204, or follow her on Twitter @rebeccaklar_.

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