Louis Ingrassia Runs in Republican Primary for New York State 100th Assembly District

Louis Ingrassia Runs in Republican Primary for New York State 100th Assembly District
New York state 100th Assembly District Republican candidate Louis Ingrassia in Middletown, N.Y., on June 10, 2024. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)
Cara Ding
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Longtime town of Wallkill public works commissioner Louis Ingrassia said he is running for the state Assembly to use his professional and personal skills to benefit a broader community.

He faces Camille O’Brien in the June 25 Republican primary for the 100th Assembly District, which covers most of Sullivan County, as well as the City of Middletown and the town of Wallkill in Orange County.

“We have politicians that represent us, that don’t really have a lot of real-world experience—I have a lifetime of experience,” Mr. Ingrassia said, adding that he has dealt with water, wastewater, roads, fire services, and medical emergency services over more than three decades of professional and volunteer experience.

“My goal is to lend my life experience in a very positive manner and to be able to help more people on a larger scale on a much more regional basis,” he told The Epoch Times.

The Orange County Republican Party endorsed Mr. Ingrassia.

Raised on a family farm on Ingrassia Road in the town of Wallkill, Mr. Ingrassia learned from his civic-minded father to enjoy getting involved and helping others.

At 16, he joined the Howells Fire Company as a volunteer firefighter. After a brief study at SUNY Orange, he quit to work as a plumber and then a laborer at the water and wastewater department of the town of Wallkill in 1986.

“What I like is that you are developing a product that, at the end of the day, people can’t do without,” he said. “You can’t do anything without water.”

While at the department, he picked up continued technical education and earned a series of high-grade professional licenses, rising through the ranks to commissioner about 10 years ago. He also took command of the town highway department at about the same time he became public works commissioner.

“Over my entire public works career, I’ve never asked anyone to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself,” Mr. Ingrassia said.

Through his administrative role, he frequently interfaces with other town functions, such as the zoning board of appeals and planning board, to inform key development decisions.

Outside the town, he has taken on leadership roles at several local and regional professional associations, including as the current chairperson of the Hudson Valley Waterworks Conference, as a current board member of the Orange County Water Authority, and as president of the Orange County Highway Superintendents’ Association.

Regarding volunteer fire services, Mr. Ingrassia worked two stints as Howells fire chief and has served as a district fire commissioner for more than 20 years.

He is also the chairman of the board of the Hudson Valley Honor Flight, a regional chapter of a national network that organizes sponsored seasonal flights for veterans to visit various memorials in Washington.

“I was born into community service,” he said. “I have been helping people all my life.”

While wrapping up his professional career, he heard that longtime incumbent Aileen Gunther was not seeking reelection and decided to toss his hat into the ring for the open seat.

Campaign Platform

Mr. Ingrassia told The Epoch Times that his top priority is to repeal or roll back provisions of the bail reform, particularly when it comes to repeat offenders.

A 2019 bail law eliminated cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies, allowing defendants to be released without payment while awaiting their court appearances. Some provisions have already been rolled back.

He also said he wants to work on legislation that will better support first responders, including police officers, firefighters, and medical emergency service workers.

That’s an area where his volunteer experience comes in handy, he said, adding that he is open to fire district consolidations and more direct reimbursements for emergency medical services.

Regarding his professional experience in water and wastewater, Mr. Ingrassia said it would inform related state-level debates and help them stay close to situations on the ground.

“There are regulations that are needed and achievable, and there are regulations that truly just fit the narratives,” he said. “As a licensed water and sewer plant operator, I would be able to sit in a legislative hearing about a proposed bill, and I would be a subject matter expert.”

He also aims to help direct as many resources as he can back to the district in terms of water, sewers, and roads, areas in which state funding has traditionally played a sizable role.

Another priority of his is affordability, particularly the property tax burdens on district residents.

“I personally don’t complain about the amount of tax that we pay, as long as we are receiving benefits [that merit] the tax that we pay,” he said. “So if the student population is going down in a district, why does your school tax continue to go up? Where are we spending the money?”

By May 19, Mr. Ingrassia had raised more than $51,000 for his campaign, according to publicly available data from the state’s Board of Elections.