Republican challenger Douglas Tuman is running to unseat Kathleen Rice to represent New York’s 4th Congressional District.
The 4th CD includes Atlantic Beach, Baldwin, Bellmore, Bellerose, Bellerose Terrace, East Rockaway, East Meadow, Elmont, the Five Towns, Floral Park, Franklin Square, Freeport, Garden City, Hempstead, Island Park, Long Beach, Lynbrook, Malverne, Merrick, Mineola, Carle Place, New Hyde Park, Oceanside, Rockville Centre, Roosevelt, South Floral Park, Stewart Manor, Uniondale, Valley Stream, Wantagh, West Hempstead and Westbury.
Tuman, 40, has been the commissioner of engineering for the Town of Hempstead for the last four years. He earned a bachelor of engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a JD from Hofstra Law. He is both a licensed attorney and professional engineer.
This is Tuman’s first run for political office. He lives in Hempstead with his 6-year-old daughter, Frania.
Patch reached out to the candidates to get more information about them. Here’s what Tuman said:
Why are you seeking elective office?
I am running because our district has been left voiceless and vote-less for the last six years as our Congresswoman has missed more than 161 votes in Washington D.C. — two times more missed votes than the average member of Congress. As a result of Rice’s persistent absence, New York state has been taken advantage of in D.C. as we pay $26.6 billion more in federal taxes than we get back in federal funds each year. That is funding that should be going to improve our local schools, roads and small businesses as they recover from COVID.
Over the past few months, I have been to every town in our district to hear the issues that our residents care about. Shockingly (or perhaps not shockingly given her consistent absence), the overwhelmingly majority of residents have never seen or even heard of Kathleen Rice. It is about time we have a strong leader that shows up and speaks up to advocate for the issues that our district cares about. In Congress, I will support our law enforcement, secure COVID relief funding for our district, lower taxes, support Israel and support our veterans.
The single most pressing issue facing our nation/state/community is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Developing both a short- and long-term recovery plan from the effects of COVID-19. First and foremost, I would work across the aisle to immediately deliver financial relief to small businesses, families and citizens in the form of standalone stimulus payments. That would mean one bill that directly delivers support to small businesses and $1,200 stimulus checks to each eligible citizen — no strings or unrelated political objectives attached. Right now in Washington, self-interested politicians and partisan politics have produced gridlock because both parties are trying to stuff unrelated policy measures into their bills. It is not time to play politics. We need relief now.
My dual approach of providing funding to businesses and citizens will allow businesses to cover expenses to stay afloat, while improving our economy, which will in turn increase patronage at these small businesses. As businesses reopen, our government should provide PPE to promote safety and expedite economic recovery. As Congressman, I will introduce a bill that allows small businesses to deduct expenses incurred from the purchase of PPE supplies.
We must also create a business-friendly environment to promote small business recovery, start-up and consumerism in the coming years. To this end, I have developed a six-part tax reform plan that permanently extends pro-small business tax deductions (Section 199A), allows tax deferrals for start-up small businesses, eliminates the SALT cap, eliminates the marriage penalty, increases the Child Tax Credit and increases allowable expense deductions for teachers. These tax reform measures will promote small business growth and consumerism, while making Long Island more affordable.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
The critical difference is action vs. inaction. For six years, Kathleen Rice has failed to deliver on her campaign promises of providing tax relief, making college more affordable and reforming immigration. Not only has Rice not delivered, but she has not even shown up to vote in Washington D.C., having missed two times more votes than the average member of Congress since 2014. With her campaign funded 95 percent by corporations, PACs and lobbyists, Rice has become indifferent to the people of our district.
On the other hand, I am a candidate of action. Over the past few months, I have visited every town in our district to meet our residents and hear about the issues that they care about. Last week, I launched an Every Town Tour to again visit every town between now and election day, so I can stay updated on the concerns and pulse of our communities. Every Wednesday night at my campaign headquarters in Hempstead, I host small business development workshops to help aspiring small businesses owners get started on their dreams. I am running because I am a candidate committed to action and representation for all residents in our district. I have developed detailed, ready-to-implement policy proposals to lower taxes, make college more affordable, protect and reform Social Security and promote recovery from COVID. That is the difference between Kathleen Rice and myself.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency).
Kathleen Rice’s failure in Congress is undeniable. I know that, our district knows that and neutral, nonpartisan organizations know that. In our district, our taxes have gone up, college has become more expensive and our Congresswoman does not even show up to vote. According to Newsday, Kathleen Rice is “not as focused on or as present as she should in our district.” According to GovTrack.us, Rice has missed two times more votes in D.C. than the average member of Congress. But despite not showing in our district or in D.C., Rice has walked to re-election the past two cycles because her campaign is funded 95 percent by corporate lobbyists, PACs and large donors, according to nonpartisan theGoodParty.org. If a person in our district didn’t show up to work and failed at their job, they wouldn’t be rewarded with a $174,000/year salary and a renewed contract. And neither should Kathleen Rice.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
The issues that define my campaign include delivering COVID relief to small businesses and residents on Long Island; supporting our law enforcement; making Long Island more affordable through my six-part tax reform plan and promoting small business growth, reforming higher education through my Degree-in-Three Reform plan; investing in and improving local infrastructure; protecting and reforming Social Security; supporting Israel as our ally; supporting our veterans; and addressing climate change with private sector technology, development and innovation. For more detail on my plans, I encourage all residents of NY-04 to visit my website at www.douglastuman.com/issues or call/text me directly at 516-308-1703 to further discuss.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
If elected I am going to implement a text-message based polling system to effectively allow every constituent to vote directly on every issue on the floor of Congress. I believe this will help improve citizen engagement in democracy and will promote accountability in politics. Many people are disenfranchised and feel like their vote no longer counts since politicians all too often just tow the party line. I believe the job of a representative is to represent and advocate on behalf of all people in our district. The system that I pledge to implement will give every constituent — no matter what party they are in — a voice and opportunity to have their vote count beyond election day.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .