Sullivan focuses on earning the people’s trust
by Benjamin Fang
Aug 07, 2018 | 2321 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In every job that Tom Sullivan has had, whether it’s military colonel, small business owner or community board member, he has had to earn his colleagues’ trust.

The Republican State Senate candidate hopes to do the same if he successfully enters his next career as an elected official.

Sullivan wants to cooperate with politicians across the aisle, and improve communication with his constituents on local issues like tolls, beach access and homelessness.

“Compromise has to happen sometimes,” he said. “It can be done with discourse, with dialogue.”

The Republican Party-backed candidate will face off against GOP candidate Slawomir Platta in the primary on September 13. The winner will take on Democrat Joseph Addabbo in the general election.

Sullivan doesn’t want to attack the incumbent. In fact, the military vet calls Addabbo a “nice person” who has given more than a decade of service to his community.

But Sullivan believes the Democrat isn’t “getting things done,” and should move on from his current position in Albany.

“Either advance to higher office or give someone else an opportunity,” he said.

The Breezy Point resident, who also served on his local community board, said he’s against the current toll on the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge. He said taxes, not additional tolls, should pay for upkeep.

But he also wonders where the State Senate would replace the money lost from taking away the tolls.

“It’s all about the money,” said Sullivan, who supports reducing wasteful spending and lowering property taxes.”

The candidate also supports the proposal to reactivate the Rockaway Rail Line, but “not in its current condition.” Among his concerns is that the cost will be too much to bear.

“I’m a financial person and nothing is for free,” he said. “How would we fund this?”

Still, getting rid of the toll is one of his top priorities should he win in November. Another is improving communication with both his constituents and city officials on issues like the closing of Rikers Island and the opening of homeless shelters in his district.

Without communication, the candidate argued, there’s a sense of animosity and lack of trust that pervades community members.

With just weeks left in the primary campaign, Sullivan said he has been going to civic and community board meetings, knocking on doors and walking through his district to meet voters. He has also set up social media accounts and a website to connect with constituents online.

He hopes to win while also inspiring a sense of trust within his district that he feels is lacking.

“I’m not a career politician,” Sullivan said. “But I have a broad, diverse experience working with people.”
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