Steve Levy (politician)

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Steve Levy
7th County Executive of Suffolk County, New York
In office
January 1, 2004 – December 31, 2011
Preceded byRobert J. Gaffney
Succeeded bySteve Bellone
Member of the New York State Assembly, from the 5th district
In office
Preceded byPaul Harenberg
Succeeded byGinny Fields
Member of the Suffolk County Legislature
In office
Personal details
Steven A. Levy

August 25, 1959 (1959-08-25) (age 59)[1]
Glendale, Queens[1]
Political partyRepublican (was Democratic until 2010)
Spouse(s)Colleen West
ResidenceBayport, New York
Alma materState University of New York at Stony Brook
St. John's University School of Law
WebsiteOfficial website

Steven A. "Steve" Levy[3] (pronounced LEE-vee; born August 25, 1959) was the seventh County Executive of Suffolk County, New York, elected on November 4, 2003. Originally a fiscally conservative Democrat, Levy joined the Republican Party in an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for governor.

Personal life[edit]

Steve Levy was born in Glendale, Queens.[1] Along with his brother and sister, he was raised in Holbrook, New York by his father Andrew Levy, who owned a Brooklyn appliance store, and his mother, Marie Cavalcante Levy,[4] his father was Jewish, descended from immigrants from Alsace-Lorraine, and his mother was Italian-American and Catholic[5] (Levy was reared as a Catholic). He is a graduate of Sachem High School in Holbrook (1977), the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1981, magna cum laude) and St. John's University School of Law (1984).[1] Levy married Colleen West on December 2, 1994, at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Sayville, New York,[6] they live in Bayport, New York with her children from a previous marriage.[1][7]


In 1984, Levy was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature where he served for 15 years (1985–2000).[4] In 2000, he was elected to the New York State Assembly, where he represented the 5th Assembly District from 2001 to 2003.[4]

Levy, then a Democrat who identified as fiscally conservative, ran for the office of Suffolk County Executive in 2003,[8] he opposed Republican Edward Romaine. Levy entered office in 2004. On November 6, 2007, he was overwhelmingly re-elected to a second term with cross-endorsement and receiving 96% of the vote.

Reflecting concerns of many residents in the county about rising numbers of immigrants, especially undocumented ones, Levy has promoted pro-american policies, including employer verification of worker status and restrictions on drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants. In November 2008 seven local high school students attacked and murdered Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant who had lived and worked for 16 years at a cleaners in Patchogue, Suffolk County, supporting his mother in Ecuador. Levy described the killing as not "a question of any county policy or legislation," but "a question of bad people doing horrific things."[9] The students admitted to anti-Latino attacks, and were sentenced to varying terms.[10][11]

2010 New York Governor's race[edit]

On March 19, 2010, Levy announced that he would switch political parties, seeking the Republican Party's nomination for New York Governor, competing with former New York Congressman Rick Lazio and Buffalo developer Carl Paladino for the party nomination.[12] Though he changed his voter registration to the Republican Party, this change came after the deadline for making such a change. For legal purposes, Levy remained a Democrat until November 2010, with the registration change taking effect after Election Day.

Levy's platform focused on getting the state's financial house in order and reining in spending, while decreasing property taxes, he also called for the creation of an independent control board, much like the ones formed by the state for counties who are in financial crisis, to help address the state of New York's fiscal woes.[13]

Despite the support of state Republican chairman Edward F. Cox, Levy failed to gain the necessary support at the New York State Republican Convention for a "Wilson Pakula," the document necessary for non-party members to seek a party's nomination. Authorizing such a document requires a majority weighted vote of the attending members of the party; Levy received 42 percent, which barred him from entering the Republican primary, either by nomination or by petition; as a result, Levy was eliminated from the race.[14]

In 2011 Levy announced he would not seek reelection to a third term as county executive; the Suffolk District Attorney's office conducted an investigation of "issues with regard to fundraising." No charges were filed. Contributions were returned to original donors.


  1. ^ a b c d e Vitello, Paul (June 13, 2007). "Suffolk's Leader Wins a Following on Immigration". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-25. born August 25, 1959
  2. ^ Brand.Rick.Brand@Newsday, Rick (2007-05-27). "POLITICS & POWER, The rise of Levy,".
  3. ^ "Minutes of Organizational Meeting" (PDF). Suffolk County Legislature. January 2, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-25.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c Epstein, Reid J. (October 31, 2007). "Levy faces almost certain reelection" (PDF). Newsday. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2009-01-25. He was elected to the legislature in 1984 at age 25...
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2011-06-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Marriages at St. Ann's: Colleen West & Steve Levy" (PDF). St. Ann's Episcopal Church, Sayville, NY. February 2, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  7. ^ "Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business Awards: 2008 Awardees: Colleen West-Levy". Long Island Business News. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  8. ^ "Office of the County Executive". Suffolk County Government. Archived from the original on December 4, 2004.
  9. ^ Peter Applebome. New York Times, Nov 20, 2008. p. A.36
  10. ^ Naimah Jabali-Nash, "Four New York Teens Sentenced in 2008 Hate Crime", CBS News, 26 August 2010, accessed 17 February 2014
  11. ^ Semple, Kirk (November 13, 2008). "A Killing in a Town Where Latinos Sense Hate". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  12. ^ Peters, Jeremy. "Planned Switch to G.O.P. Stirs New York Governor Race", New York Times, March 17, 2010.
  13. ^ Auburn Pub, 7 April 2010
  14. ^ Vielkind, Jimmy (2010-06-02). "Levy falls short on primary try; Lazio advances alone", Capitol Confidential, Retrieved 2010-06-02.

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Paul Harenberg
New York State Assembly, 5th District
Succeeded by
Ginny Fields
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert J. Gaffney
County Executive of Suffolk County, New York
Succeeded by
Steve Bellone
Political offices