On Monday, State Senate hopeful Tom Sullivan joined his friends, family and supporters at the Glendale Veterans Triangle to announce his candidacy under the Republican and Conservative party lines.
Sullivan has served in the United States Army Reserve and currently holds the rank of colonel. Over the past 25 years, he has served as a company commander in Iraq, a battalion commander in Afghanistan and a plans and operation officer in Kuwait.
Sullivan also has small business owner, community leader and financial business administrator on his resume.
“I will use my experience as a small business owner, as a military officer, as a financial expert, to reduce wasteful spending, lower property taxes and [stop] the overdevelopment of our communities that we call our own,” Sullivan said. “I will defend our neighborhoods from the government’s efforts to socially engineer our schools, our prison system, our homeless shelters.”
Sullivan also said that he will do everything in his power to preserve democracy as a leader.
“I will impede the efforts of the random spreading of socialism across our democratic society,” he said. “I will fight tirelessly to represent the people in this district, this great state of equality, Republicans, Conservatives, Democrats alike.”
Joann Ariola, the chairwoman of the Queens Republican Party, said she’s certain that Queens needs a candidate like Sullivan.
“We need to take candidates that we know can win, that can go up to Albany and bring the right agenda,” she said. “And I don’t mean far right. I just mean the right thoughts, the right platform, the right intentions, and that's what we have here with Tom Sullivan.
Councilman Eric Ulrich, the only Queens Republican in the City Council, is also on board with Sullivan’s candidacy. He endorsed Sullivan on Monday, and is rooting for his success.
“We are supporting an outstanding candidate for State Senate, someone who wants to continue serving not only his country but his community as an elected official,” Ulrich said. “He will do a terrific job and I’m proud to endorse him today and to help him get elected.”
Other items on Sullivan’s agenda are rebuilding south Queens, including Breezy Point, Broad Channel and Howard Beach, and putting money back into Rikers Island so that prisons aren’t placed in local neighborhoods.
“It is not cost effective or productive, and it disenfranchises the public,” he said.
The GOP candidate also wants to fund programs for the homeless so they can stay near support systems, rather than being placed in random communities.
Debbie, Sullivan’s wife of 19 years, said she’s fully supportive of her husband’s endeavors into local politics.
“I’m very excited for him, very proud of him,” she said. “For me, this was always a when, not an if.”
“I knew someday in his life he was going to take a stab at this,” she added, “and I think he’s going to be really successful.”