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SD-39 Race Profile: Basile v. Skoufis

On Election Day, voters in State Senate District 39 will see something that they have not seen since the 1980’s: A general election ballot that does not have Bill Larkin’s name on it.

Sen. Larkin, a Republican, has represented his lower Hudson Valley district in the State Senate since 1991. This year, at the age of 90, the Senator announced that he would not seek re-election. Given that the Democrats hold an enrollment edge of more than 15,000 voters in District 39, they have a realistic opportunity to win this seat due to Sen. Larkin’s retirement. This year’s election in Senate District 39 is regarded as a battleground race that could have a major impact upon the balance of power in the New York State Senate.

The Democratic Senate candidate in District 39 is Asm. James Skoufis. Asm. Skoufis, 31, has represented Assembly District 99 since 2013. Skoufis received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from The George Washington University and his master’s degree from Columbia University. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Skoufis worked as a project manager and was a member of the Woodbury Town Board. He is reportedly the youngest Member of the New York State Legislature.

Tom Basile is the Republican candidate in Senate District 39. Basile, 43, states that he received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Hofstra University and his law degree from Fordham University. His resume includes a stint at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a position as an advisor to the coalition government in Iraq, a managing director post at a New York City-based public relations firm, an adjunct professorship at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a position as Executive Director of the New York State Republican Party. Basile has served as a Stony Point Town Councilman since 2013 and is the author of Tough Sell: Fighting the Media War in Iraq (Potomac, 2017).

To view the candidates’ positions on the issues, please visit New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation’s 2018 voter guide at