When he was campaigning for his Suffolk County legislative seat in 2020, Dominick Thorne knew it would be a difficult race. As the Republican candidate, he was facing off against the sitting presiding officer of the legislature.
Thorne did not have the name recognition or money usually needed to win an election. So he went to work, and instead of spending thousands and thousands of dollars on mailings and advertising, he introduced himself door to door. He went to community meetings and listened. It was classic campaigning, and it worked.
“Nobody is going to outwork me,” Thorne states. “I met the people in my district, I listened to their concerns, and then asked them to elect me to the office so I could fight for them. They put their confidence in me, and I will not let them down. We have been able to do extraordinary things for the community in our first year, and much more is to come.”
Thorne is celebrating his most recent victory as a legislator. Earlier this month he helped close a deal that turns the long-vacant and blighted Bianchi-Weiss property in East Patchogue into a nature preserve.
“I worked with the county, the village, the town and the Morrow Foundation to give that gift to the community,” Thorne says. “We are very proud of our combined efforts, and how we worked together for the benefit of the residents.”
Thorne is known for working with anyone who can help him achieve his goals. He is not afraid to keep making calls and knocking on doors to keep the fires burning until the issue is resolved.
“Work. Fight. Push. That is how things get done,” he says. “You need to work with others, keep all doors open and put the people first. When that happens, everybody wins.”
Thorne is running for reelection this year. As a member of the Republican-controlled legislature, he represents the communities of Patchogue, East Patchogue, North Patchogue, Medford and Gordon Heights. Smaller portions of Blue Point, North Bellport, Middle Island, Coram, Yaphank and Fire Island are also included in the 7th district. The boundaries run north to Middle Country Road and include the southern shoreline within the following rough boundaries: Blue Point Avenue to the west and the Bellport Village line to the east.
Thorne is a lifelong Long Island resident, residing in Patchogue Village since the 1980s. He has spent nearly 30 years in the local fire and EMS services and has made it his mission to put people first. His dedication to community service started in grade school, volunteering for the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
At 12, he joined the Levittown Fire Department and at 16 he joined an organization of volunteers patrolling the parkways to help stranded motorists. Upon moving to the Patchogue area, he joined the North Patchogue Fire Department as an EMT critical care tech in 1990, where he served as captain of Emergency Medical Services for 10 years. He has helped train new team members and created a program to ensure every patient receives the highest level of pre-hospital care.
For over six years Thorne worked at the Suffolk County Board of Elections, serving as the training coordinator. During his time on the board, he trained hundreds of Brookhaven volunteers to ensure that the residents could trust the electoral process.
He was first elected to office on November 2, 2021, and took the official oath of office on January 3, 2022. He was selected to serve as the chair of the Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services & Preparedness Committee. In his first year in office, Thorne has had the opportunity to both introduce and also vote to approve important legislation.
“We put the people first,” Thorne says. “Improving public safety, cutting taxes, preserving open space, improving water quality, and good government remain the foundation of our efforts. We are succeeding.”
When gas prices were reaching historic levels last year, the Republican caucus introduced a bill that cut the county portion of gas sale taxes to bring some relief to already struggling families. Thorne supported bills that revised the county’s term limit laws, opening the doors for future leaders and new life in the Suffolk County government.
“You can’t stay in office forever,” he says. “To govern properly, you need to have new ideas and fresh energy.”
The legislature also approved a no-tax-hike county budget which restored funds to the county’s ShotSpotter program. The ShotSpotter technology is an invaluable tool for law enforcement in combatting gun violence. Thorne also supported a measure to eliminate illegal red light camera ticket fees. In his own district, Thorne has been recognized for his accomplishments in addressing long-standing issues.
Earlier last year, his office successfully lobbied the county to address major flooding issues at Canaan Lake, and he has also secured funding for key wastewater infrastructure projects that will help decrease the nitrogen overload that is causing poor water quality in the area’s canals and bays. It is a dream job for a person who has been helping people since he was a child.
“There is no end to what can be done when people come together for the benefit of others,” Thorne says. “At a time when it seems the public has lost confidence in their elected officials, my colleagues and I in the legislature just focus on getting things done. That is the measure of success. Don’t just talk about it. Get it done.”
Todd Shapiro is an award-winning publicist and associate publisher of Dan’s Papers.