Eliot Tozer knows how difficult it will be to take the District 16 seat in the County Legislature from 40-year incumbent John Murphy (R-Pearl River).
Tozer, the Democratic nominee, does bring considerable qualifications and life experience to the race.
He has been an Orangetown resident since 1947, served his country in World War II as a Navy pilot, worked in town government and has a long career as a writer and educator.
There is another element that Tozer brings to the table, a refreshing
candor that sets him a part from most politicians.
When asked why he is running for the legislature, he said, “To fill the need. The Democratic Committee had no one to run against Mr. Murphy, so I decided to run. My only motivation was to be sure that there was someone representing the Democratic Party for this position,
“All I will bring is a different point of view. I do have my interests and I am not saying that Mr. Murphy doesn’t have the same interests. My concern is what we are doing as human beings to the environment. Climate change is one of the most important issues. The recent extreme temperatures and severe rains are part of that. My major concern is the environment and protection of the same.”
Tozer was unequivocal as he outlined his perspective on the
“I made a promise to myself when I began this that I would never say a negative word about Mr. Murphy," Tozer said. "Do I think I am going to win? No. While I think that it is pretty difficult to pick an election, I don’t think the Republican primary will have much of an effect on the outcome.”
Tozer's most notable political experience is his time on the Orangetown Town Council
“I spent fourteen years as deputy supervisor after being appointed by Thom Kleiner in 1995," Tozer said. "I believe that Supervisor Kleiner was looking for various qualified people who might serve. A person in that position has similar powers to the supervisor. For example, I could and did sign contracts.”
One of the other things that I took on was working with the Labor-Management Committee and the Grievance Committee addressing the problems of government employees.
Tozer has a BS from Bowdoin College and an MA from Columbia University. His work history includes positions in public information with CBS Radio and in public relations with the CBS Television
Network. He also taught at Rockland Community College.
Tozer came to Orangetown following World War III after serving five years in the Navy.
“I took advantage of the GI Bill to go to college," Tozer said. "After the war, Camp Shanks was converted to Shanks Village. After graduating from college, I and 31 other vets created a cooperative and we built our own homes in Tappan.
“I had just taken a job teaching in Englewood, NJ. It took us three years to complete our homes and I raised five children here. I am in the same home today. You can truly say this is where I live.”