Meagan McCarty of Port Washington has worked on campaigns for former state Sen. Elaine Phillips, former North Hempstead council member Dina De Giorgio, and state Senate candidate Dave Franklin.
Now, she says, it’s her turn to run.
McCarty was recently named the Republican nominee for the Nassau County Legislature’s 11th District, which encompasses Albertson, Glen Cove, Glen Head, Glenwood Landing, Greenvale, Locust Valley, Manhasset, the Port Washington peninsula, Roslyn, Roslyn Heights and Sea Cliff. The seat is currently held by seven-term incumbent Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove).
A native of New Jersey who moved to the Port area a decade ago, McCarty has worked on campaigns since she was a child, and remembers working with her parents as volunteers on a gubernatorial campaign in her youth.
“I was a volunteer on campaigns since I was a child,” McCarty said in a recent phone interview. “I fell in love with it because I understood the impact of helping people.”
Early in her life, McCarty worked for her family’s business, a printing materials company, and held numerous positions in it since she was a child.
“I was taught responsibility at a very young age,” McCarty said. “I was going into work when most kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons. My dad was packing me up and bringing me into the company to take care of stuff. And then from there, I learned how to work the machines, I learned how to do shipping and receiving, I worked in the front office, sales. I did everything, ultimately ending my career with that company as secretary-treasurer.”
McCarty moved to Port Washington in the early 2010s, and was immediately impressed. upon seeing it for the first time.
“I thought I was living in a fairy tale,” McCarty said. “I thought, this place is remarkably beautiful and I want to live here forever and raise a family here. And the people are just the best in the way that they just embraced me and welcomed me.”
After she came to the area, McCarty worked as a legislative aide both in the Town of North Hempstead for De Giorgio and for Phillips, the former Flower Hill mayor who is currently the Republican candidate for Nassau County comptroller, during the latter’s tenure in the state Senate.
“My true passion is constituent services,” McCarty said. “I saw what an impact I could have been doing, making small changes that have great impacts.”
The impulse to run, she says, came from the results of the county’s reassessment plan, which she calls “a disaster.”
“What really hit me hard was some close family friends picking up and moving away,” McCarty said. “They kept on saying if the taxes increase any more, we’re going to have to move. And then they actually sold their homes and got out of Dodge. That that hit me really hard.”
It’s personal for McCarty, who says she moved to Port because it was “the best place to raise a family.”
“I see a lot of wonderful families moving in, and my two young children are befriending them,” McCarty said. “I want these families to go through school with my kids, and I want to keep everything affordable so these families can really grow roots here.”
Taxes are a paramount issue for McCarty, who supports having an elected assessor who lives in Nassau County.
“We need transparency,” McCarty said. “We need open communication with the assessor’s office. That would be the first thing I change.”
Also important to McCarty is assisting small businesses, and she says that she would host quarterly round tables for business owners across the district to see what the county could do for them.
“That’s something that I’ve already started doing,” McCarty said. “I’ve really have enjoyed hearing from small-business owners and what their concerns are, and how I can help them out.”
She says she’d also take a look at “quality of life issues,” including county parks needing upgrades.
“I was just at Christopher Morley Park, and I wouldn’t bring my children there,” McCarty said. “I’m afraid they’d need to get the tetanus shot. It’s all rusted out and dilapidated in certain areas. I’d have to keep them away from it because it’s dangerous.”
Regarding DeRiggi-Whitton, the longtime incumbent, McCarty said, “It’s time for a change.”
“When you keep on doing the same thing over and over again and it’s not working, something needs to change,” she said. “And that change will come with me.”
Efforts to reach DeRiggi-Whitton’s office for comment were unavailing.
“My parents made me a steward for my community, wherever I am, and I’m intending to do that to my children, as well,” McCarty said. “And I hope to be a good steward and to be a representative. I want to make Port Washington proud and make District 11 proud with whatever I do for them. I want to work for the people.”
McCarty lives in Port with her husband, Brian, a sergeant in the Port Washington Police District, and their two children.