Power & Politics: Dutchess Executive Molinaro – A life in politics

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POUGHKEEPSIE -

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro says he has had a passion for public service since he was a teenager.

Born in Yonkers, Molinaro' s family moved to Dutchess County when he was a young boy. They eventually settled in the small village of Tivoli.

Molinaro became Tivoli's youngest Board of Trustee member at 18 years old. At 19, he became the village's and county's youngest mayor. He was re-elected mayor five more times.

Molinaro is serving his second term as Dutchess County executive. When he won his first term eight years ago, he was the youngest Dutchess County executive at age 36.

Molinaro says he credits his ambition for public service to his parents and his grandfather, a World War II hero and former Yonkers postman. He says his grandfather told him, “It's better to help one person once than yourself a hundred times.”

Molinaro says his proudest accomplishments has nothing to do with budgets, but with the “Think Differently” initiative. Founded in 2015, the initiative encourages residents and businesses to be more welcoming of people with special needs. Abigail, his own teenage daughter, is autistic.

The county executive says the most difficult challenges he faces in his position is the lives lost to the opioid epidemic.

He is running for a third term as Dutchess County executive in November. If he wins, the term limits will prevent him from running a fourth time.

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