ORANGE COUNTY – Skartados, a member of the Democratic Party, was the Assemblyman for the 104th district of the New York State Assembly which includes both the City of Newburgh and the Town of Newburgh; as well as the City of Beacon, the City of Poughkeepsie, the Hamlet of Marlboro, and the Town of Lloyd has died at the age of 62.
Frank Skartados was a Greek-born American politician and businessman. He was born on the Greek island of Astypalaia where he helped his father maintain a small farm.
He came to America in 1970 with his mother and graduated from George Washington High School in Manhattan.
Skartados received a degree at SUNY New Paltz in political science. While attending college he worked at the Commandant’s Office of the New York Military Academy in Cornwall.
He also received a master’s degree in International Studies in California.
According to Wikipedia, for the next eight years he returned to the New York Military Academy to serve as chairman of the Health Department. He was also a teacher of Environmental Studies and American History. In 2000, Skartados abdicated his seat at the military academy.
Skartados focused on renovating properties in downtown Poughkeepsie, including building the Aegean Entertainment Center, the largest entertainment venue between Albany and New York City. Skartados was the founder and president of the Academy Street Business Association in Poughkeepsie. Skartados helped in the revitalization of the street’s business environment, which changed the negative perception of the area.
In addition to his work with the Poughkeepsie Partnership – a go-between to promote the partnership of business and city government agencies – Skartados also served on the mayor’s Promotions and Events Committee to help further promote and attract new people to the city of Poughkeepsie.
His political career began when he defeated 14-year incumbent Thomas Kirwan in 2008. Skartados served the 100th district of the New York State Assembly from 2008 to 2010.
However, Kirwan narrowly recaptured the seat in 2010 but died in late 2011. On March 20, 2012, a special election was held for the vacant seat, which Skartados won with more than 60 percent of the vote. He was re-elected for a full term on November 6, 2012 and on November 4, 2014 by 60% of the vote. He remained in the assembly until he died in April 2018.
At the time of his death, Skartados was converting his farm in Milton, New York, to the new technology of aquaponics to show local farmers they could save their land – and make a living – by farming year-round using solar, wind and geothermal energy. He was a proponent of agritourism.
On April 12, 2018, Skartados was hospitalized in Newburgh, New York, with a “serious illness” and according his chief of staff was “not likely going to recover”. He died three days later of pancreatic cancer at the hospital at the age of 62.
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus released the following statement on Sunday upon learning that Assemblyman Frank Skartados has passed away. Skartados was 62.
“I had the pleasure of working alongside Assemblyman Skartados for several years,” Neuhaus said. “He worked hard for his constituents in what is a very diverse district and was well-liked by his peers. Assemblyman Skartados was a true gentleman and my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Maloney Statement on Passing of Assemblyman Frank Skartados
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney released the following statement on the passing of New York State Assemblyman Frank Skartados.
“Frank Skartados leaves a proud legacy as a fighter for the people he loved and a voice for many who had none. It’s been my honor to serve alongside him all these years. Frank is now at peace and we should pray for his family and be grateful for his life of service to us all.
“Frank came to America as a young man, worked to pay his way through school, built a business, and won election to represent his neighbors in the State House. If that’s not the American Dream, I don’t know what is.”