Frank Skartados, New York State Assemblyman for the 104th district with the Democratic Party, passed away in hospital on Sunday at the age of 62, suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Born on the island of Astypalea, Greece to a farming family on Jan. 3, 1956, Skartados arrived in New York City with his mother in 1970.
He studied political science at the State University of New York at New Paltzat, before earning a master’s degree in International Studies at the State University of California at Sacramento.
After serving as chairman of the Health Department at the New York Military Academy, he switched to renovating properties and built the Aegean Entertainment Center, the largest such venue between Albany and New York City. He also became the founder and president of the Academy Street Business Association in Poughkeepsie
His political career began in 2008, going on to serve in the 100th district of the New York State Assembly until to 2010. From March 2012 he was was a member of 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.
During his tenure, the Greek American politician supported bills that focused on the environment, criminal justice reforms, consumer protection, veterans’ benefits and reforms in business regulation, family courts and library elections.
Skartados also secured millions of dollars for schools in Marlboro, Highland and Poughkeepsie. He also helped secure state funding for local projects such as the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.