Carl Heastie faces NY GOP challenger fed up over crime

A fired-up Bronx title insurance broker announced that she will run against entrenched Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in the Nov. 5 election after criticisms that the influential Democrat is soft on crime.

Stepanie Liggio, who said she’s fed up with crime and illegal immigration, said she will run on the Republican and Conservative Party lines in a bid to topple the Assembly speaker.

“Heastie needs to be held responsible for the policies he implemented — first and foremost bail reform,” Liggio told The Post.

Republican Stephanie Liggio, running against Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, says he “needs to be held responsible for the policies he implemented.” Stephanie Liggio

“The people of the 83rd Assembly District deserve a choice — a good choice.”

The longtime Wakefield resident, 52, will run in a district that includes the neighborhoods of Eastchester, Williamsbridge and the East Bronx.

Bronx Republican Party chairman Michael Rendino confirmed that Liggio will run on the ballot line after another candidate backed out. She already has secured the Conservative Party line.

The political newcomer would be a massive underdog in the heavily Democratic district where Heastie was first elected in 2000 and became the powerful Assembly speaker in 2015.

He was re-elected with 93% of the vote in 2022.

But Republicans are hoping to build off the victory last year of Kristy Marmorato, who won election to the New York City Council in the Northeast Bronx’s 13th Council District — and became the first female Republican elected to public office in The Bronx.

Marmorato upset Democratic incumbent Valerie Velazquez in the district that comprises West Farms, Soundview-Bruckner-Bronx River, Castle Hill-Unionport, Westchester Square, Throgs Neck-Schuylerville, Pelham Bay, Morris Park, City Island, Co-op City, Ferry Point Park and Van Nest.

“Let’s go back to the basics. The people are suffering,” Liggio said.

Speaker Heastie’s bail reform policies have caused more crime in New York City, Liggio says. Hans Pennink

Liggio blamed Heastie for championing recent state bail reforms that she, like many other critics, has contributed to worsening crime and quality of life.

“I saw the change in conditions in New York City immediately,” she said of her opponent, who has also drawn fire for resisting a proposal to lengthen sentences for shoplifters who assault retail workers.

Liggio called New York State’s sanctuary policy a disaster, serving as a magnet for illegal immigration from the southern border.

Heastie is portrayed as “Mr. Softie” for how he handled crime.

“We can’t take care of our own people but here we are taking care of the world,” Liggio said.

Liggio blasted the state’s “wacky” environmental policies under Heastie and Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo including a law to bar gas stoves in new housing construction.

“Why should the governor decide who has a gas stove and who has an electric stove? I have a gas stove in my home. There are no issues,” she said.

Liggio earned degrees in communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; a masters degree in marketing from Baruch College; and a sports management degree from Iona College.

Republican and Conservative party leaders said they were excited about her prospects despite the daunting odds.

“We’re going to keep pressure on Heastie for the next six months,” said Bronx GOP chairman Mike Rendino.

Liggio is a Bronx title insurance broker. The Judicial Title Insurance Agency/Facebook

He said Heastie has “swung to the left” since becoming speaker and previously considered him a more moderate Democrat.

Bronx Conservative Party leader Pat McManus said there’s an unease among voters that Liggio can tap into, noting he had to recently hit a button to get a store employee to retrieve a bar of soap from behind plexiglass because of shoplifting.

“That’s not the way it’s supposed to be in the greatest city in the greatest nation on earth,” McManus said.

Heastie had no immediate comment.

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