Staten Island Advance:  Infamous ‘T’ Trump sign homeowner running for Matteo’s City Council seat, wants to move council offices to NYCHA complexes

Staten Island Advance: Infamous ‘T’ Trump sign homeowner running for Matteo’s City Council seat, wants to move council offices to NYCHA complexes

By Sydney Kashiwagi | November 1, 2019

STATEN ISLAND — Sam Pirozzolo, the Staten Islander infamous for erecting a 16-foot-tall wooden “T” on his lawn to show his support for President Donald Trump in 2016, is running for Councilman Steven Matteo soon-to-be-vacant City Council seat.

Pirozzolo’s entrance into the Mid-Island City Council race makes him the second candidate to try to claim Matteo’s seat, which he will be term-limited out of come 2021.

The Castleton Corners resident, who is running as a Republican, will face off against longtime Island realtor George S. Wonica, a Conservative, in a 2021 primary race. Wonica plans to run on both the Conservative and Republican lines.

This isn’t the first time Pirozzolo has run for office. He ran unsuccessfully against Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid Island) in 2012.

Pirozzolo, an optician who owns his own business in Astoria, Queens, and former president of the Community Education Council, said he is running for Matteo’s City Council seat because he wants to restore “common sense” back into government and keep the Island “a nice family community” and prevent it from changing.

“A lot of times, I think the priorities of the mayor and the City Council … are just to get talking points and score political points for progressiveness and not necessarily in the best interest of their constituents,” Pirozzolo.

Pirozzolo said he is not concerned that his affiliation to Trump could impact his campaign in the historically Republican City Council district.

In 2016, the city’s Department of Buildings hit Pirozzolo with a $2,400 fine to take the T sign down days after the Trump T was resurrected after being burned down.

Though he declined to say whether he planned to vote for Trump again in 2020, he said he remains a supporter of the president.

“I remain a supporter of the president and I support his policies,” he said. “From what I see, right now, I don’t think there’s a reason why anyone would not be able to vote for Donald Trump for re-election.”

“Unlike other politicians who say ‘I support Trump,’ but when it’s convenient to say, ‘I don’t Trump,’ that’s not me,” he continued. “I support a lot of the policies that Trump has initiated and good, bad, or indifferent, for what happens to him in the future, they were still good policies, I’m not running away from Trump.”

Pirozzolo said if elected he wants to work on transportation, creating more jobs, creating better schools and lowering taxes.

He also said he wants to call for the district offices of City Council members to reside in NYCHA complexes in their districts.

“I think the entitlement that elected people get is wrong, I think that they should see how people in their district live, what it’s like to live in a NYCHA complex,” he said. “I think by their presence, there would probably be a greater police presence and I think that people in some NYCHA buildings would enjoy a greater police presence, I think they would be happy that a councilman says ‘I’m going to live like you…let me see how you live, what can we do to make your life better.’”

Correction: A previous version of this story said Pirozzolo was from Randall Manor, however, he is from Castleton Corners and lives on Manor Road.

Read the article on the Staten Island Advance website at