Who is Josh Lafazan? Billionaire couple paid at least $50K of LI congressional frontrunner's college tuition

The 28-year-old county legislator works as an advisor for Northwell Health and earned more than $184,000 in 2021

Who is Josh Lafazan? Billionaire couple paid at least $50K of LI congressional frontrunner's college tuition
Josh Lafazan has become the youngest-ever legislator at the age of 23 (Josh Lafazan/Facebook)
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LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: A billionaire couple financed at least $50,000 of a Long Island politician's college tuition. Josh Lafazan, the youngest Nassau County Legislator, is the Democratic frontrunner in the August 23 primary and is in a tough congressional election. Lafazan had listed billionaire investor Bryan Lawrence and his wife Elizabeth as a "creditor" who provided him with a "student loan" totaling $50,000 to $100,000 in September 2020 in recent financial disclosure filings.

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Lafazan is allowed to accept such assistance under federal election law because it predated the start of his congressional campaign earlier this year. However, election law experts believe it violates the spirit of the law to limit individual donations. Given that Lafazan was wealthy enough to deposit $166,000 of his own money into his campaign coffers, they believe that with the same amount of money, he could have easily paid off his student loans.

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Speaking to The Post, Longtime election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder said, "The load could be construed by the Federal Election Commission as an indirect payment or indirect transfer of money to Lafazan which allowed him to give money to his campaign that was legitimately not his own." He further added, "The FEC looks very carefully at the sources of a candidate’s money when they are making huge contributions or loans to their own campaign because it has to be their own money legitimately."

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(Photo: Josh Lafazan/ Twitter)
Besides the loan, the Lawrences donated a total of $20,300 to Lafazan’s congressional campaign (Josh Lafazan/ Twitter)

Kim Devlin, a campaign aide for Lafazan, defended the Lawrences' arrangement, stating, "The facts are that Josh was able to get a loan for graduate school from a friend instead of a bank or school loan company. He fully disclosed it on his public financial disclosure, and it was a loan that was made well before his run for Congress," New York Post reported. 

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In addition to the loan, the Lawrences contributed $20,300 to Lafazan's congressional campaign. According to the records, the campaign also returned $5,800 to Bryan Lawrence since he spent more than the maximum amount allowed during the election year.

Legislator Josh Lafazan, who was elected to the Nassau County Legislature in November of 2017, became the county's youngest-ever legislator at the age of 23. He is now serving his second term in the Nassau 18th Legislative District. Lafazan aspires to be one of Congress's youngest members.

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He entered the race for the 3rd District seat, which comprises a sliver of northeast Queens and northwest and central Nassau County after Democratic incumbent Tom Suozzi decided not to run for re-election and instead ran a failed governor campaign.

According to campaign finance reports, as of June 30, 2022, Lafazan had raised $1.53 million for the contest, the most of any Democratic primary candidate. Deputy Suffolk County Executive Jon Kaiman and PR maven and veteran Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman are among those running.

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The 28-year-old county legislator works as an advisor for Northwell Health and earned more than $184,000 in 2021. According to his LinkedIn page, he has a PhD in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in teaching from Harvard University.

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