Thomas F. Barraga, (Republican, Conservative, Independent) was born in Brooklyn, New York, on April 23, 1943. He attended St. Joseph's Elementary School in Babylon, and graduated from St. Anthony's High School in Smithtown. He graduated from St. John's University with a B.B.A. in Marketing in 1964; from Long Island University in 1972 with a Master of Business Administration; and in 1981 received his Doctorate of Philosophy, Business and Public Administration from Columbia Pacific University.
Legislator Barraga served six years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as a member of Company "C" Fourth Communications Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, and was honorably discharged August 1966. He currently holds the rank of Major General in the New York Guard and served two months of state active duty with Task Force Liberty, the New York Guard component of the 42nd Joint Task Force Rainbow Hope activated for Operation World Trade Center. Major General Barraga was awarded the New York State Defense of Liberty Medal with Device for his distinguished service. In April 2005, Major General Barraga was ordered to active duty with the Second Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he assisted in the establishment of a Wounded Warrior Unit for severely wounded Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Awards & Recognitions
Major General Barraga served as a member of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy’s Force Management Oversight Committee working group on wounded issues. In September 2005, the United States Marine Corps presented Major General Barraga with the Conspicuous Service Medal, second only in preference to the Medal of Valor. In April 2006, the Marine Corps League awarded Major General Barraga the prestigious Distinguished Citizen Medal. In May 2011 Major General Barraga received The Special Recognition Award which in part reads “For Your Service to the State and Nation during the 9/11 Crisis from your fellow officers and non-commissioned officers of the New York State Military Forces.” Effective July 2011, Major General Barraga in accordance with Military Law Section 20, subdivision 2, was transferred to the Retirement List.
Legislator Barraga spent 13 years in the private sector, holding various administrative positions with the American Can Company, Dun and Bradstreet, Inc., and Pfizer, Inc. In 1977, he was appointed Town Clerk of the Town of Islip, and was elected to that office in November, 1977, 1979 and 1981. He was first elected to the New York State Assembly in the 1982 General Election and served 23 years in the State Legislature. On November 8, 2005, Assemblyman Barraga was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature.
Legislator Barraga is a former Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Suffolk Community College. He is a member of the Sons of Italy-Giuseppe A. Nigro Lodge Number 2234, Brentwood; the American Legion-West Islip Post Number 1738; and member/usher of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in West Islip.
Boards & Commissions
Legislator Barraga is the former Ranking Republican Member of the State Assembly Ways and Means Committee. He was a member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Rules. Previously, he served as the Assistant Republican Leader of the State Assembly. Prior to becoming the Assistant Republican Leader in 1999, Assemblyman Barraga served for a decade as the Ranking Republican Member on the Assembly Education Committee and served four years as the Ranking Republican on the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee. He was also a Commissioner on the NY.S Temporary State Commission on the Distribution of State Aid to Local School Districts, and was honored by Governor Mario M. Cuomo in recognition of his distinguished service.
Legislator Barraga and his wife, Joanne (nee Kurtz), reside in West Islip. They are the parents of two daughters and have seven grandchildren.