Republican Anthony Palumbo ran against Laura Ahearn for the New York State Senate District 1. This district includes Eastern Long Island’s Riverhead, Montauk, Port Jefferson, Hampton Bays, Shoreham, Mattituck and Orient Point, to name a few. According the the New York State Board of Elections results, Palumbo holds the lead with 54.8 percent of the votes.
Bipartisan voter participation is split fairly evenly in District 1 with 70,546 active voters affiliated with the Democratic Party and 70,610 active Republican voters. The district’s 59,127 independent voters could tip the scale and determine the outcome of this election.
Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R) said last June that he will not be running for reelection, after holding the state senate seat for more than 40 years. This provided the opportunity for the new candidates, Palumbo and Ahearn, to run for State Senate.
Palumbo earned his bachelor’s degree in government and law from Lafayette College, later going on to receive his Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s Law School. He then worked as an attorney and as the Assistant District Attorney for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. He currently serves as a New York State Assemblyman, representing District 2 for the past six years. When he is not in Albany, he is with his wife and two kids who reside in New Suffolk on Long Island.
Ahearn received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dowling College, later receiving her Master’s degree in social work from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Juris Doctor degree from Touro Law Center. As a licensed attorney and social worker, Ahearn has had over 20 years of experience in advocating for crime victims and assisting them with compensation claims.
Ahearn said on her campaign website that she is committed to helping restart the economy, and protect safe drinking water and the environment. Her plan for restoring the economy in response to COVID-19 included offering more small business incentives, increasing accessibility to healthcare and extending unemployment benefits. She is also passionate about healthcare, education, public and worker safety, the environment and small businesses.
According to his campaign website, one of Palumbo’s top priorities include repealing the controversial bail and discovery reforms that he voted against in the assembly. Increased effort to make Suffolk County more affordable through lowering property taxes and advocating for more state funding seems to be how he aims to accomplish his goal of, “enhancing the quality of life on the East End.”
Both candidates are seemingly for environmental protection, as they expressed their stances during an online forum that was hosted by the New York League of Conservation Voters. Ahearn had stated that as a Democrat, she would be more suited to pass legislation as the majority. Palumbo had said he plans to introduce plans to help New York’s plan of achieving 100 percent clean energy by 2040 and 100 percent carbon neutrality by 2050.