Raynor vows to be ‘approachable as public servant’ after upset victory

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HEMPSTEAD -

Political newcomer Taylor Raynor defeated 30-year incumbent Deputy Assembly Speaker Earlene Hooper in a stunning upset Thursday night for the 18th Assembly District.

Raynor said she would make herself available to constituents, something many say her predecessor did not do.

“As far as I know she doesn't have an email address,” said Raynor. “I'm happy to meet everyone where they are…I will be approachable as a public servant. You're paying me. I work for you.”

MORE: Raynor declared victor in 18th assembly district Democratic primary

The campaign got ugly when racially charged flyers surfaced, calling Raynor a “slave to Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs.” Hooper's re-election team denied any involvement.

Raynor will now face Republican James Lamarre in the general election. The 34-year-old Hempstead resident said she will work to improve financial transparency and fix the area's school districts if she wins in November.

Political analyst Jerry Kremer says Raynor will have big shoes to fill if she wins the seat. After all, her predecessor holds a powerful position in Albany.

“[Hooper] was able to bring a lot of money into the Village of Hempstead and surrounding villages,” said Kremer.

The Democratic winner said it's a challenge she's ready to face head on.

“I can't wait to collaborate with anyone and everyone who is willing to make sure District 18 rises to the excellent status I know it can,” said Raynor.

News 12’s calls to Earlene Hooper were not returned.

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