New York State Senator, 6th District

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Kemp Hannon 

Background: Hannon, 72, of Garden City, is running on the Republican, Independence, Conservative and Reform party lines. He is the chairman of the state Senate Health Committee and has been a member of the State Senate since 1989, and previously served on the Assembly for 12 years. Hannon received his bachelor's degree from Boston College and his law degree from Fordham University. He is married with two children.

Issues: Hannon was among the lead sponsors on a bill that eventually became the $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure Act passed in 2017 by the State Legislature and signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, which included the creation of the Drinking Water Quality Council to make recommendations on new state standards for certain contaminants. As recent as October 2018, Hannon pushed for new requirements for the state to publicly post information about emerging contaminants that could affect people's health, complimenting a series of drinking water safeguards enacted over his last term. Hannon's Drug Take Back Act also became state law requiring chain pharmacies to offer collection services of unused medication and holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for the cost of proper drug disposal. He was also among a bipartisan group of state senators who earlier this year called for an overhaul of regulations governing the retention and handling of rape kits, including the creation of a central storage facility where the forensic evidence would be kept for at least 20 years. If re-elected, Hannon vows to push for a "truly independent inspector general in the state" and because he would like for the state comptroller to conduct "pre-audits" before state contracts are awarded. 

Kevin Thomas  

Background: Thomas, 33, of Levittown, is a lawyer who specializes in legal services for low-income people. He is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women's Equality Party lines. Thomas received a bachelor's degree from St. John's University in Queens in 2006 and a juris doctorate from Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University in 2010. An Indian-American, Thomas emigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old, first living in Jamaica, Queens, and then Elmont. He and his wife, Rincy, a pharmacist, are expecting their first child in December.

Issues: Thomas said he is running to "turn the state Senate blue and be an alternative to Trump's America." If elected, he would immediately work to ensure the passage of the Reproductive Health Act, which aligns New York State law with protections guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The bill, which passed in the state Assembly, removes abortion from the Penal Code and recognizes it as a lawful medical procedure. He said he would also work to find a solution to the opioid epidemic on Long Island and across the state. Thomas pledged to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible and "curb the number of prescriptions going out." He would also advocate for better funding for recovery center and social service programs for addicts, he said. He also vowed to fully implement the New York Court of Appeals ruling in regard to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and ensure that public schools are receiving all of the funding from the state that they are owed.

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