New York State Senator, 7th DistrictPosted: Updated:
Background: Phillips, 58, is running for a second term on the Republican, Conservative, Independent and Reform party lines. Phillips received both her bachelor's degree in political science and her MBA from Penn State University. For more than two decades, she worked in finance, working at MetLife, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs. She is a fifth-degree black belt and in 2009, she first became a volunteer instructor at Kwan's Karate in Manhasset and recently resumed weekly teaching. She served as mayor of the Village of Flower Hill from 2012 to 2016 before being elected in 2016 to represent the 7th District in the State Senate. She lives in Flower Hill and is married with three children.
Issues: Philips said that in her first term, she achieved several notable legislative goals, such as sponsoring domestic violence abuse legislation, which keeps guns from known abusers. If re-elected, she said, she intends to continue advocating for residents and seeing through proposed legislation such as allowing select schools to opt out of being designated polling places. She said she is concerned about Long Island's affordability and that she recently submitted legislation to allow more residents to obtain tax relief. She said she is proud of being able to deliver increased funding for the district's schools, and for water and aquifer protection. Phillips said she has the experience to help handle upcoming "significant infrastructure projects," such as the Long Island Rail Road's Third Track plans and the Belmont Park redevelopment. "It is my job to protect my constituents and I will be the person who will make sure that I hold the government and the LIRR accountable during that project," she said.
Background: Kaplan, 53, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women's Equality party lines. Kaplan graduated from the Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University with a bachelor's degree in biology. She then received a law degree from Cardozo School of Law. In 2011, she was elected as a councilwoman on the North Hempstead Town Board representing the town's 4th District, which includes Great Neck and Roslyn, among other areas. In 2015, she was re-elected to a second four-year term. A resident of Great Neck, she is married with two children.
Issues: If elected, Kaplan said she would work to pass sensible gun laws such as the Red Flag Gun Protection Bill, which would prohibit people determined by a court to have the potential to harm themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a gun. Women's reproductive rights are also a key priority for Kaplan, who said she supports passing the Reproductive Health Act to codify Roe V. Wade in state law. She said she would also work to bring back more funding for district schools to "level the playing field for as many students as possible so they would benefit from public education which is really the core of this country's basis." A political refugee from Iran, Kaplan said that she would like to be the "voice" for her district's diverse community.