An election of firsts: LI leads trend of putting Democrats in NY Senate

Posted: Updated:
HAUPPAUGE -

Long Island led the way in what was a statewide trend that will put Democrats in control of the New York State Senate starting in January.

Suffolk County Legislator Monica Martinez will become the first Hispanic state senator to represent to Long Island. And civil rights attorney Kevin Thomas, of Levittown, is the first American of Indian descent to be elected a state senator in New York.

MORE: Reps. King, Suozzi: Let’s find common ground

The six-member state Senate delegation from Nassau and Suffolk will be closely watched. The last time Democrats held the majority in the chamber, they passed an MTA payroll tax and a school aid adjustment that cost Long Island taxpayers millions of dollars. Democrats were accused of putting New York City interests ahead of suburban ones.

"I have no doubt that at the end of the day, every one of the members standing next to me are going to wake up in the morning and say, 'What's best for Long Island?'" says state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who won his re-election bid on Tuesday.

Former state assemblyman and political analyst Jerry Kremer says the new lawmakers will have a lot to prove.

"The questions moving forward are, can the new group be in a position where they can influence policy and protect what we've had," Kremer says. "So they will be hard-pressed from day one to prove that they'll be Long Island-centric."

For years, all nine of Long Island's state senators were Republicans. The Island never had more than two Democratic senators at one time, and now there will be six.

Among the Republicans who lost their re-election bids on Tuesday were longtime state Sens. Kemp Hannon, of Garden City, and Carl Marcellino, of Oyster Bay.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."