Vote 2020: 2 Suffolk seats up for grabs in state Senate race

Along with the race for the White House, Long Islanders are also deciding who their state legislators will be this Election Day.

News 12 Staff

Oct 23, 2020, 2:25 PM

Updated 1,313 days ago

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Along with the race for the White House, Long Islanders are also deciding who their state legislators will be this Election Day.    
News 12 Long Island’s Doug Geed takes a look at two Suffolk districts where longtime incumbents are not seeking reelection.
In 1976, Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter was elected president.  That same year, Ken LaValle first ran for the state Senate seat covering the eastern half of Suffolk County.
After 21 reelections, the Republican LaValle has retired and that's setting up what's expected to be a close contest to replace him.
Republican State Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo argues that when Democrats took control of both houses of state government two years ago, Long Island suffered because Democratic lawmakers from the city were able to push through a liberal agenda. “These issues are affecting our everyday lives in a fashion that I think the pendulum has swung way too far. We need balance in Albany. That's what's really important. We need to bring back a Republican majority in the New York state Senate so we can bring reasonableness back to Albany,” says Palumbo. Democrat Laura Ahearn is the founder of Parents for Megan's Law, an advocacy group for crime victims. She says with her party in the majority in the state Senate, it's all the more reason voters should have her as their representative since they'd have more clout. “I have a proven leadership working with both sides -- Republicans, Democrats, Independents and blanks. Voters know me because I've been around for nearly 25 years fighting for issues that are important to us -- human services, protecting crime victims,” says Ahearn. Meanwhile, in the Second District, another long-time Republican state senator from Suffolk is retiring.
John Flanagan, the former state Senate Majority Leader, represented the area in Albany since the late 1980s. Trying to succeed him is Republican Mario Mattera, a union official. The Democratic candidate is retired State Trooper Mike Siderakis. The question is whether voters are even focusing on anything other than the contentious race for the White House. Candidates for other offices hope they are. Currently Democrats hold a 40-to-20 lead over Republicans in the state Senate – three seats are vacant.


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