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Palumbo, Anker Announce Campaigns for 2024 State Senate Race

Thu, 02/08/2024 - 12:13
New York State Senator Anthony Palumbo, left, has at least one challenger so far in the 2024 election: former Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker.
Office of Senator Anthony Palumbu, Suffolk County Democrats

New York State Senator Anthony Palumbo, who has represented the First Senatorial District since 2021, announced on Jan. 31 that he will seek a third term.

On Monday, former Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker announced her candidacy for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Mr. Palumbo’s seat.

The First District includes East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island, Riverhead, and Southold Towns and the northern portion of Brookhaven Town.

Mr. Palumbo, who won election on the Republican and Conservative Party lines, served in the State Assembly from 2013 to 2020, when he was elected to the Senate following the retirement of Kenneth P. LaValle, the First District’s longtime senator. He defeated Laura Ahearn, the Democratic and Protect the Taxpayer Party candidate, in the 2020 election, 51.7 to 48.3 percent. He was re-elected in 2022, defeating Skyler Johnson, the Democratic and Working Families Party candidate, 56 percent to 43.9 percent. Mr. Palumbo began his career in public service as a prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.

He serves as the deputy Republican floor leader and is the ranking member on the Senate Codes and Judiciary Committees. He is also a member of the Ethics, Environmental Conservation, Investigations and Government Operations, and Mental Health Committees.

In a statement accompanying his re-election bid announcement, Mr. Palumbo said he has “worked hard to reach across the aisle and deliver results for residents” of the district despite a challenging “hyper-partisan climate in state government.” He pointed to “efforts to expand access to safe drinking water, establish the Community Housing Fund to create affordable work force housing, enact a deer management bill for the Town of Southold, and pass the Montaukett Recognition bill, despite repeated vetoes” by Gov. Kathy Hochul and former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Ms. Anker was elected to the Legislature’s Sixth District in a special election in 2011 and subsequently re-elected six times until being term limited. She chaired the addiction panel that addresses drug abuse, mental health, and suicide prevention. According to her campaign, she sponsored legislation to address accountability for the county’s information technology department before the 2022 ransomware attack, created a veterans and senior citizens resource guide, and supported acquisition of open space to protect drinking water.

“I am running for the New York State Senate because we need a strong voice in the majority to put people above politics and deliver for Suffolk County,” she said in a statement. “From working to reduce our county deficit to focusing on public safety issues, I’ve taken an active role in improving the quality of life here in Suffolk County. Now, it’s time to take on Albany.”

Calling herself a Democrat who has represented a Republican district, she said she will “find common ground for the common good” in the State Senate.

Election Day is Nov. 5.

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