Former County Legislator Sarah Anker has announced a bid to unseat State Senator Anthony Palumbo in 2024.

Former Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, a Democrat, has announced her candidacy for the First Senate District, where she hopes to unseat incumbent State Senator Anthony Palumbo. 

Anker served as the county legislator for the 6th Legislative District from 2012 until 2023. She barred by term limits from seeking another two-year term. During her time in the legislature, she served as the chairperson of the Seniors & Human Services Committee, Health Committee, Addiction Provision and Support Advisory Panel and School Traffic Safety Commission, according to her candidate biography. 

Before she was elected, she started the nonprofit Community Health and Environment Coalition advocacy organization. Anker, of Mt. Sinai, announced her candidacy in a press release Monday.

“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. For close to 13 years, as a full-time Suffolk County Legislator, I have listened to the concerns of my constituents and took action to address them,” Anker said in a press release. “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. I will continue to fight for our Long Island families and be a loud and resounding voice in the state,” Anker said. “The reality is, the State Senate has a 42-21 Democratic supermajority, and the only way Suffolk County can get its fair share is to have strong voices in the majority who will fight for our Long Island values.”

Anker said that in Albany, she would be a “leader” in securing clean water and open space funding; supporting law enforcement and “fair school aid;” and protecting abortion rights and access to healthcare.

“Sarah Anker has never lost an election running in a district that is far more Republican than this senate district,” Suffolk County Democratic Chairperson Rich Schaffer said in a statement. “We have all the confidence in her to win and be the next state senator for the first district.”

Palumbo, of New Suffolk, is in his second term in the Senate and announced last week that he will seek a third term. He is the deputy Republican floor leader and ranking Republican member on the code and judiciary committees. Palumbo, an attorney, served in the Assembly from 2013 until 2020, when he was elected to the Senate. 

“It has been my honor to represent the men and women of the First Senate District in the New York State Senate,” Palumbo said in a press release announcing his re-election bid. “As Senator, I will continue my efforts to make Suffolk County a safer and more affordable place to call home. I will also work to address the myriad issues impacting our region from property tax stabilization and the skyrocketing cost of living, to environmental protection, water quality, state school aid and transportation funding for the diverse communities I represent.“

Palumbo said that as a minority member, he has been able to “reach across the aisle” and deliver legislative victories, including the enactment of the state law that allows towns to establish an affordable housing fund.

“A strong opposition is needed to counter one-party rule in New York State, especially regarding Albany’s pro-crime and economic policies that have made the state and Long Island less safe and less affordable,” Palumbo said.

The First Senate District covers all five East End towns and northern Brookhaven Town. In 2022, Palumbo beat his Democratic opponent with 56% of the vote. Palumbo succeeded State Senator Kenneth LaValle, a Republican who served in the position for 44 years before his retirement.

Giglio seeks re-election in Second Assembly District

Suffolk County Democrats have yet to announce a candidate to run for the Second Assembly District, party spokesperson Keith Davies said. The seat is currently held by two-term Assembly Member Jodi Giglio, of Baiting Hollow, who said she intends to seek re-election. The Second Assembly District encompasses the Town of Riverhead and parts of Brookhaven Town. Giglio defeated her opponent in 2022 with roughly 66% of the vote.

The Second Assembly District map was revised last year by the New York Independent Redistricting Commission, and signed into law, after the map used for the 2022 election was ruled invalid following that election. (See map below.)

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