Editorials

Endorsement: Anthony Palumbo for New York State Senate

Anthony Palumbo was elected to the state Assembly in 2013, and served there until he was elected two years ago to the state Senate seat long held by Republican Ken LaValle.

Mr. Palumbo is now seeking reelection and is running against Democratic challenger Skyler Johnson. Mr. Palumbo has the Republican and Conservative Party lines, while Mr. Johnson also has the Working Families Party line. Mr. Johnson ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2020.

There is much to be said about both candidates. Mr. Johnson was raised in Mount Sinai and sits on the board of Temple Beth Emeth. He works for the nonprofit New Hour LI, which advocates for women, children and families. 

Mr. Palumbo worked as a prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office and has a private law practice in Mattituck. Critical to the 1st Senate District, which includes Shelter Island, the North and South forks and a large swath of Brookhaven Town, Mr. Palumbo has a strong environmental record. 

He voted for a bill intended to kick-start a kelp industry on the East End and he voted to modify the Community Preservation Fund to include up to 20% for clean water and infrastructure. Those funds can also be used for maintenance of historic properties.

He voted for the Peconic Region Community Housing Fund bill that is on the ballot this month in four of the five East End towns, excluding Riverhead. While a separate fund item, the bill would allow those towns to add 0.5% to the existing 2% Community Preservation Fund on real estate transactions to raise money for affordable housing initiatives on eastern Long Island, where the lack of such housing is a crisis.

Importantly, Mr. Palumbo helped secure funding for the North and South Fork Mental Health Initiative, a program that began on the South Fork as the Behavior Health Initiative and expanded to the North Fork. Advocates have hailed the program as critical for access to programs, services and prevention, along with adolescent and child psychiatry counseling.

Mr. Palumbo has the endorsement of a host of labor unions, including New York State United Teachers. While we urge Mr. Johnson to continue his community efforts and his involvement in politics in the region, we believe Mr. Palumbo’s record in the Senate has earned our endorsement.

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