Dems head to polls in 7th Senate District primary

Dems head to polls in 7th Senate District primary
Voting for the 7th Senate District will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 23. (Photo courtesy of Flickr)

Voters in New York’s 7th Senate District will head to the polls Tuesday for the Democratic primary between incumbent state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) and challenger Jeremy Joseph of Hicksville.

The winner will square off in the November general election against Jack Martins, a former state senator and Mineola mayor, who is not facing a Republican primary.

Kaplan, 57, has served in the Senate since 2019 when she defeated Republican incumbent Elaine Philips. Kaplan also won re-election in 2020 against former Port Washington Police Commissioner Dave Franklin.

During her second term as senator, Kaplan has focused on issues including middle-class tax relief, women’s rights and reducing gun violence and hate crimes in local communities. 

In an interview with Blank Slate Media, Kaplan said her constituents believe the most important issues in this election revolve around reproductive rights and safety.

“I think we are living in a very divided country right now and we have extremists trying to take over our country, our community and our way of life,” Kaplan said. “I hear from a lot of women who feel very threatened right now and I hear from a lot of communities that don’t feel comfortable with gun safety in this country.”

Kaplan was born in Tabriz, Iran, and traveled to the United States as a Jewish political refugee at 13 years old. She graduated from Yeshiva University with a bachelor’s degree in 1985 and went to law school at Yeshiva’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she graduated in 1991. 

Jeremy Joseph is a political activist running to bring attention to issues for a Democratic base that has been ignored or disengaged in recent elections, he said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. 

“We had both Democrats and Republicans almost campaigning on the same message,” Joseph said. “As a result, we see the traditional Long Island moderate base come out while most young families, immigrant families, different people were not even part of the process.”

Joseph is a political newcomer running for his first elected office. The Houston, Texas, native attended the University of Houston before earning a graduate degree from Penn State University in 2009 with a focus on applied physics.

Professionally, Joseph is employed at an artificial intelligence software company working on algorithms and math modeling, among other things. Previously, he did ocean modeling and physics simulations for government labs and defense contractors. 

In Joseph’s work as an activist, he has been a member of Nassau County Democratic Socialists of America and Long Island United, which is a coalition of over 100 organizations in the local area advocating for police reform. 

Three major issues for Joseph’s campaign are healthcare as a human right, combating climate change and addressing wealth inequality. 

Kaplan announced weeks ago that she had more than $504,000 cash on hand during the most recent campaign filing period.

Kaplan said she had raised more than $205,000 during the filing period from Jan. 15 – July 11. 

Joseph had raised $43,132 in contributions from March 5 – July 17. 

Early voting is currently ongoing through Sunday, Aug. 21. More information on polling locations can be found on the board of elections’ website

The 7th Senate district includes Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Williston Park, Mineola, Garden City Park, North Hills, Albertson, Old Westbury, East Hills, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Roslyn Estates, Albertson, Searingtown, Lake Success, Manhasset, Munsey Park, Plandome, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, and the Great Neck and Port Washington peninsulas.

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