Lafazan drops out of state Senate race, endorses Democrat Keiserman

Lafazan drops out of state Senate race, endorses Democrat Keiserman
Former Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan has dropped out of the Democratic Primary race for New York Senate's Seventh District race, endorsing Democrat Kim Keiserman instead. (Photos courtesy of the candidates)

Former Nassau County Legislator Joshua Lafazan suspended his campaign in the Democratic primary race for New York Senate’s 7th District, endorsing Port Washington resident Kim Keiserman as he exits.

“Kim Keiserman is the right candidate for this moment to take on this fight and I’m proud to offer her my strong and enthusiastic endorsement to be our next State Senator here in District 7,” Lafazan said.

Lafazan’s exist leaves Roselyn resident Brad Schwartz as her only opponent in the race to represent the Democratic party in a bid to replace state Sen. Jack Martins, a Republican.

Schwatz, who ran in the 2018 race but dropped out before the primary against former state Sen. Anna Kaplan, is a former television editor and producer with a PhD in public policy.

The district, which includes much of the North Shore and the Town of Oyster Bay as far east as Woodbury, is currently represented by Martins, who flipped the district in 2022.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Lafazan said his decision to end his campaign was decided after discussions with the Nassau County Democratic Party and its chairman Jay Jacobs.

He said the end of his campaign is in the interest of party unification – which he said is more important than “a drawn-out primary as we work to flip this seat.”

“It’s time for this community to come together and give our district the thoughtful, engaged representation we deserve in the state Senate,” Keiserman said. “I know when we’re united behind the core values of compassion, decency, and respect, we can solve our biggest challenges and win here on Long Island.”

While Lafazan is suspending his campaign, he said this will not end his involvement in the race.

“I am going to do everything in my power to help Kim win this race and I look forward to hitting the campaign trail with her as we work to flip this seat in November,” Lafazan said.

Keiserman praised Lafazan and his history of local advocacy, thanking him for his endorsement and calling him an “invaluable asset” to her campaign as they join forces to flip the district to blue once again.

Her campaign called the endorsement an example of the unification of the Democratic Party as they push forward a candidate they say is “best equipped to bring people together and deliver a victory in November.”

Lafazan said his 11-year tenure as District 18 county legislator and Syosset Board of Education member influenced his confidence in Keiserman.

“I speak confidently when I say that voters in these neighborhoods welcome a candidate with the empathy, compassion, and tenacity that Kim will bring to the Senate,” Lafazan said. “And they will vote for her because of her strong commitments to affordability, women’s rights, the environment, and public safety, especially from gun violence.”

Lafazan was ousted from his seat in the Nassau County Legislature in November when he was defeated by his Republican opponent Samantha Goetz.

His endorsement comes two weeks after Keiserman garnered a slew of endorsements from other local Democrats, including state Assemblymember Gina Sillitti, former state Sen. Anna Kaplan, Democratic National Committeeman Robert Zimmerman and Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Delia DeRiggi-Whitton.

The sentiments of Keiserman’s unification abilities expressed by Lafazan and her campaign were also echoed by many of the prior 10 endorsers.

Keiserman, who is an education consultant, serves as a commissioner for the North Hempstead Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, is the chairwoman of the Baxter Estates Planning Board.

She also is co-president of the Baxter’s Pond Foundation and president of the Port Washington Democratic Club.

She said she plans to advocate for increased public school funding, sensible gun policies and combatting climate change to “create a future that reflects shared aspirations and ensures a fair, inclusive, and prosperous Long Island for all,” her campaign said.

The filing deadline for the state Senate election is April 4.

The primary election for party nominees is June 25. The general election will then be held on Nov. 5.

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