By Aidan Johnson
Former county Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) has announced she will be running for the District 1 state Senate seat currently held by Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk).
“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,” Anker said in her Feb. 5 press release.
“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,” she added.
Anker was first elected as the Suffolk County legislator for the 6th District after winning a special election in 2011, being reelected six times before stepping down in 2023 due to term limits.
In a phone interview, Anker said that she first got involved in local politics when she moved to Long Island and read about tritium, a radioactive substance, that was leaking into the local groundwater.
“I read it in the papers and it made me want to get more involved to see what was being done … and I joined the Democratic Party back then to get a better understanding of how to get things done working with the elected officials,” she said.
In the press release, Anker cited her accomplishments during her time as a legislator as including chairing the county Addiction Prevention and Support Advisory Panel, addressing environmental issues through supporting the acquisition of open space to protect drinking water and cleaning up pollution in Long Island Sound, also initiating expediting the health permit process for businesses.
“As a Democrat who has represented a Republican district, I will continue to find common ground for the common good by bringing people together and setting politics aside,” she said.
If elected, Anker said her first priority would be to identify what the state legislators feel are Long Island’s main concerns in order to establish common ground to move issues forward.
“One of [the issues] we’ve had … was when the governor [Kathy Hochul (D)] came and she wanted to take control over local housing and development, and it wasn’t accepted in a positive way,” Anker said, stressing the importance of communication between the senators, governor and legislators “to try to understand where they’re coming from.”
Anker’s top priorities for the state Senate include supporting law enforcement and “working on common sense measures to keep New Yorkers safe, being a leader on policy to support clean water and open space funding, including ensuring that we receive our fair share of New York State Environmental Bond Act funds, supporting fair school aid so school districts have reliable and stable funding” and “supporting New York women’s right to choose and access to health care.”
“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 in the press release.
For more information, visit her website at sarahanker.com. The election will be held on Nov. 5.