Ahearn Declares Victory in Senate Race

Courtesy Laura Ahearn
Laura Ahearn, a victims rights advocate running for state Senate seat.

Laura Ahearn emerged victorious in the Democratic Primary for New York State Senate. While the vote was held in-person last month, thousands of absentee ballots—cast due to COVID-19—were tallied up just this week.

“It is with great humility and excitement that I declare victory in the Democratic Primary in New York State Senate District 1,” Ahearn said in a statement on Wednesday. “After a full canvass of the all ballots submitted in this race, it’s become abundantly clear that voters have chosen me as their nominee to represent the Democratic Party in the General Election.”

She will face Anthony Palumbo, a State Assemblyman who has the Republican nomination to run for the Senate seat, currently occupied by Kenneth LaValle, who is retiring. LaValle has held First Senate District seat since 1976.

She ran against Southampton Town Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni, Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, New York State Public Employees Federation Regional Coordinator for Long Island Nora Higgins, and 19-year-old college student Skyler Johnson.

Ahearn had a 240-lead over Cartright based just on the in-person voting, where she received 2,360 votes.

On Monday, the Suffolk County Board of Elections began counting the 18,000 absentee ballots cast in the Primary elections. She received 6,059 of those 16,985 votes — 1,617 votes more than Cartright.

Overall, Ahearn received 8,419 total votes, 1,857 more than Cartright, who took in 6,562.

Schiavoni ultimately received 5,818 votes. Johnson earned 2,827 votes, while Higgins received just 952.

“I would like to thank my voters for their support, my campaign staff, interns and volunteers for their dedication and commitment, and the other participants in this race for their hard work and determination to advance our shared values,” Ahearn continued. “I look forward to the election in November, where everyone involved in this primary effort can work together and send a forward thinking, pro-choice woman to represent this seat in Albany for the first time in it’s history.

Ahearn, a Port Jefferson resident, is the founder and executive director of Crime Victims Center, also known as Parents for Megan’s Law, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse and rape.

“I look forward to a General Election focused on restarting our economy, fighting for children and families, and protecting our environment.”

Meanwhile, the ballots continue to be counted in the tight primary race for the First Congressional District, where there were 36,500 absentee ballots cast to see who will take on Rep. Lee Zeldin in November.

As of Wednesday night, Nancy Goroff, a Stony Brook scientist, had a 536-vote over Perry Gershon of East Hampton with over 33,000 absentee ballots counted. The remaining 3,000 ballots are from Smithtown and Islip, towns in which Goroff led in the in-person voting, according to her campaign manager, Jacob Sarkozi. Bridget Fleming, a Suffolk County Legislator and former Southampton Town Councilwoman, was trailing them in third place.

The final result is expected Thursday.

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