Democrat Rebecca Sanin is running for Suffolk County legislator in the 16th district, challenging incumbent Republican Manuel Esteban.
Sanin secured her spot on the ballot after Republicans successfully challenged candidate Sidney Joyner over residency requirements.
Sanin served as deputy county executive for five and a half years under County Executive Steve Bellone, including during Superstorm Sandy. She then stepped into her current role as the president and CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island. In 2020, she ran an unsuccessful campaign for Huntington Town Supervisor, losing to Ed Smyth.
“I think there’s a desperate need in the Suffolk legislature for elected officials to work civilly and get work done for Suffolk County residents,” Sanin said. “I love people, and I love Suffolk County. With all the challenges we face in this world today, the antidote to the struggles and lack of progress is to elect people who love people.”
One of Sanin’s first priorities as a legislator would be to “go back to the table” and get another referendum vote on advancing clean water projects in the county. She called the Republican vote blocking the Suffolk County Water Quality Restoration Act from going to a public vote in November “an abject failure.”
“It failed residents who live here now and generations to come,” Sanin said. “If we’re not protecting our water, we’re not doing what people expect from their government. I want to restore people’s faith in the government.”
Sanin added that the county’s water quality issues go hand in hand with ensuring that there is affordable housing in the area because new housing projects need the clean water infrastructure to support them.
Another issue Sanin is focused on is public safety and ensuring that the legislature is “working hand in hand with the community and law enforcement” on problems such as the increase in car crashes in the region. She said that she would work on keeping the roads safe so that residents can continue the “enjoyment of their neighborhoods.”
Sanin noted that she would tackle these big issues by communicating across the aisle to come to agreements with her fellow legislators, Democrats and Republicans alike.
“I have a long history of working in a bipartison fashion and a reputation of working civilly with people, helping to consensus build and bring people together on issues that improve the quality of people’s lives, she said. “Coming from the nonprofit sector, I’m someone who is intentionally thoughtful and collaborative and puts our residents of the county first.”
Sanin added that her background working in government and in human services are an ideal fit for the role because “I really understand where the challenges and opportunities are in government.”
Sanin grew up in Nassau County and has lived in Huntington Station with her family for 17 years. She is a distinguished Stein Scholar and holds a Juris Doctor from Fordham University and a master’s degree in developmental psychology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, where she was a fellow at the National Center for Children and Families.