State Sen. Jim Gaughran claimed victory Wednesday, winning a second term in the 5th State Senate District, and defeating Republican challenger Edmund Smyth.
Accompanied by several Nassau County Democrats at Nassau County Democrats headquarters in Garden City, Gaughran said, “I am humbled to be re-elected by the residents of the 5th Senate District and I thank them for their support. During my first term in office, I worked tirelessly on behalf of Long Islanders and I am proud to have delivered real results — from a permanent property tax cap to support for small businesses navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. I will keep fighting for my constituents, for Long Island, and for all of New York State and I thank the voters for giving me the opportunity to continue to serve them.”
The results were a reversal of the numbers on Election Night, when Smyth, a member of the Huntington Town Board, held a lead of 55 percent to 43 percent over the incumbent. But with the wave of mail-in ballots that weren’t immediately counted, the tide shifted as a large percentage of those ballots came from Democrats. Nassau County began counting the ballots last week; Suffolk started Monday.
Smyth said, “I congratulate Sen. Gaughran on his re-election. He has my un-bargained-for support. I encourage all residents who voted for me to support him as well to make Senate District 5 and the State of New York the best it can possibly be.
“Thank you to the counltess volutneers who helpved over the lst several months. It’s been a campaign like none other.”
State Senate Majority Leader AndreaStewart-Cousins said, “Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Since first joining the Senate in 2018, as part of the historic freshman class that helped flip the Chamber to Democratic control, Jim has been an outspoken advocate for his constituents, and for the needs of his community. Jim’s chairmanship of the Local Governments Committee has been a source of
leadership and stability for local governments throughout the state as they struggle with this pandemic,economic crisis, and uncertainty from Washington. I am thrilled that the 5th Senate District voters have returned Jim Gaughran to the Democratic majority.”
“I am looking forward to going back to Albany next year and working together with Gov. Cuomo and my colleagues on behalf of the people of Senate District 5. The work is just beginning, and I promise to keep fighting for my constituents.”
Bail reform was a major issue in the campaign, with Republicans demanding changes in the law that eliminateds cash bail for most charges. With the support of many police unions, Republicans had insisted that allowing people to be released without bail, crime would go up. Democrats said the law means those who are arrested won’t be incarcerated before trial simply because they couldn’t afford cash bail.