Having represented the State Senate’s 6th District for nearly three decades, and with another 13 years in the Assembly before that, Kemp Hannon has the experiene to continue tackling the issues his constituents face.
Hannon, a Republican who chairs the Senate’s Health Committee, is looking for new ways to combat the opioid scourge, fighting for clean water on Long Island and advocating for mental health to be integrated into the state’s health care system. Through a drug take-back program that will begin next year, he is ensuring that large chain pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid will help residents dispose of unwanted medication.
With the creation of the Drinking Water Quality Council, he aims to protect the district’s water supply by securing funds to improve water treatment plants’ infrastructure and updating the levels of water contaminants that are considered safe.
Hannon’s Democratic challenger, Kevin Thomas, is a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and we admire his dedication to fighting for the underdog. As a civil rights attorney, he helps students eliminate their debt, and if elected, he says, he hopes to create programs to expand that effort.
Hannon supports medicinal marijuana, but is skeptical about legalizing it for recreational use. Thomas is a proponent of recreational legalization, which he says would generate state revenue and give residents a much less harmful alternative to opioids.
The candidates agree that young adults are leaving Long Island because of the high cost of living, which they say could be moderated if schools to got the state aid they are owed.
With more experience, Thomas would make an ideal candidate for the seat, and we urge him to run again in the future,. But Hannon, however is still full of good ideas, and we encourage voters to let him continue his work.