State Sen. Todd Kaminsky held a strong lead in the 9th Senate District race Tuesday night over his Republican opponent, Victoria Johnson, who had never held elective office before and campaigned on a single issue - repeal of the Bail Reform Law - in a district that covers a large swath of Nassau County's South Shore that is becoming increasingly diverse.
Nassau County Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs declared that Kaminsky had won the race Tuesday night. But just prior to Jacob's announcement. Johnson said she thought the decision declare victory was premature but said she would remain "optimistic" and planned to wait until all of the results are in.
"First I want to say thank you for everyone that supported me," Johnson said. “It’s not over yet.
Johnson noted that there are still thousands of ballots that need to be counted and said that she would not concede until the electorial process runs its course.
According to preliminary results from the Nassau County Board of Elections on Wednesday afternoon, Kaminsky, the 42-year-old Democrat from Long Beach, had about 68,911 votes, compared with about 60,310 for Johnson, 60, who had worked for Republican state legislators on Long Island.
Today, Senator Todd Kaminsky release the following statement after winning re-election to the 9th Senate District:
"Thank you to the voters of the South Shore for overwhelmingly re-electing me to the State Senate. I look forward to getting to work on behalf of all voters to achieve more prosperous communities, an honest government and a cleaner environment. Let's do this together."
Kaminsky, chairman of the State Senate's Environmental Conservation Committee, won a special election to the State Senate in 2016, following the expulsion of Dean Skelos from the Senate in an ethics scandal, for which he was sentenced to prison.
Kaminsky, a former prosecutor in the office of the Queens District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, was first elected to the State Assembly in 2014, replacing Harvey Weisenberg, who had retired after a 25-year career in the legislature.
The campaign was a quiet affair, with little door-to-door campaigning by either candidate because of the Covid 19 pandemic. The two candidates periodically made appearances before small groups and sent out campaign literature.
Kaminsky stressed his experience in office and his record on the environment, in which he authored the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, an aggressive plan that places the state on the road to carbon neutrality and a green energy economy.
Kaminsky was also co-sponsor of the Bail Reform bill, which allowed suspects in some type of crimes to be released from jail without bail. Johnson jumped on the issue, accusing Kaminsky of major responsibilities from judges. Johnson won the endorsement of a number of Long Island and New York police PBAs. Kaminsky later added several more crimes for which judges could set bail.
Long Beach, Kaminsky's home town, is heavily Democratic. He is a familiar figure in the city, often appearing at civic and community events and lending his support to the Martin Luther King Center in the North Park section.
But Johnson exuded a plain-spoken demeanor and mentioned that she is a mom who could appeal to a working-class electorate. She is the daughter of a retired New York City police officer and a seamstress. She earned a bachelor's degree from the State University at Potsdam. Kaminsky is a graduate of the University of Michigan and earned a law degree from New York University.
He attributed his first win to the state assembly to the work he had done in 2012 on Superstorm Sandy, speeding up reimbursement schedules or home and business repairs.