Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan announced her candidacy for the New York State Senate seat for District 7, which is currently held by first-term Republican Elaine Phillips, on April 27 at the “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury.
Kaplan joins Port Washington resident Brad Schwartz, an East Hills native and Roslyn High graduate, who declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in September 2017.
The rally began as Nassau County Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs presented the opening remarks, followed by an enthusiastic speech by Governor Andrew Cuomo and a passionate announcement by Kaplan.
Among the political leaders who filled the room to show their support were Senator Mike Gianaris, Congressman Tom Suozzi, Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, Assemblyman Anthony D’Urso, along with Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town Democratic Leader John Ryan, Council members Lee Seeman, Viviana Russell and Peter Zuckerman, Town Clerk Wayne Wink and Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, among many others.
In his speech, Cuomo discussed the importance of increasing Democratic representation to change certain policies by the current administration, such as the new laws that will be double taxing New Yorkers, as well as the other states that were blue in the last presidential election.
“We are living in a time where the federal government is being dismantled on behalf of special interests and the powerless are being victimized by the powerful,” said Kaplan. “Luckily in New York, Governor Cuomo is leading the way and setting an example for the nation—from fighting the GOP tax bill which deliberately targets New Yorkers, to free college tuition for middle class families and passing the strongest gun laws in the country. I am grateful for the governor’s support, and look forward to continuing the fight to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.”
Kaplan’s platform includes passage of several legislative measures that passed in the New York State Assembly, but which were denied a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate, including a law that would authorize a court to issue an Extreme Risk Protection Order to prohibit people found to be dangerous to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm, extending the statute of limitations for child victims of sexual abuse to bring claims against their abusers, campaign finance reforms and advancing women’s reproductive rights.
Elected as councilwoman in November 2011, Kaplan represents more than 40,000 residents in the town’s Fourth District, which includes parts of Great Neck, Roslyn and Manhasset.
In 2016, Kaplan entered the Democratic Primary in New York’s Third Congressional District, hoping to become the first Iranian American to serve in Congress. While she didn’t win, her dramatic life story captured the attention of the national media.
Born in Iran, she was sent to the United States alone at age 13 during the Islamic Revolution. She lived with a foster family in Chicago, while waiting for her family to join her in the U.S.
Kaplan graduated from Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University and received a JD from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. She lives with her husband, Darren, in the Village of Kensington, where the couple raised their two adult daughters.