Thomas, Raynor and Jackson call for education reform ahead of election


Democratic candidates met in front of Barrack Obama Elementary School in Hempstead on Oct. 8, where they announced their support for each other and their goal to bring state aid to some of the most underfunded schools on Long Island

Kevin Thomas, who is running for the state’s 6th Senate District, Taylor Raynor, who is running for the 18th Assembly District and Robert Jackson, who is running for the 31st Senate District, all pledged to be advocates for the children and minority populations in their district, if elected in November.

“We have been a community that has been ignored,” Raynor said. “We have been a community that has not consistently been advocated for and every time we take a couple of steps forward, we are taking steps back. We have a chance to change all of that now.”

In September, Raynor, 34, of Uniondale, won the democratic primary for the 18th district against Earlene Hooper, 79, of Hempstead, who has held the seat since 1988. She now faces Lamarre James in the general election. Thomas, 34, of Levittown, is challenging Kemp Hannon, 72, of Garden City, who has held the seat since 1989.

“These children deserve a world class education and after 30 years after the same representation, what do we have? We have nothing,” Thomas said. “We have a Republican majority who does not care about minority children.”

Thomas prioritized getting state aid to Long Island schools districts like Hempstead and Uniondale, each of which, he said, are owed roughly $50 million.

“We could bring these kids out of poverty,” he said. “We could change what Hempstead looks like. We could change what Uniondale is going through. It’s unimaginable what we could do with that money.”