Election night 2018 yielded significant gains for state Democrats, with hotly contested races leading to the party’s first true Senate majority since 1965.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, of Garden City, handily defeated her Republican opponent, Ameer Benno, from Bellmore, securing 59 percent of the vote with 647 of 652 districts reporting and coasting to her third term representing New York’s 4th Congressional District.
“We’re going to be able to protect our environment; we’re going to be able to protect our LGBTQ community,” Rice said, declaring victory in Garden City. “We can do it all right here.”
In state contests, Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Beach, held off his Republican challenger, Francis X. Becker, from Lynbrook, garnering 60 percent of the vote and securing a second full term in the 9th Senate District seat, while Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, a Democrat from Elmont, defeated her Republican challenger in the 22nd Assembly District, Gonald Moncion, from Valley Stream, in a landslide, earning 68 percent of the vote.
And in a race widely viewed as crucial for Democrats’ efforts to take control of the Senate, Anna Kaplan, a Democrat from Great Neck, defeated Republican incumbent Elaine Phillips, from Flower Hill, with 54 percent of the vote, flipping the seat and denying Phillips a second term in office.
In the wake of her victory, Kaplan said she was feeling “excited, a little scared and full of passion to get things done in Albany.”