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Kathleen Cleary challenges John Flanagan for state Senate

Cleary, an East Northport Democrat who works as a horticulturist, is a supporter of the Opt Out movement.

It may be an uphill battle, but Democrat Kathleen Cleary of East Northport announced Friday she is running against Republican State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan for his 2nd District seat.

Cleary, 51, said she is running “because our district deserves better representation.” She said she would press for legislation to curb gun violence, create a state single-payer health care system and institute campaign finance reform. She hopes to raise $250,000 to wage the campaign.

Cleary, who is making her first run for public office, has been a supporter of the Opt Out movement on school testing. She worked in contracts management for 25 years. In the past five years, she has become a horticulturist, working part time at the state’s Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River.

Flanagan spokesman Scott Reif said Flanagan’s, “outstanding record stands for itself,” in delivering record school aid, the state tax cap and $2.5 billion for clean water.

Also, Democrats are eying the possibility of running legislative aide Josh Slaughter for the 3rd District State Assembly seat, if Republicans put forward GOP Assemb. Dean Murray of East Patchogue as their candidate to succeed retiring state Sen. Tom Croci.

Slaughter ran a close but unsuccessful race for Suffolk County Legislature last year to succeed Democratic Legis. Kate Browning. Slaughter lost to longtime local fire chief Rudolph Sunderman.


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