Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips, the Republican nominee for the State Senate seat being vacated by state Sen. Jack Martins, kicked off her campaign, arguing that the race could determine the balance of power in Albany.
At a rally in Williston Park with 150 supporters, Phillips vowed to reduce property taxes, impose term limits on state officials and tackle Long Island’s heroin epidemic.
“I will put the needs of this community first and always listen the concerns of the people who live here and simply want to create a better life for themselves and for their family,” she said.
Phillips will take on Democrat Adam Haber, an East Hills businessman and Roslyn school board member who lost to Martins in 2014.
Haber spokesman Mike Murphy said Phillips would “continue the Albany status quo that creates higher taxes, failing schools and a never-ending parade of ethical crises.”
Martins, (R-Old Westbury) is vacating the Seventh District seat to run for for the House seat of retiring Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington).
Martins described the Senate race as the “front line” in the GOP’s political battle to maintain control of the chamber.
“This is where the rubber meets the road,” Martins said. “Our ability to get out there and to protect our qualities of life for our communities starts and ends right here.”
Phillips said that when Democrats controlled the Senate in 2009 and 2010 — along with the Assembly and the governor’s office — the 7th District was “treated like an ATM,” with school aid diverted to New York City, property tax rebate checks eliminated and a new MTA payroll tax imposed on Long Island businesses.
Phillips spent 25 years as a financial analyst on Wall Street. She also also a fourth-degree black belt and a part-time karate instructor.
In March, Phillips was re-elected to a third term as Flower Hill mayor. Phillips said she overhauled the village’s finances, reformed its ethics policy and planted hundreds of new trees in right-of-ways to protect against erosion and flooding after Superstorm Sandy.