Sarah Anker, a former Democratic Suffolk County legislator, has announced...

Sarah Anker, a former Democratic Suffolk County legislator, has announced her candidacy in the 1st New York State Senate District. Credit: James Escher

Sarah Anker, a Democrat who served nearly 13 years in the Suffolk County Legislature until term limits prompted her exit last year, announced Monday she will run for the 1st District State Senate seat held by Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk).

Anker, 59, of Mount Sinai, said in an interview she was focused on the opioid crisis, creating affordable housing opportunities, public safety and protecting water quality. She argued that, if elected, she would have an advantage in advocating for suburban issues as a member of the Democratic Senate majority.

“I want to bring a strong voice to Albany and fight for Long Island and our values,” she said. “There needs to be a moderate voice, but loud, to make sure that they understand about our issues, because our issues are very different.”

Anker, who last month began working as an election form processor at the Suffolk County Board of Elections where she earns a $98,098 annual salary, noted she has won repeatedly in the 6th Legislative District which she said is “not just red — it’s crimson.”

The 1st Senate District, which includes the Twin Forks and northern Brookhaven Town, hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since George L. Thompson in 1914. There are 78,838 registered Democrats compared with 71,473 registered Republicans and 68,262 unaffiliated voters. according to the state Board of Elections. 

Palumbo, 53, who announced his reelection campaign last Wednesday, declined to comment on Anker’s candidacy. In a statement, he said the minority Republican conference in the Senate is crucial to counteracting Democrats who control both legislative chambers and the governor’s office.

“As your Senator, I will continue fighting for Suffolk County’s fair share of state education aid and transportation funding to make certain that Long Island’s growing needs are met and that homeowners are not faced with astronomical hikes to already excessive property taxes,” he said.

Palumbo has served in the Senate since 2021 after serving in the Assembly from 2013 until 2020.  

State senators serve two-year terms and earn $142,000 a year.

Nominating petitions can begin circulating Feb. 27 for the Nov. 5 general election.

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