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Elaine Phillips, John Brooks sworn into State Senate

New York Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul, right, presides

New York Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul, right, presides over the Senate Chamber at the Capitol on the opening day of the legislative session on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Albany, N.Y. Credit: AP / Hans Pennink

ALBANY — Republican Elaine Phillips and Democrat John Brooks were sworn into office Wednesday as new state senators.

Brooks joined Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) as the second Democrat to serve in the Long Island senate delegation, which for years has been controlled by Republicans.

Phillips, the former mayor of Flower Hill, celebrated the moment with family in Albany at a swearing-in ceremony and by posting an image on her Facebook page of the metal name plate bearing her name on her high-back leather seat in the Senate.

“Very grateful to have the incredible honor of representing our community in Albany,” she said.

Phillips beat Democrat Adam Haber to win the open seat vacated by Republican Sen. Jack Martins, who ran unsuccessfully for the 3rd Congressional District against Democrat Thomas Suozzi.

Brooks, a Seaford Republican who ran on the Democratic line, took his seat Wednesday representing the 8th Senate District. Brooks won after a long count of paper ballots in a close race against Sen. Michael Venditto (R-Oyster Bay), son of former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto.

“I will always fight to end corruption in government, will stand up for quality education for all students, and will work to make Long Island a more affordable place to raise a family,” Brooks said.


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