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Todd Kaminsky to represent New York's 9th Senate District

Todd Kaminsky, the Democratic incumbent candidate for New

Todd Kaminsky, the Democratic incumbent candidate for New York State Senate District 9, is a former federal prosecutor from Long Beach. Credit: James Escher

Long Island needs strong voices in the State Senate to craft a smart way forward for the suburbs and Todd D. Kaminsky’s voice is crucial to that effort.

The 42-year-old former federal prosecutor from Long Beach, who has served in the Senate’s 9th District since 2016, has notched accomplishments, including advocating for and helping to shepherd through a new Long Island Rail Road station at Belmont Park, crucial to that project’s development.

As chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, Kaminsky has been a strong advocate for the environment, an area of concern for his South Shore district, which has been hit hard by extreme weather and likely will be again. He has worked to create stiff penalties against illegal dumping, a particular Long Island bane, and sponsored the landmark Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Signed by the governor last summer, it is the state’s most important effort to move toward reduced greenhouse gas emissions across sectors of the economy.

Unlike some anti-business members of his caucus, Kaminsky understands that Senate Democrats must not shy away from the big projects and partnerships with the corporate world that can bring jobs, tax revenue, and economic stability. He was too quiet and slow to challenge State Senate leadership on its mistaken opposition to an Amazon headquarters in Long Island City, eventually calling Amazon’s departure from a planned headquarters expansion a "tragedy."

"We can’t be anti-development at the drop of a hat," he said in an endorsement interview with Newsday’s editorial board.

It is these types of struggles within a Democratic caucus brimming with more left-leaning activists in which Kaminsky must find a firmer footing. The region’s future economic growth is at risk. In a similar and important fight in the last two years over bail reform, Kaminsky tried to use his law enforcement background to help guide some of his colleagues’ work, with mixed success. Additional revisions of the changes in bail and discovery laws are needed next year, and Kaminsky should be at the center of them.

His opponent, Victoria M. Johnson, 60, a Rockville Centre Republican, has Albany experience including as chief of staff to former Assemb. Brian Curran. But her erroneous notions about what actually occurred in the bail reform process and crime statistics coupled with her lack of definitive support for the science of vaccines suggests that she would not be an effective advocate in the State Legislature for her district or Long Island.

Newsday endorses Kaminsky.

— The editorial board