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Who we're endorsing: For New York State Senate

Welcome to Day 2 of our New York State Senate endorsements. On Tuesday, we revealed our picks for Districts 1 to 4, and below we finish up with endorsements in Districts 5 to 9.

In the New York State Senate, we were cautiously optimistic when Democrats took control in 2018. But the record has been mixed.

The Long Island Six — Todd Kaminsky, John Brooks, Kevin Thomas, Anna Kaplan, James Gaughran and Monica Martinez — helped pass a raft of bills that were long overdue, but showed little backbone against the successful campaign by city Democrats to scuttle the deal to bring Amazon to Long Island City.

We hope they’ve learned their lesson. Most say they have. They need to form a stronger alliance with suburban colleagues in the Hudson Valley and upstate. This will be critical for many reasons this upcoming term.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s endorsement process looks a bit different since Senate candidates did not come to our office for in-person meetings. Instead, the board interviewed candidates remotely using Zoom and the telephone, and we invited our followers on our social platforms to look in as we did.

Enter your address here to see our choices to date for candidates running in your district.

The races

State Senate, District 5 (Glen Cove, much of northern Oyster Bay Town and most of Huntington Town): Democrat James Gaughran (incumbent) vs. Republican Edmund Smyth

State Senate, District 6 (Northeast Hempstead and central Oyster Bay): Democrat Kevin Thomas (incumbent) vs. Republican Dennis Dunne Sr.

State Senate, District 7 (North Hempstead, parts of northwest Hempstead Town and western Oyster Bay Town): Democrat Anna Kaplan (incumbent) vs. Republican David Franklin

State Senate, District 8 (western Babylon Town, southern Oyster Bay Town and southeast Hempstead Town): Democrat John Brooks (incumbent, no opponent)

State Senate, District 9 (Long Beach island and much of Hempstead Town): Democrat Todd Kaminsky (incumbent) vs. Republican Victoria Johnson

Don't see your district here? The rest of the State Senate endorsements can be found here. All endorsements will appear in print this week.

Our picks

State Senate, District 5

During his first term, James Gaughran fought successfully on several worthy efforts. But his voice was needed to push for the right solution on the LIPA power plant and he did not lend it, whereas his opponent, Town of Huntington board member Edmund Smyth, showed political fortitude and an ability to lead with his vote on the LIPA settlement.

Newsday endorses Smyth. Here's more why.

State Senate, District 6

This race features a choice between two residents of Levittown, the famous birthplace of a particular brand of American suburb. But more so, the race presents a choice between the Levittown of the past with Dennis Dunne Sr. and the Levittown of the future with Kevin Thomas.

Thomas has been a fresh presence in Albany while Dunne on many issues reflexively says no. Newsday endorses Thomas and here's our challenge to him next term.

State Senate, District 7

Anna Kaplan has become a voice for small businesses across the region, providing a spotlight that's become particularly important since the coronavirus pandemic hit. David Franklin offers mixed messages on whether he'd support tax increases, saying at one point that he'd be willing to consider rescinding the state property tax cap.

Newsday endorses Kaplan and here's more why.

State Senate, District 8

State Sen. John Brooks will stand alone on the ballot this fall, after the Republican Party's two possible candidates were disqualified because of successful legal challenges.

But Brooks, now completing his second term in office, commendably stands out for other reasons. Newsday endorses Brooks and here's why.

State Senate, District 9

Todd Kaminsky has notched accomplishments in Albany, including advocating for and helping to shepherd through a new Long Island Rail Road station at Belmont Park, and being a strong advocate for the environment. His opponent, Victoria Johnson, has Albany experience, but has erroneous notions about what actually occurred in the state's bail reform process and lacks definitive support for the science of vaccines.

Newsday endorses Kaminsky. Here's why Kaminsky can be counted on to carry Long Island’s interests forward.

Election reads and resources

Follow @NewsdayOpinion on Twitter and on Instagram to see the candidates during their endorsement interviews. Stay tuned for our next special edition newsletter for the rest of our 2020 endorsements.