Nassau County Legis. Siela Bynoe.

Nassau County Legis. Siela Bynoe. Credit: James Escher

Daily Point

Nassau legislator readies for prospect of primary with Taylor Darling

Nassau County Legis. Siela Bynoe is running for State Senate, she disclosed to The Point Tuesday in an interview.

Bynoe’s announcement, which will come officially Wednesday, adds intrigue to the race for the 6th Senate District, where Assemb. Taylor Darling already has declared her candidacy. Current State Sen. Kevin Thomas, who does not live in the newly constituted State Senate district, is running for the Democratic nomination in the 4th Congressional District.

Thomas’ decision to run for Congress came after his home was redistricted out of his State Senate district. Having served one term under the new map, Thomas would have to move if wanted to run again for State Senate.

Bynoe, 56, told The Point about her own personal challenges — including being a 20-year breast cancer survivor — and her government experience at the North Hempstead and Huntington housing authorities and on the Westbury school board. She said those experiences are key to her race, noting that she hopes to focus on issues like education, housing and health care.

“When I look at the challenges the residents of Senate District 6 face, they’re not much different than the issues my parents faced while raising myself and my sister,” Bynoe told The Point. “I know the challenges firsthand. There are some real pressing immediate needs I want to be able to go to Albany and work pragmatically to … address.”

Number One on her list, Bynoe said, is the future of Nassau University Medical Center.

“We need every level of government to step up, but the state is to me the primary player,” Bynoe said.

While focused on the district, Bynoe also noted that any state senator in the Democratic majority should be a more powerful voice in the caucus.

“This seat would be better served having had someone with steep experience in government and direct service,” Bynoe said. “I think we need to restore some balance to what’s happening in Albany as it relates to how it impacts Nassau.”

Bynoe said she’s prepared for the possibility of a primary with Darling, noting that she ran in the primary for the CD4 seat last year for several months, until court-ordered new maps carved her community out of the district.

Thomas already endorsed Darling for the seat.

“I still believe Assemblywoman Taylor Darling is the best fit for that seat,” Thomas told The Point on Tuesday.

Bynoe noted that while her experience in the Republican-controlled county legislature prepared her to work with those on the opposite side of the aisle, or even those within her party who disagree with her, the State Senate would provide a different experience on at least one front.

“It would be nice to be in the majority,” Bynoe said with a laugh.

— Randi F. Marshall

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