LONG ISLAND, NY (TIP): Sen. Kevin Thomas declared victory on Monday, November 16. Thomas was down by more than 7,000 votes on Election Day as Republican challenger Dennis Dunne pulled more in-person votes than the sitting senator.Jay Jacobs, Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee and Nassau County Democratic Committee, said Thomas surged ahead as mail-in ballots were tallied and took an insurmountable lead.“Based on the results of the absentee ballots opened so far and the Democratic enrollment advantage in the ballots yet to be opened, I am now happy to congratulate Kevin Thomas on his re-election to the Senate,” Jacobs said in a statement.
Thomas was one of several vulnerable Senate Democrats who trailed a Republican opponent on Election Day, giving Republicans hope they could gain several seats and whittle away the Dems’ 43-member majority. Despite a dearth of funds, the GOP slammed sitting Dems over bail reforms and other criminal justice legislation passed since the party took over control of the 63-seat chamber in 2018. Along with several Dems, Thomas was also targeted by the city Police Benevolent Association, which used its Political Action Committee to buy $1 million in ads and mailers attacking the senator. Many of the ads accused the politician of being “pro-criminal” or tied him to Mayor de Blasio, who is considered deeply unpopular in the Nassau suburbs.Thomas, whose 2018 win was part of the blue wave that gave Dems control of the Senate, said he defeated Dunne by a larger percentage than he earned when he unseated longtime Republican senator Kemp Hannon two years ago. “Following a very close election in 2018, I am thrilled to have won a larger margin this year, and I know that is because of my hard work fighting for this community, Long Island, and all of New York State,” he said. “I look forward to continuing my efforts to build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Long Island and New York State, and I thank the voters for their support.”