New York State Assemb. Steve Englebright, D-Setauket, has defeated Republican challenger Deborah McKee in the Fourth Assembly District race by carrying about 56 percent of the vote and a tally of 19,452 to 15,240.
"He's one of the most amazing representatives we could possibly have fighting to protect the quality of life on Long Island," Brookhaven councilman Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld said of Englebright. "I couldn't imagine an Albany without him."
Englebright called McKee "a very determined but dignified foe" whose point of view he respects. But he called the victory bittersweet: bitter because , yet sweet because . Englebright's bills have been frequently co-sponsored by Foley in the state Senate.
"All of that causes me to be very thoughtful," Englebright said. "I know we have great challenges ahead of us with meeting the expectations of the people who re-elected me. ... We're going to have some difficult pathways through the budget process that we're going to have to walk down."
At a gathering of Suffolk County Republicans in Smithtown, McKee said voters will now want to see a "real fast turnaround in Albany."
"I had a great time with this race," she said. "I had great people volunteer with me. It was truly grassroots. We knocked on thousands of doors."
Heading into Election Day, Englebright, a Setauket resident, had described himself as an advocate. He has a long history of supporting local environmental initiatives and job preservation. He helped pass recent measures banning BPA in babies' and children's products and stopping the use of pesticides on playgrounds and school properties, and fought to keep the state parks open this past summer, which saved 20,000 jobs. Englebright also voted "no" on the MTA payroll tax.
Englebright was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature in 1983, and first entered the New York State Assembly by winning a special election in 1992. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee, and a Master's in paleontology/sedimentology from Stony Brook University.
McKee, a 30-year resident of Mount Sinai, had said her top priority would have been controlling the high cost of living on Long Island. She also supported the elimination of the MTA payroll tax, supported STAR rebates and the institution of a property tax cap, wanted more transparency in Albany, and planned to develop incentives for small business growth for the creation of good jobs.
Name Party Percent Votes Steven Englebright D 56.07 19,452 Deborah McKee R 43.93 15,240