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Kaplan defeats Phillips in Senate District 7

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In a race widely viewed as crucial for state Democrats’ efforts to take control of the Senate, Anna Kaplan, a Democrat from Great Neck, defeated Republican incumbent Elaine Phillips from Flower Hill in the 7th Senate District, with 54 percent of the vote, flipping the seat and denying Phillips a second term in office.

Hers was one in a string of victories for the party, yielding significant gains for state Democrats, with hotly contested races leading to its first true Senate majority since 1965.

Incumbent Congresswoman Kathleen Rice of Garden City handily defeated her Republican opponent Ameer Benno from Bellmore, securing 59 percent of the vote with 647 of 652 districts reporting, coasting to her third term representing New York’s 4th Congressional District.

And in other state contests, Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Beach, held off his Republican challenger, Francis X. Becker from Lynbrook, garnering 60 percent of the vote and securing a second full term for the 9th Senate District, while Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, a Democrat from Elmont, defeated her Republican challenger, Gonald Moncion, from Valley Stream, in a landslide victory for the 22nd Assembly District, earning 68 percent of the vote.

It wasn’t all bad for Republicans, however. In the 19th Assembly District, which includes a part of Franklin Square, Republican Ed Ra, who hails from the hamlet, fended off Democratic challenger William Carr from Williston Park, by winning re-election for his fourth term with 56 percent of the vote.

In the wake of her victory, Kaplan said she was feeling “excited, a little scared and full of passion to get things done in Albany.”