When State Sen. Anna M. Kaplan first ran two years ago in the 7th District, she often hesitated to take a strong stand on key state issues. After her first term, the Great Neck Democrat is starting to come into her own, speaking out in favor of stronger gun laws, changes to the initial bail reform proposals, election reform, the redevelopment at Belmont Park, and the need to vaccinate schoolchildren.
As chair of the State Senate’s Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee, Kaplan, 55, has become a voice for small businesses across the region, providing a spotlight that’s become particularly important since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
David C. Franklin, a former commissioner of the Port Washington police department, has made public safety the centerpiece of his campaign, and critiques the State Legislature’s handling of bail reform, suggesting “what could have been handled with a scalpel was handled with a machete.” The Port Washington Republican’s primary suggestion for solving the budget crisis is a return to manufacturing but he offers mixed messages on whether he’d support tax increases, saying at one point that he’d be willing to consider rescinding the property tax cap. Franklin, 63, also says he thinks the coronavirus emergency is now over, and argues that vaccination should be up to a parent, rather than be mandated by the government.
Kaplan strongly emphasizes her belief in science and vaccines, and notes that she thinks the state is in “the first inning” of the pandemic. With a COVID-19 vaccine possibly on the horizon, and likely fights ahead over a mandate, Kaplan should take a leadership role on this issue to assure that public health remains the priority. More broadly, Kaplan should use her stronger voice to stand up for Long Island’s concerns even when it means disagreeing with the caucus or its leadership.
Newsday endorses Kaplan.
— The editorial board