Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Craig Johnson Wins in SD7

Craig Johnson won the special election for an open New York State Senate seat in the Seventh Senate District. Here are the unofficial election night results:


This was a big win, and it took a lot of work from a lot of people. To many people to mention, but let me thank the volunteers from across the state who filled the phonebanks and knocked on doors, the 129 people who donated $6,056 online to win, The Albany Project, Daily Gotham, Nassau GOP Watch, Communications Workers of America, SEIU Local 32BJ, UFCW Local 1500, RWDSU, UAW, Long Island Progressive Coalition, the WFP Nassau Chapter and - most of all - the 100s of canvassers who went out day after day in the, literally, freezing cold to talk to voters and pull them out to vote. Those canvassers were the engine we rode to victory, and they deserve everyone's thanks.

We'll let Craig close this post off with the prepared text of his victory speech:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Today you made history.
  • For more than 30 years, every Senate Seat on Long Island has been held by Republicans
  • For 100 years, THIS seat has been held by Republicans
  • Today we bid those years farewell and begin a new century.

As Democrats, we are on our way to a new majority in the State Senate - a cause that was advanced tonight but that continues starting now.

As Long Islanders, we are heading towards property tax reform - that will help our seniors and overburdened middle class.

And as New Yorkers, we will help Eliot Spitzer finish the job of changing state government so it works for all of us, not just the well-connected few.


I mention Eliot Spitzer - and in the campaign we spoke about Joe Bruno. But this campaign wasn’t about either of them. It wasn’t even really about Craig Johnson and Maureen O'Connell.

It was about the men and women, the children and the seniors, the working families of Roslyn, New Hyde Park, Great Neck, Port Washington and Elmont and all of the 33 villages of the 7th Senate District.

This election was about the hopes and dreams of the people I am now proud to call my constituents.

I asked you to vote our hopes - our hopes for a Nassau County that's more affordable for our seniors and working and middle-class

I asked you to vote our dreams - our dreams that our children will be able to find good jobs and homes they can afford here on Long Island.

You have my word that I will go to Albany to help all of us here on Long Island realize those hopes and those dreams.


I need to say a word about my opponent. As a nurse and as an elected official, Maureen O'Connell has dedicated her life to helping others.

This was a hard campaign, but there are no hard feelings. Maureen has had a noble career and I’m happy that she will continue as a colleague in government.


This is not my victory. This is your victory. More than 1,000 people gave up days, weeks of their lives to dedicate to this cause. I wish I could personally thank each and every one of you tonight. And I will try to do that over the next few days.

But please let me take the next few minutes to single out a few people who have been so important to this cause.
  • My great friend and our great Governor, Eliot Steamr--- Spitzer
  • My county chair – Jay Jacobs
  • Our two great State Democratic Chairs – June O’Neill and Dave Pollak
  • My new leader – soon to be the Majority Leader – Malcolm Smith and my Old Leader, Judy Jacobs
  • Our two great U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton
  • Nassau’s Three Members of Congress: Gary Ackerman, Carolyn McCarthy and Steve Israel
  • Three of Nassau’s greatest elected officials – My County Executive Tom Suozzi, my Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli and my Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman
  • So many other great elected officials, friends, supporters . . .
  • Thank you to the unions that supported me –
    • the Nassau, Suffolk and New York City PBA
    • CWA
    • 32 BJ
    • the Painters
    • the Auto Workers
    • the Steamfitters
    • R.W.D.S.U.
    • and U.F.C.W. Local 1500
  • and the Pride Agenda
  • Thank you to my campaign staff – who worked so hard for so long especially Brian Stedge, Nathan Smith, Marc Lapidus, Doug Forand and Alex Navarro – and everyone else – I’m sorry I can’t mention everyone.
  • and to Dan Cantor the young men and women from the Working Families Party who knocked on 45,000 doors for our cause
  • Thank you to my fantastic support network – my father, my sister, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, my sister-in-law,
  • And finally the two most important influences on my life
  • My Mom, Barbara Johnson, and My Wife, Liz.

And let's remember what we fought for. We are Democrats, but we don't just fight to elect our own for our own sake.

We fight for:
  • Taxes that are fair for our seniors and middle-class
  • Housing we can afford
  • Health care for every man, woman and child
  • including the pursuit of tomorrow's cures today
  • Schools that help every child reach their full potential
  • Stewardship of the environment for our children and grandchildren
  • The freedom to control our bodies
  • Marriage equality,
  • The right to organize
  • And a government that works for every one of us, not just the well-connected few,
And we will keep on fighting until we have fully realized the hopes and dreams of every New Yorker.

Thank you very much. God bless you. And God bless America.
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