Friday, 21 January 2011 00:00
On Tuesday, Jan. 4, I was sworn in as your New York State Senator. It was quite a journey getting here. While Election Day was Nov. 2, this race was close enough that it took more than four weeks of careful hand-counting, overseen by our courts, to arrive at my election win. Now, I am thrilled and honored to finally begin the work of the Seventh Senate District.
For your patience, I thank you. I know that for many of you following the process via the media, it seemed a bit wearisome. But we can take comfort in knowing that our election system works. The Nassau Board of Elections was committed to delivering an accurate ballot count and was manned by numerous volunteers who selflessly conducted a hand-count under the watchful eyes of both Republican and Democratic representatives.
Our courts simultaneously conducted a thorough and patient examination of those ballots and included the Court of Appeals, the highest in our state. I can happily report that all 11 justices from the various courts involved agreed unanimously and confirmed my election win.
While this experience was indeed stressful, I was buoyed to see that a government of the people, by the people, for the people was still alive and well in the hearts of her citizens. And a 451-vote decision makes it abundantly clear to all of us that every vote indeed counts.
I cannot adequately express my gratitude to my supporters except to say that you have my sincerest and most heartfelt thanks. Your enthusiasm for genuine reform characterized our campaign and I understand it is by that mandate that I have been chosen to go to Albany. It is a privilege to represent people whose love for our state is only matched by their desire to improve it.
I also thank Senator Craig Johnson for having run such a spirited race and for his years of public service. While we strongly disagree on many issues I respect his fervent commitment to his positions. I look forward to working with him on a seamless transition for the people of our district.
Now we must get to work. At the beginning of the election season I expressed the need for honest, hard-working people to roll up their sleeves and bring their common sense to Albany. I promised to be that voice and I will. But I suspect common sense is in for some long, hard fights upstate that can’t be fought alone.
From time to time I will call on you to stand with me in efforts that may be unpopular with the powers that be. In fact, I hope my tenure as senator is marked by this partnership. It won’t be easy but I promise that if we stick together and accept shared sacrifice, we can set things right. In return I promise not to spoon-feed you but to tackle our problems head-on with plainspoken honesty.
Let’s get started,