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Craig Johnson has announced his candidacy for the 7th District State Senate seat, which was vacated when Mike Balboni resigned to become Governor Spitzer's choice for head of homeland security for the state.

Nassau County Legislator Craig Johnson has been unanimously selected as the Democratic candidate for the 7th District State Senate Special Election called for Tuesday, Feb. 6. Members of the selection committee and Nassau Democratic Party joined Johnson to celebrate his selection when he announced his candidacy last week.

"Governor Spitzer has laid out an ambitious plan for New York," Johnson said. "I look forward to being a partner with Governor Spitzer to lead the fight to take back our government for the working families of New York and Long Island."

Continuing he said, "For too long Albany has been operating under a set of rules that favored lobbyists and the well-connected few. Making government work for all of New York and all of Long Island will always be my only priority. We need real reform, property tax relief and affordable health care."

Governor Eliot Spitzer has said recently, "I need Craig in the State Senate to help bring real reform to Albany. Craig is a voice for the common-sense changes we need to bring to state government. He will be a great State senator."

Johnson said he strongly supports Spitzer's reform agenda, which he said includes (1) a three-year, $6 billion property tax reduction focused on those middle class homeowners whose taxes are rising too fast for their incomes to catch up (2) reducing health care costs by using the state's bargaining power to drive down the price of prescription drugs, aggressively fighting Medicaid fraud and restructuring excess capacity (3) save millions of dollars each year by eliminating duplicative services and consolidating New York's multiple layers of local governments and (4) a series of lobbying and campaign finance reforms to reduce the power of special interests.

When asked why he thinks he's best for the job, Johnson said, "I am committed to being Governor Spitzer's partner in enacting his reform agenda. Maureen O'Connell is a loyal soldier of Joe Bruno's Republican machine. There is only one choice for voters seeking change and reform."

The seat Johnson is seeking is that of former State Senator Mike Balboni who resigned to serve as director of Homeland Security under Governor Spitzer. Despite the fact that Johnson and Balboni are on opposite sides of the aisle, Johnson noted that he considers Balboni a "great friend."

If elected, Johnson would change the Republican majority in the state senate to 33-29 rather than the current 34-28.

County Executive Tom Suozzi was on hand when Johnson announced his candidacy and stated, "We need Craig Johnson in Albany to fight for Governor Spitzer's reform agenda and property tax relief plan." North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman also spoke adding, "He will be a voice of reason and pragmatic decision making."

Johnson is Of Counsel at Jaspan Schlesinger Hoffman LLP in Garden City. Prior to his association with Jaspan Schlesinger, he was an associate at Reisman Peirez & Reisman, LLP and at the law firm of Wilkie Farr & Gallagher prior to that.

Johnson was raised in Port Washington and attended public schools in the neighborhood. He earned his BA, magna cum laude, from Amherst College and received his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from St. John's University School of Law. He lives in Port Washington with his wife, Liz, also an attorney, and sons Benjamin and Samuel.

He is also the son of Barbara Johnson, who passed away in March of 2000. She was a well-known and popular Democrat who served on the North Hempstead Town Board from 1991 to 1995 and was a Nassau County legislator until her death. Craig Johnson ran for her seat and won by a landslide.

The 7th Senatorial District, located in the northwest corner of Nassau County, encompasses the entire town of North Hempstead. It also includes the communities of Elmont, Floral Park, South Floral Park, Stewart Manor, Bellerose, Franklin Square and part of Hicksville.


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