Democratic Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn of Setauket announced June 2 that she will be running for the First Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Lee Zeldin, who is running for Governor of New York.
Ms. Hahn, who has served on the County Legislature for 10 years and is currently the Deputy Presiding Officer of the Legislature, joins her fellow legislator Bridget Fleming of the South Fork in seeking the Democratic spot on the ticket for the November 2022 election. Ms. Fleming announced her candidacy in May.
Ms. Hahn was raised in Stony Brook, where her mother, a teacher, and her father, a volunteer firefighter, “taught me the importance of hard work and service,” she said as she announced her candidacy at Stony Brook’s Three Village Inn, where she had once worked as a housekeeper.
She talked about how, as a child, she waited at night to hear that her father had come home safe from another emergency call, and how she’d learned about politics in the back of a pickup truck helping him clear downed trees from the neighborhood after Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
She spoke of the how the community of Stony Brook’s had been there for her when she was a “single mom escaping domestic abuse. This community was here for me as I got back on feet.”
She said that experience, and the lessons of service she’d learned from her parents, led her to a career in social work, and then in working as a legislator to fight domestic violence, opioid abuse and to protect Long Island’s environment.
Nancy Goroff, the Stony Brook chemist who was the Democratic candidate against Mr. Zeldin in 2020, endorsed Ms. Hahn on June 7.
“I’ve known Kara for years and have seen how dedicated she is to serving this community,” said Ms. Goroff. “Her deep connections to Suffolk County — particularly in Brookhaven Town — and track record of finding common-sense solutions make her the strongest candidate in the race.”
Ms. Hahn said that some of her priorities in Washington include repealing the State and Local Tax exemption cap (SALT) that was part of the Trump-era tax reform that has disproportionately penalized homeowners in states like New York that have high property taxes.
“A pledge to repeal the SALT tax is a no brainer. It just brings us back to where we were before,” she said.
She also said partisan gridlock in Washington is responsible for Long Island’s crumbling infrastructure.
“Long Island’s economy depends on strong transportation,” she said. “Our roads are falling apart and our railroad is failing to keep up.”
“Federal investment can make this happen,” she said, addint that it will also bring good paying local union jobs.
“I’m doing everything I can at the county level but more can be done in Washington,” she said. “I lead with respect and I listen. I have a track record of working with anyone to put families first and get results. I’ve never backed down from a challenge.”
“I’m a proud Democrat who will happily walk in any neighborhood and meet folks at any firehouse to find our common ground,” she added.