By Jano Tantongco
With just weeks left until the June 28 Democratic primary, candidate for Congress Jon Kaiman has been endorsed for the 3rd Congressional District by Jon Cooper, a former Suffolk County Legislator.
“I believe the Jon Kaiman is by far the most progressive of the candidates and has had a long and consistent record in support of progressive causes,” Cooper said Monday in an interview.
Cooper, who is currently the president of Westbury-based manufacturer Spectronics Corporation, also said he supports Kaiman because progressive values overlap, and because he believes Kaiman is electable due to his notoriety within Nassau.
The portion of Nassau included in the 3rd Congressional District is home to 98,918 registered Democrats, which outnumbers the 39,150 registered Democrats the Queens portion of the district and the 56,440 who live in the Suffolk portion of the district.
Kaiman, formerly Town of North Hempstead supervisor from 2004-2013, is one of five Democratic contenders vying for the seat, which has been held by Rep. Steve Israel for the past 16 years. The other candidates are Suffolk Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills); North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan; former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi; and law firm managing partner Jonathan Clarke.
Kaiman thanked Cooper for his endorsement, and said, if elected, he will “continue to fight for social justice and progressive values in Washington while we also focus on those same issues here at home.”
Kaiman, who has also been endorsed by Huntington Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, said that North Hempstead and Huntington “could be sister towns.”
He explained that while he was North Hempstead supervisor, he spearheaded a program called Project Independence, which focused on working with taxi companies to give seniors free access to transportation, to help them “age in place.” He also said he has a strong focus on environmental issues and hopes to protect the groundwater beneath the feet of Long Islanders.
“I believe my electability really comes from working with people in my community that i represented for so many years. I’m committed to the very core to get things done,” Kaiman, who was also an adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Superstorm Sandy relief, said. “Electability is not just who yells the loudest, but it comes from that inner strength that people do look for.”
He added, “From standing up for LGBT rights, Planned Parenthood, and our teachers, to helping our seniors age in place and fighting climate change, I look forward to working with Jon Cooper throughout our district and for our country.”
Legislator Stern responded to the announcement of the endorsement, reiterating his platform of supporting progressive values, highlighting a recent endorsement from the LGBT Network. Stern also emphasized his support for the armed forces, announcing his “Supporting Our Veterans” agenda on Monday, which includes a push to end veteran homelessness by passing the federal equivalent of his “Housing Our Homeless Heroes Act.”
Stern, in an interview Friday, added, “Let me say this, I strongly believe that the most important endorsement in this race will come on Election Day -- and that comes from the voters.”