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Nassau police unions endorsing five Republicans for state Senate

Progressive policies like bail reform, rising crime, and the “defund the police” movement have Nassau police unions backing Republicans in upcoming state Senate elections this November.

Police brass claim the soft-on-crime policies comes from the extreme left and some unions on Long Island have decided to take action.

“It came from the far left of the Democratic Party, and in my opinion, a lot of the Democrats did not stand up to them and stop this rhetoric,” Tommy Shevlin, president of the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association told The Post.

“We have to go with who is outspoken and who is supporting the police officers,” he added.

Endorsements from the Nassau PBA – along with backing from the county Superior Officers Associations and the Detectives Associations – will become official at a Mineola event Tuesday.

An added boost from police unions might help incumbent state Sen. Alexis Weik win reelection while keeping attorney Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick competitive in two races for newly-drawn seats along the South Shore.

Sen. Alexis Weik
Republican Sen. Alexis Weik was first elected in November 2020.
Hans Pennink

The 2020 presidential election results suggest retired NYPD police officer James Coll would need an electoral miracle to oust Democratic state Sen. Kevin Thomas while former GOP state Sen. Jack Martin – who had a controversial role in the process that led to the current Senate lines – faces a double-digit gap against fellow two-term incumbent state Sen. Anna Kaplan.

Help from police unions though could prove to be especially significant in the race pitting County Legislator Steve Rhoads against longtime state Sen. John Brooks.

Showing Democratic Senator Anna Kaplan.
Democratic Sen. Anna Kaplan represents the 7th Senate District, which includes the Northwest portion of Nassau county.
Brigitte Stelzer

Former President Donald Trump won the district by more than three points in 2020, according to an analysis of the new state Senate map by CUNY Mapping Services.

But campaign finance records show that Rhoads has $58,193 on hand compared to $240,330 for Brooks as of mid-July, underscoring the difficulty facing the Republican challenger.

“These endorsements will certainly be helpful in raising the profile of our races, reinforcing the message that we’re here fighting for residents, fighting for their safety. And that will translate I’m sure into into financial support in addition to political support,” Rhoads told The Post Monday night.

Republicans are hoping that backlash to bail reform will lead them to victory on Long Island this November similar to last year when they scored upset victories in county races despite being outspent by the Democrats.

Thomas, Kaplan and Brooks – who could not be reached for comment by publication time late Monday night – won reelection in 2020 despite fierce Republican attacks on Democrats’ public safety record despite their relatively moderate records on bail reform compared to lefty colleagues.

Kevin McCarthy Law enforcement round table.
House Minority Leader in the United States House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy led a law enforcement roundtable discussion earlier this month.
Paul Martinka

The three incumbents Dems first won election in 2018 by flipping historically Republican seats as part of a broader Democratic sweep of the suburbs that gave them control of the state Senate and U.S. House – majorities that will be on the ballot this November.

While Democrats have little change of losing control of the state Senate, the loss of a few seats on Long Island could mean the end of their supermajority in the upper chamber of the state Legislature.

Republicans say one issue above all others will be key to their electoral success in winning back state Senate seats lost to Democrats in recent cycles.

“The main issue is crime – bail reform,” Nassau County GOP Chair Joseph Cairo told The Post Monday night about controversial criminal justice reforms that helped Republicans pull off several upset victories on Long Island last November.

“There’s a general feeling out there that people want some return to normalcy – to law and order. I think that’s what our candidates represent,” Cairo added.

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