Brad Schwartz has dropped out of the Democratic primary for the state Senate’s 7th District seat and is endorsing his former opponent, North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan.
She is now running unopposed for the party nomination. The seat is currently held by state Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill).
Schwartz said that despite being “the top fundraiser among declared challengers for the New York state Senate and, one of the most media covered state legislative campaigns in New York,” it is time for the party to unite behind one nominee.
“I am profoundly grateful to all my supporters, volunteers and incredible campaign staff who made this experience possible,” Schwartz said. “As I have said all along, campaigns aren’t about candidates, they are about the shared mission among all those involved. In the Democratic campaign for District 7, the mutual priority is to win the NY state senate by flipping this vital swing seat — a victory that would deliver the full power of Albany into the resistance against the dangerous policies of Donald Trump.”
Schwartz, a Port Washington resident and former television producer, had raised a little more than $115,171 for his campaign, based on campaign filing records as of January.
There are currently no campaign finance filing records for Kaplan’s state Senate campaign.
Kaplan had received strong support from the party, with endorsements from Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Gianaris and North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth when she announced her run in May.
Assemblyman Chuck Lavine (D-Glen Cove) had endorsed Schwartz in the campaign.
In a statement Kaplan called Schwartz “a hard-working community advocate on Long Island with a bright future.”
“He is someone I look forward to working with during this campaign and during my time as an elected official bringing real change through government,” Kaplan added. “This seat is vital in gaining a Democratic majority in the state Senate and passing important legislation dealing with gun reform, taxes, education and more. I am honored to represent the Democratic Party this election.”
Schwartz said he is supporting Kaplan for the greater benefit of Long Islanders and New Yorkers, saying she has advocated for common sense gun legislation, women’s reproductive rights, the Child Victims Act, election reform and environmental protection.
“Together as a unified voice, I know we can win back Albany and pass these vital pieces of legislation for New York; and, defend our state from currently destructive federal policies,” Schwartz said.
Efforts to reach Senator Phillips were unavailing.
Democrats make up about 40 percent of the 231,317 registered voters in District 7; Republicans make up 29 percent, according to state records.
Another quarter of registered voters do not have a party affiliation.
Despite the Democratic plurality, in 2016 Phillips defeated Democrat Adam Haber by a 51 percent to 49 percent margin.