New York’s 94th Assembly District’s election this year features a newcomer to politics, Stephanie Keegan vs. the incumbent, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne. Continuing my efforts to bring you information about some of the more prominent races on our ballot this November, I sought out and was able to catch up with the challenger last week. Ms. Keegan was gracious enough to answer my questions.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to me.
It’s my pleasure. It always makes me very happy to discuss the positive changes I am planning to make.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where did you grow up? What schools did you attend? Etc.
I’m 61. I grew up in Ardsley. I lived there nearly all of my life until 21. I graduated from Ardsley HS in 1977 and went to Sarah Lawrence College before transferring to be closer to my now husband. I’m the mother of three boys, a daughter, sister, and have been an eternal optimist for as long as I can remember.
Why did you decide to enter this race?
After losing my veteran son in 2016, I became a veteran’s advocate, spending two weeks a month in Washington on my own dime for four years. It has been the honor of my life to use my experience and the experience of my son to help others. I worked very hard on these efforts and was successful in achieving all my original goals more quickly than anticipated due to great support on both sides of the aisle, and several of the Senators and Representatives I worked with suggested that I run. I’m happy to be home helping my neighbors.
Can you describe your typical day of campaigning during these difficult times?
Zoom and phone calls! I’m fortunate to not have a previous campaign of my own to compare this one to, so I don’t feel the challenges in the same ways as some others. I think I’ve spent more time on the phone in the last few months than in my entire life before COVID! I have held a few socially distant events as well, and every Saturday I attend the BLM rally in Carmel.
How’s the campaign going?
It’s been quite a ride and I’m actually very optimistic! I’ve met so many remarkable folks and have a tremendous amount of community support. The district is traditionally red, but I do believe I have a good chance of flipping it! Pete Harckham was able to flip his Senate district two years ago, and I am very much looking forward to working with him when I get to the Assembly!
What are the three most important issues that separate you and the incumbent?
Limiting it to three is a challenge! 1) I am very focused on providing and expanding quality affordable health care, including mental health and addiction services. He voted no on establishing patient protections from emergency care charges and voted no on reduced payment costs for elderly and low-income patients of both Medicare and Medicaid to $0. 2) I am in support of criminal justice reform and accountability for all public servants including disclosure of law enforcement officer disciplinary records. He voted no on the formation of a law enforcement misconduct office and voted no on disclosure of law enforcement disciplinary records. 3) I believe in sensible gun laws and was awarded a 2020 Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate Distinction. He voted no on prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing firearms, voted no to prohibit firearms on school campuses, voted no on amending background check regulations, and has an A rating from the NRA.
What would you like to accomplish should you be sent to Albany by the voters?
Most important to me is that I help every single resident in my district understand that they matter and I care about them. That each and every person should expect equal treatment under the law, and that every child will have equal access to the same educational opportunities regardless of the financial status of their families, and that I will always be available to them because I will always be working for them.
Do you have any final words for any undecided voters who might be reading this?
If you are looking for someone to represent you who truly cars about the issues that impact your life and the lives of those you love, I encourage you to vote for me. Also, when I am elected, I will be a member of the majority party. This will allow me to provide resources to the district that my opponent has been unable to because of his minority party status.
If people are reading this and want to get involved in your efforts, how can they?
I’ve been blessed by the support I’ve been given, but there’s always more work to be done! Anyone who wants to put up signs, volunteer to make phone calls, write postcards, or do texting on behalf of the campaign can contact me via my campaign website at keeganfornewyork.com. I’m also always looking for opportunities to meet new people so I would be most grateful to folks who would like to host safe socially distanced events, or online meet and greets again, contacting me via the website would be the best way to reach out or to make a donation.
Again, thank you and good luck.
Thank you! I’m only in this to help and hope this will give folks an opportunity to get more acquainted who I am and why I’m running.