- The Democrat who made history in 2018 by being the first Indian American elected to the State Senate, aims to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito in the 2024 election.
New York State Senator Kevin Thomas, who represents Long Island, is running for a seat in the U.S. Congress from the 4th Congressional District. The Indian American lawmaker, a Democrat who represents the sixth district of the New York State Senate, aims to unseat the incumbent Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito in the 2024 election. Other Democratic candidates include former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, former Olympic figure skater Sarah Hughes and Baldwin resident Patricia Maher.
“With so much at stake for Long Island families, and a Republican Congress that refuses to act, it’s time we send someone to Washington who can get things done,” Thomas said in a statement. “I’ve proven in the NY Senate that I’m all about action and getting real results. In the coming days I’ll have an announcement on my intentions and look forward to furthering the conversation.”
Thomas had made history in 2018 by being the first Indian American to enter the New York State Senate, unseating Republican incumbent Kemp Hannon who had been in office for three decades.
Citing political experts, Newsday notes that the 4th District, which covers Nassau County’s South Shore is among “the most vulnerable Republican House seats..” Biden won the seat in 2020 with a “14.6 percentage point lead over then-President Donald Trump Biden,” making it “the most Democratic district in the United States represented by a Republican.”
Born in Dubai to Malayalee parents, Thomas moved to the U.S. at the age of 10 and grew up in Queens, and then moved with his family to Long Island. Like all desi kids, he struggled to fit in a little bit.
Growing up a child of immigrants who came to the U.S. for a better life, he said, his parents gave priority to getting a good education. Like all immigrant children, the path seemed laid out for him — studying medicine or engineering, getting married and having children.
After graduation, he decided to return to New York where he was hired as a staff for New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG). His work there included helping people with consumer loans such as credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and other consumer issues. He later accepted an appointment to serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights New York State Advisory Committee, where “I worked tirelessly to advance civil rights and expand opportunities for all New Yorkers.