Anatomy of an upset: LI's Thomas scores biggest state Election Day surprise

Newsday

On a night of election surprises in New York, none was bigger than Kevin Thomas.

The 34-year-old Levittown Democrat had little name recognition and little staff. He had no financial help from the state party aside from free office space. His campaign-finance reports detailed no TV or radio ads but instead were filled with receipts for texting services, and Uber and Long Island Rail Road rides.

But he knocked on thousands of doors in Nassau County, strategically wooed minority voters in a demographically changing district and rode a surge in Democratic turnout to oust State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), a 29-year incumbent.

It was the under-the-radar upset of the night, a number of Democrats, Republicans and analysts agreed.

 

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