The Republican Senate candidate running in the soon-to-be-vacant 37th Senate district unveiled a campaign website this week that focuses not just on issues, but also his biography.
Attorney Sarmad Khojasteh has something of a compelling story, too: Born in Iran in 1981, his family emigrated to the U.S. a year later after the Islamic Revolution there and during the country’s war with Iraq.
They settled in Poughkeepsie in 1983.
His campaign platform reflects that experience. Policies range from helping families to bolstering aide to veterans.
“Having sought refuge in the United States, Sarmad knows that we can never do enough to support those who make our freedom possible – our heroes in uniform,” one plank states. “It is morally imperative that we help veterans transition into civilian life and protect them from homelessness or suicide.”
At the same time, he’s attempting to strike a more nonpartisan tone, such as backing gun control measures.
“Unfortunately, many of our elected officials seem intent on proposing legislation as a form of protest, or to win political points in a game of partisan ping pong, rather than listening to their constituents and coming up with ideas that would help to solve real problems for the people they serve,” he said.
Khojasteh is running as a Republican in a district the GOP conference in Albany has long sought, but found difficult to obtain. With the pending departure of George Latimer, who takes office as Westchester County executive, the seat is up for grabs in a special election expected to be called for the spring.
The seat is one of two Senate districts at the focal point of a push for Democrats to win control of the chamber in the coming months and force a truce among the mainline Democratic conference and the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference. A Republican win in the suburban district would dash that plan, at least for the time being.
Democrats, including Assemblywoman Shelly Mayer, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Bedford Supervisor Chris Burdick and People for Bernie co-founder Kat Brezler have announced plans to seek the nomination for the seat.