Democrat Carol A. Gordon held a campaign kickoff event at her Massapequa home Sunday afternoon, beginning her quest to knock off State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, in the fall.
Gordon is looking to become a senator in New York's 8th district, which covers several South Shore communities, including Bellmore.
"I created an agenda for the eighth senatorial district, to take you with me, the voice of the people," Gordon said during her campaign speech.
Guest speakers at Sunday's event included Roosevelt Public Library Trustee Wilton Robinson Jr., Pastor Thomas Humphrey, senior vice president of the Long Island Men's Center, and Mimi Pierre Johnson, a candidate for the State Assembly.
Gordon, a long-time Massapequa resident, is involved with several community organizations, such as the Long Island Progressive Coalition, Yes We Can Long Island and the Breezy Point Civic Association.
Personal connection, according to Gordon's campaign manager William Smith, is her key to victory come November.
"The objective is to marry the campaign, which is the people's agenda, to the candidate," Smith said of the campaign following the event. "She doesn't have to cater to special interests or cater to party interests, she caters to the people's agenda. What that does is it gives the candidate a blueprint on the issues that affect her district. With that blueprint, she goes to Albany."
Marie Carmel Houanche, director of nursing at Casa Promesa, who also has a military background, met Gordon while she was the mental health clinic manager and patient advocate at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and is one of her loyal supporters.
"Carol has my support because she's a good person," Houanche said. "She wants change because there are so many incumbents that are not seeing what's happening, especially on Long Island. I know two years ago she tried to run and wasn't successful and this year we're behind her because she's for the people."
Gordon is gunning for a seat that Fuschillo has held since 1998. In her first run against Fuschillo in 2008, Gordon tallied 39 percent of the vote while Fuschillo took 61 percent.
An e-mail to Fuschillo's office seeking comment for this article was not answered.
Despite the always tough odds of knocking an incumbent out of office, Gordon believes her continued strong acquaintance and affiliation with the community will send her to Albany.
"I feel a personalized touch going door to door to door, that's going to be my ammunition," she said after Sunday's event. "People are going to know me in person. I'm going to knock on the door of everyday, average people just like me. I'm going to go door-to-door with that personalized touch and say, 'What is your issue?'"