Browning said she wants to improve the Affordable Care Act, including by auditing health care companies over administrative costs. She said she believes health care “is a right, not a privilege,” but declined to commit to supporting a bill to provide Medicare for all. She said a federal infrastructure bill is needed to fund projects in the district, which she said has lagged behind the rest of the nation in job growth. She also criticized 1st District incumbent Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) for backing a bill that would expand the rights of individuals to carry concealed firearms in New York. Zeldin called the measure, “good policy,” saying it would reduce the confusing patchwork of state and local conceal carry laws. Browning said she would be the strongest candidate against Zeldin. She cited her background as a bus driver and her ability to court blue collar voters, her support from labor unions and her record as a legislator.
Browning, 58, of Shirley, is making her first bid for Congress. She is also running on the Women’s Equality Party line. Browning served 12 years as a Suffolk County legislator before term limits forced her out last year. As a legislator, she advanced the planned sewer district in the Shirley and Mastic areas and helped preserve more than 1,000 acres of open space. She also created a task force to examine proper citing of renewable energy projects such as solar farms. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, she moved to New York in the late 1980s with her husband. Browning was a school bus driver for 18 years, and also served as a representative for the local transportation workers union. She received a bachelor’s degree in labor studies from the former National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 2002. Browning is married and has three adult children.