The top issues, Ankler said, are the county’s finances and the continuing opioid epidemic. She said the county can increase sales tax revenue by encouraging local business growth. She is working to have the county purchase a long-shuttered former Kmart site in Middle Island to convert it into ballfields, which would be surrounded by new shopping. In Rocky Point, she continues to push for “rails-to-trails,” to turn former right of way into walking paths and help revitalize the downtown. She said she has written dozens of letters to the New York State Department of Transportation to get them to improve safety on Route 25 and 25A in her district. She also sponsored legislation this year to create a permanent task force on opiates and heroin. It will look at recommendations from a 2010 task force that have never been implemented, and come up with new ones.
Anker, 53, of Mount Sinai, is running on the Democratic, Independence, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines. She won a special election for the legislative seat in 2011 and has been on the board ever since. A former school board member, she is chair of the Seniors and Consumer Protection Committee, and is vice chair of the Veterans Committee and the Environment, Planning, and Agricultural committee. Anker was the founder and president of the Community Health Environment Coalition, which is aimed at addressing Long Island’s cancer rates, and as a civic board member helped create the Mount Sinai Heritage Park. Prior to being elected, she was the director of Brookhaven Town’s energy department. Anker received her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Saint Leo’s University. She has three children.