Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo has dropped out of the Democratic primary to replace the retiring Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) in the 20th District, leaving former U.S. attorney Todd Kaminsky as the party's only candidate in the race.
Kaminsky, endorsed by the party in May, will challenge Republican Avi Fertig of Lawrence.
Eramo said he wants to concentrate on his family and on rebuilding his Long Beach home, which was destroyed in superstorm Sandy. Eramo has lived in a rental home in East Atlantic Beach since the storm, but the property was recently sold.
"I love my community and believe it needs a strong voice in Albany representing the interests of working people," said Eramo, who hopes to be back in his home this summer. "However, obligations to my family prevent me from continuing my campaign for State Assembly."
Eramo, who is a Verizon field technician, is a member of the Communications Workers of America and had the backing of many labor unions.Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs has spoken to Eramo in recent weeks about leaving the race to unify the party behind Kaminsky. Jacobs said Eramo made a "tough decision" that will be rewarded down the road.
"I have a long memory and I will not forget what Anthony did here," he said.
Jacobs said there are "numerous options" that may open up for Eramo -- who was elected to the Long Beach City Council in November -- in the next few years.
, but he declined to identify themEramo is the third Democrat to quit the race in the past month. Lido Beach attorney Robert Solomon withdrew after failing to secure the party's nomination. Lawrence School Board trustee Asher Mansdorf backed out last month, only days after filing paperwork declaring his run.
Eramo and Solomon were both supported by Michael Zapson, chairman of the Long Beach Democratic Committee. Zapson said the committee will now support Kaminsky.
"Post-Sandy, the people of the 20th District need Albany to work for them now more than ever," Kaminsky said in a statement. "Storm recovery must move faster. Taxes must go down. And serious infrastructure improvements must be made."
Fertig responded that he was "the only candidate in this race who will cut taxes and create jobs."
The district, which covers Nassau's southwest corner, has 39,529 registered Democrats, 31,748 Republicans and 20,499 voters unaffiliated with a major political party, according to the state Board of Elections.