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Assemb. Todd Kaminsky has $332,000 for possible State Senate race

State Assembly member Todd Kaminsky (d-20) photographed

State Assembly member Todd Kaminsky (d-20) photographed in the Lawrence High School library in Cedarhurst on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016. Credit: Steven Sunshine

State Assemb. Todd Kaminsky has $332,000 on hand for his expected State Senate campaign for the seat that Republican Dean Skelos vacated after his conviction on federal corruption charges.

State Board of Election filings show Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), who was tapped to run for the seat last week by the Nassau Democratic Committee, raised $258,165 through a new campaign committee between Jan. 4 and Jan 11.

“I am encouraged by the strong support I have received in such a short amount of time as I consider running to replace Dean Skelos,” said Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor who was elected to the Assembly last year. “It is clear that many on Long Island and in our state share my deep concerns about our government and want to see real change.”

Possible GOP candidates include Assemb. Brian Curran, of Lynbrook, Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman, of Atlantic Beach, and Nassau County legislators Howard Kopel, of Lawrence, and Denise Ford, of Long Beach.

Nassau Republican Committee spokesman Michael Watt said the party is “exploring all of our options” and expects to pick a candidate “sooner rather than later.”

Blakeman, who was elected to his town post in November, is the only potential GOP candidate to submit a campaign filing to date. Blakeman has $63,181 in his campaign account, largely from his town campaign. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The filings show Kaminsky received $11,000 from Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire George Soros, and $5,000 each from Nassau Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs, criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman, Hempstead developer Donald Monti and Shalom Maidenbaum, a politically connected property tax grievance attorney.

Kaminsky has an additional $75,000 in his Assembly account, campaign officials said.

Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif accused Kaminsky of “seeking to join . . . New York City Democrats” who backed the MTA payroll tax and other measures that were detrimental to Long Island interests.

The 9th Senate District seat is seen as critical in determining which party controls the Senate after this fall’s elections.

The departure of Skelos — a Rockville Centre Republican convicted last month on bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges — leaves the Senate with 31 Republicans and 31 Democrats. The GOP remains in control of the chamber because state Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) sits with the Republican conference.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to set a special election for April 19, the date of the New York presidential primary.

The deadline for filing the campaign finance reports is midnight Friday.

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