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Long IslandPolitics

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets April 19 for special election for ex-Sen. Dean Skelos’ seat

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has set the date of a special election to replace former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for April 19, the day of New York’s presidential primary, an administration official confirmed Friday.

Skelos, a Rockville Centre Republican, lost his seat after his conviction in December on eight counts of bribery, extortion and conspiracy.

State Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), a former federal prosecutor, has been nominated by Nassau Democrats and is expected to officially announce his campaign on Sunday.

He will take on Christopher McGrath, a personal injury attorney from Hewlett and first-time candidate who was nominated by the Nassau Republicans on Thursday.

“Change could not come to Albany fast enough and the South Shore needs a state senator who will restore integrity and fight for Long Island,” said Kaminsky spokesman Evan Thies.

Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif said a Republican would better represent Long Island interests. “No one wants to go back to the days when New York City ran our entire state government ... ,” he said.

Some Democratic Party leaders say a Republican State Senate candidate could benefit if former U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton has locked down the presidential nomination, reducing Democratic turnout, and the Republican race is in flux.

A special election will also be held April 19 to fill the seat of ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat convicted last year of seven counts of fraud, money laundering and extortion.

Special elections for the Brooklyn seat vacated by Democrat Roxanne Pursuad, who was elected to the Senate, and the Staten Island seat vacated by Republican Joe Borelli, who was elected to the New York City Council, also will be on April 19.

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