Former Nassau County Legis. Jeff Toback will run for the South Shore Assembly seat vacated after Todd Kaminsky’s Senate victory but may face a crowded Democratic primary.
Toback, a Long Beach attorney, served 10 years in the legislature before his defeat in 2009. He ran an unsuccessful 2010 Democratic primary for the 20th Assembly District seat against then-incumbent Harvey Weisenberg.
“I miss being able to help people from inside government,” said Toback, who plans to focus on ethics reform, improving social services and fixing the Common Core curriculum.
Toback has emerged as a leader in the Independent Democratic Club of Long Beach, a city-based party that splintered from the county-backed Long Beach Democratic Committee.
Toback said he will resign from the executive committee of the Independent Club, which was formed after Mike Zapson was pushed out as chairman of the Long Beach Committee amid a feud with Nassau Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs.
Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo said he is “seriously considering” a run for the Assembly seat. Eramo ran for the seat in 2014 after Weisenberg’s retirement but dropped out after the party backed Kaminsky, who went on to win the seat, defeating Republican Avi Fertig.
Kaminsky won an April 19 special election to succeed former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos in the 9th District.
Long Beach firefighter Sam Pinto is also considering mounting a campaign.
“There are a lot of questions and issues right now and residents want good people taking part in it,” said Pinto, who has criticized the city’s restructuring of its fire department and its decision to replace professional firefighters with paramedics.
Jacobs said he will screen potential candidates in the coming weeks and will endorse a candidate by month’s end.
“I want to find the candidate that can best represent the district and can win,” Jacobs said.
Nassau Republicans have yet to decide on a candidate, a party source said.
The 20th Assembly District seat, which includes Long Beach, Oceanside, Island Park, Atlantic Beach and the Five Towns, has 40,360 registered Democrats, 32,395 Republicans and 21,802 voters not affiliated with a major political party.