Republicans in the state Assembly hope to gain more seats in the November elections and are paying close attention to two races on Long Island, while Democrats are maneuvering to expand their majority.
Going into Tuesday's election, Democrats have a lopsided 104-41 majority in Albany. The advantage means Republicans won't have a chance to take control of the Assembly this November.
However, Republicans hold 12 Long Island seats to the Democrats' nine, although Assemb. Fred Thiele, an Independence Party member, caucuses with Democrats. There are 78,194 total registered voting Democrats across Suffolk and Nassau Assembly districts and 54,751 Republicans, according to state board of elections data.
This year, there are two open Assembly seats on Long Island, in District 3 in Suffolk County and District 18 in Nassau.
The District 18 seat came open in September when private consultant psychologist Taylor Raynor, 34, defeated incumbent Earlene Hooper, 79, in the Democratic primary. Hooper had served the district since 1988 and was deputy Assembly speaker.
The Nassau County Democratic Committee endorsed Raynor in the district, which includes Hempstead, Baldwin, Freeport, Uniondale and parts of Merrick. There are 54,081 registered Democrats in the district and 12,026 Republicans.
Raynor faces Republican James Lamarre, 42, in the race.
The District 3 seat became open in June when incumbent Dean Murray, 53, a Republican, announced he would run for State Senate.
Democrat Clyde Parker, 71, faces Republican Joseph De Stefano, 58, in the district, which encompasses Yaphank, Medford, North Bellport, Shirley, and parts of East Patchogue.
Republicans say they're optimistic about the race because Murray won the district in 2014 and 2016. There are 25,943 registered Republicans in the district and 26,785 registered Democrats.
De Stefano, of Medford, a first-time Assembly candidate, wants to work to curb wasteful government spending. He cited state funding for an upstate hiking trail and a gondola at the state fairgrounds in Syracuse as examples of such spending.
Parker, of Bellport, also making his first race for Assembly, said he would work to create more affordable housing to address homelessness and poverty, and seek to lower student-teacher ratios in Long Island schools.
Republicans also are focused on District 9, a horseshoe-shaped district that includes Massapequa, West Babylon, Babylon Village, West Islip and West Bay Shore. The district has 39,739 registered Republicans and 27,557 Democrats.
Democratic incumbent Christine Pellegrino faces Republican Mike Li Petri in the race.
In a special election last year, Pellegrino beat Thomas Gargiulo, a registered Conservative who also ran on the Republican line.
Li Petri, 27, of South Farmingdale, says he is running to “reform the high-tax, reckless spending and corruption-plagued climate” of state government, according to his campaign website.
Pellegrino, 49, of West Islip, said she wants control of evaluating teachers returned to local school districts.
Following are the races for state Assembly in Nassau and Suffolk counties:
- Fred W. Thiele Jr. (D, WF, I, WE, Ref.)
- Patrick M. O'Connor (R, C)
- Rona Smith (D)
- Anthony H. Palumbo (R, C, I)
- Clyde E. Parker (D)
- Joseph P. De Stefano (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Steven Englebright (D, WF, I, WE)
- Christian W. Kalinowski (R, C)
- Timothy L. Hall (D)
- Douglas M. Smith (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Philip R. Ramos (D, WF, I, WE, Ref.)
- Thomas E. Murray, III (D, WF)
- Andrew R. Garbarino (R, C, I, WE, Ref.)
- David J. Morrissey (D)
- Michael J. Fitzpatrick (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Christine Pellegrino (D, WF, I, WE)
- Mike Li Petri (R, C, Ref.)
- Steve Stern (D, WF, I, WE)
- Jeremy G. Williams (R, C)
- Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D, WF, I, WE)
- Kevin V. Sabella (R, C)
- Avrum J. Rosen (D)
- Andrew P. Raia (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Charles D. Lavine (D, WF, WE, Ref.)
- Andrew A. Monteleone (R, C)
- Michael F. Reid (D, WF, WE)
- David G. McDonough (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Allen F. Foley (D, WF, WE)
- Michael A. Montesano (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Anthony D'Urso (D, WF, I, WE, Ref.)
- Byron A. Divins, Jr. (R, C)
- Kimberly L. Snow (D, WE)
- John K. Mikulin (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Taylor Raynor (D, WF, WE, Ref.)
- James Lamarre (R, C)
- Billy Carr (D, WF, WE)
- Edward P. Ra (R, C, I, Ref.)
- Juan C. Vides (D)
- Melissa L. Miller (R, C, I)
- Jack Vobis (WE, Ref.)
- Judy A. Griffin (D, WF, WE, Ref.)
- Brian F. Curran (R, C, I)
- Michaelle C. Solages (D, WF, I, WE, Ref.)
- Gonald Moncion (R, C)