Andrew Garbarino in August 2018.

Andrew Garbarino in August 2018. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Congressman Peter King on Sunday threw his support behind Assemb. Andrew Garbarino to run as his successor in a key Long Island district, giving the Sayville Republican a boost in a possible Republican primary.

Garbarino now has locked up support of the Republican state chairman, the Nassau and Suffolk county GOP leaders and the man he wants to replace, King, who is stepping down in December after 28 years in Congress.

“I am delighted to announce my support for Andrew Garbarino to represent the good people of Long Island,” King (R-Seaford) said in a statement. “These hardworking citizens need a strong advocate who will put their interests over politics and fight hard against the extreme progressive left policies of Congressional Democrats. That is what I have always done and I know Andrew will too.”

That doesn’t mean there won’t be a Republican primary for the nomination.

Assemb. Michael LiPetri (R-South Farmingdale) and Suffolk County health official Nancy Hemendinger have said they will seek to qualify for a primary, which would be held June 23. The candidates would have to gather at least 1,250 valid petition signatures from enrolled party members during the qualifying period, which runs from Feb. 25 to April 2.

Another Republican, Suffolk County Elections Commissioner Nick LaLota, has been raising campaign funds and is considering joining the race.

The battle for New York's 2nd Congressional District, which covers parts of the South Shore in Nassau and Suffolk counties, has become one of the most watched for control of Congress in November since King (R-Seaford) announced last fall he wouldn't seek re-election after 14 terms in the House of Representatives.

Several Democrats have expressed interest in running, but the party apparatus is expected to back Jackie Gordon, a former Babylon Town Board member and retired Army lieutenant colonel. The National Democratic Campaign Committee recently said it would give Gordon fundraising and staffing support.

Federal elections records show Gordon raised $261,855 during the final quarter of 2019.

Garbarino raised $217,975 over the same period; LaLota $154,135.

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