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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Add McDonald, Vilardi to potential GOP field for Skelos race

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan met Friday with Nassau County Republican leader Joe Mondello to discuss the race for a key vacancy as two other potential candidates emerged, sources said.

  Republicans are considering Malverne Mayor Patricia McDonald and Hewlett Republican Club President Jim Vilardi to run on the party’s line to replace ex-Sen. Dean Skelos, the Rockville Centre Republican who was convicted on corruption charges last month.

  They are among a half dozen GOP names that have been discussed, including Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook), Hempstead town councilman Bruce Blakeman, and Nassau County legislators Howard Kopel, of Lawrence, and Denise Ford, of Long Beach.

 No decisions were made about the potential Republican candidate, despite the meeting between Flanagan and Mondello, sources said.

 Nassau Democrats already have endorsed Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) to run for a seat that is essential to the Republicans’ razor-thin majority in the Senate. Kaminsky has reported raising $332,000 to run for the seat.

 Both parties are expecting Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to call a special election to fill the Skelos vacancy, possibly for April 19, the day of New York's presidential primary. However, Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs has said potential voting machine complications could warrant a different date.


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