Attorney Christopher McGrath, the Republican running to replace former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos in the April 19 special election, has released his first two television ads of the campaign.
In a 60-second biographical piece, which will begin airing Friday on cable channels throughout the 9th Senate District, McGrath drives through his boyhood neighborhood of Inwood, passing his old newspaper route and hometown church.
“I’ve had an unbelievable, successful career and I just want to give back,” said McGrath, a personal injury attorney and first-time political candidate. “My entire life has been involved with doing things for the community and in particular with kids.”
In the ad, McGrath says that if his Senate opponent, Democratic Assemb. Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach, is elected, less aid will go to Long Island school districts “and it is going to be even harder for families to be able to live here.”
McGrath also released a 30-second ad that says his loss in the Senate race would allow New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to pick “the pockets of each and every family in this district and on Long Island. Then you will see families struggle, you’ll see teacher layoffs, school aid reduced, programs eliminated, and you’ll see more money going to the NYC school system.”
McGrath argues that when Democrats controlled the Senate in 2009 and 2010 — along with the Assembly and the governor’s office — Long Islanders saw a new MTA payroll tax, the elimination of property tax rebate checks and a decrease in school aid. McGrath has said the special election could determine the balance of power in the Senate, now controlled by Republicans and a coalition of independent Democrats.
Kaminsky campaign spokesman Evan Thies called McGrath Skelos’ “hand-picked successor” and said the Republican ignores corruption “in favor of the status quo. The choice in this campaign is clear: Todd Kaminsky is a former federal corruption prosecutor who has consistently stood up for Long Island taxpayers, while the Skelos machine wants to keep standing up for itself.”
Skelos, of Rockville Centre, was convicted in U.S. District Court in December of eight counts of bribery, extortion and conspiracy and plans to appeal.
Kaminsky released his first ad on Monday, citing his career as a federal prosecutor and accomplishments in the Assembly.