Sen. Todd Kaminsky has endorsed Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo for his former Assembly seat ahead of the Sept. 13 Democratic primary against former Nassau Legis. Jeff Toback.
Kaminsky vacated the 20th Assembly District seat after winning a seat in the State Senate in April.
“I’ve spent my career fighting corruption in politics and championing the needs of the South Shore, and I need a partner in the Assembly who will do the same,” said Kaminsky. “I’m proud to endorse Anthony Eramo for New York State Assembly, where I know he will stand with me in the tough fights we have ahead to clean up Albany and get Long Island its fair share.”
Kaminsky and Eramo, a Verizon field technician and chief steward of CWA Local 1106, both ran for the Assembly seat in 2014 after Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg said he would not run for re-election. When the Nassau Democratic Committee endorsed Kaminsky, Eramo dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Kaminsky. Two years later, the Democratic Committee is now backing Eramo.
“I am deeply grateful and humbled by the great outpouring of support I have received over the course of this campaign,” Eramo said. “Senator Kaminsky has been a great example to me and to all the working families on Long Island of what hard work and strong ethics can accomplish.”
Toback, who lost a Democratic primary in 2010 against Weisenberg, initially supported Lido Beach attorney Robert Solomon in the 2014 race. Solomon withdrew from the race after failing to receive the party’s nomination.
“It’s fair to say I won’t be carpooling with Todd to Albany,” Toback said.
Toback noted that the political action committee of the Communications Workers of America gave $109,600 to the Nassau County Democratic Committee one week before Kaminsky’s narrow April 19 victory in a special election to replace former Sen. Dean Skelos in the 9th District.
Toback called Kaminsky’s endorsement a “quid pro quo” for the CWA contribution, adding that “it’s this kind of pay-to-play Albany-syle politics that voters are sick and tired of.”
Eramo spokesman Matthew Rey called Toback’s allegation “a desperate and dishonest attack ripped from the Skelos playbook, delivered by a candidate soundly rejected by all facets of the Democratic Party and leaders we trust, just as he was dismissed by voters twice. Jeff Toback’s pathetic attempt to lie about and slander one of Long Island’s terrific Democratic elected officials is exactly why voters threw him out of office and wholeheartedly rejected his attempt to oust our champion, Harvey Weisenberg.”
Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs called Toback’s claims “outrageous” and without evidence.
“Jeff Toback, with no evidence, no proof or substantiation whatsoever, has decided that in order to improve his chances of getting elected he has accused a number of decent people of committing a crime,” Jacobs said. “While I had decided not to engage in this primary, Jeff Toback’s outrageous charge has now prompted me to recommend that the full resources of the county committee go to support Anthony Eramo. Toback should be happy. Now he can point to a legitimate ‘quid pro quo.’”
Kaminsky and the CWA both declined to comment on Toback’s allegation.