ALBANY — If you want to know where the three most endangered incumbents in the New York Senate are, take a look at where Democratic and Republican campaign committees are funneling money.
The answer: Three Long Island races.
No other Senate incumbents are getting more help from their party's campaign committees than Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill), Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) and Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford), according to campaign-finance statements published this week by the state Board of Elections.
All three are locked in tight races that will help determine which party wins Senate control in November.
Republicans are trying to maintain their 32-31 advantage in the Senate — the one area of state government they control — in a year when Democrats are banking on a “blue wave” of voters to sweep state elections.
Both sides say Long Island will be crucial to the outcome — and they will continue to spend big in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
"Long Island is key to securing a much-needed Democratic majority in the state Senate that will fight back against Trump's tax plan that will cost families millions, who will pass common-sense gun legislation and root our public corruption," said Mike Murphy, Democratic Senate Campaign Committee spokesman, referring to the new federal tax law backed by President Donald Trump.
"We will continue to invest in our dedicated candidates across Long Island to make sure voters know who has their backs on November 6," Murphy said.
Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif countered: "Democrats are making a play for Long Island and we don't think it will work. We believe we better represent Long Island. We've done it for years, delivering on school aid, capping property taxes and protecting the environment."
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee reported this week it has funneled nearly $500,000 each to Phillips ($461,000) and Marcellino ($436,000), through direct cash transfers and money spent on behalf of the candidates.
The DSCC has spent $536,000 to help protect Brooks.
Also, the candidates challenging those Long Island incumbents are getting a lot of help too.
Massapequa Park Mayor Jeff Pravato has received $396,000 in aid from the SRCC in his effort to unseat Brooks.
Democrat James Gaughran, the Suffolk County Water Authority chairman, has received $348,000 in aid from the DSCC in his bid to oust Marcellino.
Anna Kaplan, the North Hempstead Town Board member running against Phillips, hasn’t received a boost from the DSCC yet, but Democrats have vowed to spend heavily in the race before Election Day.
Notably, neither side has poured much money into the seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville), a race that pits Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) against Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood). The seat generally has been Republican, though Democrats held it in 2009-10.
When it comes to open Senate seats, the most competitive races, based on where money is being channeled, are the are in the Hudson Valley, to replace retiring Sen. William Larkin, and in Syracuse to replace retiring Sen. John DeFrancisco.
In Syracuse, the two party-led campaign committees have funneled about $525,000 to the candidates seeking to replace DeFrancisco. Democrat John Mannion, a teacher, faces Republican Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci in the race.
In the Newburgh area, the parties have spent about $587,000 on behalf of candidates seeking to replace Larkin. The race pits Assemb. James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) against Tom Basile, a Stony Point town councilman and former executive director of the state Republican Party.
State Republicans and Democrats are spending heavily in state Senate races on Long Island that are considered crucial to control of the chamber, new campaign finance reports show.
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee has spent:
- $461,000 on behalf of Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill)
- $436,000 for Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset)
- $396,000 for Massapequa Park Mayor Jeff Pravato, who is challenging Sen. John Brooks (D-Syosset)
The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee has spent:
- $536,000 for Brooks
- $348,000 for Suffolk County Water Authority chairman James Gaughran, who is challenging Marcellino
Source: NYS Board of Elections