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GOP, Dems scramble to fund races key to Senate control

ALBANY – The state Republican campaign committee on Thursday transferred $100,000 to GOP candidate Daphne Jordan in her surprisingly contentious race against Democrat Aaron Gladd for a historically GOP seat upstate near Albany, state records showed Friday.

In other developments in the heated fight for control of the Senate, Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone on Friday transferred $25,000 from his campaign to the Democratic Senate campaign committee. Bellone's campaign has transferred a total of $100,000 this year to 10 Democrats in Senate races.

Bellone’s contributions included $11,000 each to James Gaughran, who is challenging Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset); to Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood, who faces Assmb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) for the vacated seat that had been held by Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville); and to Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford), who is facing Massapequa Park Mayor Jeff Pravato, a Republican.

In the upstate race, Gladd, the Democrat, had a large money advantage over Jordan going into the final full month of the 43rd Senate District race, which includes Rensselaer County, according to state Board of Elections records. Gladd had $260,717 in his account earlier this month after spending $193,043 in September. Jordan had $35,249 in the campaign account earlier this month, after spending $13,050 in September.

The seat has been held by Republicans for decades and was once the district represented by former Senate Majority Joseph Bruno. Democrats seized an opportunity when Sen. Kathy Marchione (R-Halfmoon) announced her retirement this year.

Brooks, a former Republican, on Thursday received another late contribution -- $10,000 from Long Island real estate mogul Milton Cooper. Brooks received $11,000 from the Democratic Senate campaign committee on Tuesday and $146,540 from the committee on Oct. 5, state records show.

The Senate Republican Campaign Committee gave $396,000 to Pravato earlier this year.

Republicans now have a 32-31 seat majority in the chamber where 32 votes are needed to control legislation.

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