Democrat Brad Schwartz of Port Washington has dropped out of a 7th Senate District race, averting a primary in the fall with North Hempstead Councilwoman Anna Kaplan.
Kaplan is vying to unseat State Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill), who is completing her first term. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state Democrats are eyeing the seat as critical in their campaign to win control of the chamber.
Schwartz, 39, a television producer and editor, had entered the race in the fall. His campaign had more than $105,000 in cash on hand in January, according to state board of election filings.
Kaplan, 52, of Kensington Village, announced her candidacy in April and has the backing of Cuomo and the Nassau County Democratic Committee.
Schwartz said in a statement Wednesday, "In the Democratic campaign for District 7, the mutual priority is to win the NY state senate by flipping this vital swing seat.”
The statement continued, "Given the major statewide and national implications at play, it is imperative that the Democratic Party has a conflict-free path to victory in November. That means supporting the candidate best positioned to win in the general election."
He threw his support behind Kaplan. “I believe she will carry the mantle on issues my campaign has been fighting for, including universal health care for all New Yorkers and tax relief from SALT. Indeed, Anna has a record standing for the Democratic values and principles we need.”
Cuomo came to New Cassel in April for Kaplan’s announcement and said of her: “She is exactly what we are looking for in the New York State Senate.” He also said, “This is the most important election we are looking at right now.”
Democrats have an advantage in voter registration in the 7th Senate District, with 24,000 more active voters than Republicans, according to state board of elections. There are a total of 218,214 registered active voters in the district, and more than 56,000 are not enrolled in a party.