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Todd Kaminsky, Christopher McGrath tout new endorsements

Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and Christopher McGrath,

Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and Christopher McGrath, of Hewlett, are running to fill the seat of former state Senate leader Dean Skelos. Credit: Gabby Recny; Rick Kopstein

Democrat Todd Kaminsky and Republican Christopher McGrath, who are running for the seat of former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, touted new endorsements Wednesday ahead of the April 19 special election.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) endorsed Kaminsky, a Democratic state assemblyman from Long Beach, while the International Union of Operating Engineers announced its backing of McGrath, an attorney from Hewlett.

In a news release, Gillibrand cited Kaminsky’s “record of fighting government corruption and his work to bring needed tax relief” to Long Island homeowners.

“He has also been a leading voice on important women’s issues in New York State such as ensuring women get equal pay for equal work and holding politicians accountable by supporting strong ethics reforms like stripping corrupt politicians of their taxpayer funded pensions,” Gillibrand said.

The operating engineers union represents more than 5,000 members of the building and construction industry, heavy equipment operators, mechanics, and surveyors.

McGrath called the union members “some of the most dedicated union professionals that help build our communities and make them among the best in the nation.”

Kaminsky and McGrath are vying for the 9th Senate District seat, which was vacated in December when Skelos was convicted on federal corruption charges. He and his son, Adam, who also was convicted in the case, are appealing.

The race could determine the balance of power in the State Senate, which is controlled by Republicans and a group of breakaway Democrats.

Laurence Hirsh, an accountant from Valley Stream, also is running for the Ninth District seat on the Green Party line.

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