Democrat Todd Kaminsky and Republican Christopher McGrath, who will face off in an April 19 special election to fill the seat of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, each touted endorsements on Monday from Long Island members of Congress.
Kaminsky, a state assemblyman from Long Beach, was endorsed at his Oceanside campaign office by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City).
McGrath, an attorney from Hewlett, was endorsed by Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) in a news release.
Kaminsky and McGrath are vying for the 9th Senate District seat, which was vacated in December when Skelos was convicted on eight counts of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges. He and his son, Adam, who also was convicted in the case, are appealing.
Rice said Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, would “clean up Albany and restore New Yorkers’ faith and trust in their state government. Todd is a true public servant who grew up here in Nassau County and knows the issues that matter most to our communities, from helping superstorm Sandy victims rebuild to holding the line on taxes for middle-class families.”
Rice’s 4th Congressional District includes much of the 9th Senate District.
King, whose district includes parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties, said McGrath would help ensure that Long Island schools are not shortchanged.
“Let’s send Chris to Albany to fight for all of us and make sure Long Island gets its fair share,” King said. “Chris will fight to keep our taxes low, and make sure the New York City politicians don’t try to take money from our Long Island schools.”
McGrath’s campaign on Monday also criticized Kaminsky for voting in June 2015 to extend Nassau County’s hotel-motel tax. Kaminsky said in a recent TV ad that he voted “110 times” against tax increases that would have affected municipalities across the state.
“Typical politician Todd Kaminsky is a hypocrite,” said Marcus Povinelli, a McGrath spokesman. “He says he voted against taxes, but when it matters the most, he votes yes to allow Nassau County to continue to impose additional taxes.”
The county imposes a 3 percent tax on occupancy at all hotels and motels in Nassau. That money is used to fund community events in county parks.
Kaminsky’s campaign said the extension of Nassau’s hotel tax was not controversial and passed the Senate 59-2, with the support of all members of Long Island’s Republican Senate delegation.
“When you have no plan to clean up Albany, no plan to lower taxes and don’t even think what Dean Skelos did was wrong, you find a new, creative way to grasp at straws,” said Kaminsky spokesman Evan Thies.
Laurence Hirsh, an accountant from Valley Stream, is also running for the seat on the Green party line.