Congressman Lee Zeldin, of Shirley, who is the Republican gubernatorial...

Congressman Lee Zeldin, of Shirley, who is the Republican gubernatorial nominee in New York, speaks during a campaign event where he received the endorsement of the union representing the Metropolitan Transit Authority's supervisors in Brooklyn on Tuesday. Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Republicans are intensely focused on flipping at least three State Senate seats in Nassau, holding on to three incumbents in Suffolk and grabbing at least one open seat for a GOP majority on the Island. 

GOP leaders said they are counting on Long Island native and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, a congressman from Shirley, at the top of the ticket to help boost these races in their favor. 

“All signs are pointing in the right direction,” said Nassau Republican Committee chairman Joseph Cairo. “The climate out there being what it is and Zeldin doing well — we expect to do well.”

“Out here we are running under the Zeldin for Governor banner and we feel very confident,” said Suffolk County Republican Committee chairman Jesse Garcia. 

State and local Democratic committees have stepped up financial support to help incumbents hold back a red wave. 

State and Nassau County Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs isn’t waving a white flag: “Don’t count your chickens ’til they hatch,” he said.

There are nine State Senate districts between Nassau and Suffolk counties. Five are either entirely or mostly in Suffolk.

All 63 seats in the State Senate are up for grabs. Democrats gained a super majority in 2020 that gave the party control of the governor’s office and both chambers of state government.

Going into Election Day, the State Senate is made up of 42 Democrats, 20 Republicans and a seat that has been vacant since July when Todd Kaminsky resigned. Forty-two votes are needed in this chamber to override a governor’s veto. 

The Democrats’ war chest far outpaces the GOP’s. The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee had $2.9 million on hand compared with the Republican Senate campaign’s $980,281, according to state filings that show activity up to Oct. 7. 

The reports show hundreds of thousands of dollars going to toss-up races on Long Island.

State Democrats funneled the most money — $161,743 — into helping secure incumbent Anna Kaplan in the 7th District, which includes the Town of North Hempstead, the City of Glen Cove and the Town of Oyster Bay.

Kaplan, 57, of North Hills, is serving her second term and faces Republican challenger Jack Martins.

Martins, 55, of Old Westbury, was a state senator who represented the district from 2011 through 2016. He previously served as mayor of Mineola and ran unsuccessfully for Nassau County executive and Congress.

Filings show the state Republican campaign committee sent $70,284 to aid Martins’ campaign. Another report of spending 11 days before Election Day shows the committee gave another $30,307 to Martins.

In the 5th District, which covers parts of central and southern Nassau, the state Republican committee gave $74,426 to challenger Steven Rhoads to help unseat Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford).

Rhoads, 53, of Bellmore, is a Nassau County legislator for the 19th District. Additional filings show the county committee transferred another $45,682 to Rhoads on Oct. 24.

Brooks, 72, was elected to the State Senate in 2016. The state Democratic campaign committee gave Brooks $29,500. 

Filings also show the Nassau Democratic Committee gave Kaplan and Brooks $2,444 each. 

In southwest Nassau, Kaminsky’s former seat in the 9th District, which includes the Town of Hempstead and the Long Beach peninsula, is open. State Republicans sent $56,265 to their candidate, Patricia Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, according to the 11-day filings. 

Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick, 56, of Malverne, is a member of the Malverne Village Board and is running against Democrat Kenneth Moore, 61, of Bellerose, who spent a decade as a member of the village board before he was elected mayor in 2019. 

The state Democratic campaign sent $15,887 to Moore. 

In Suffolk, state Democrats gave $32,000 to the campaign of Monica Martinez, who represents the 4th District. It includes parts of Wyandanch and Fire Island, Brentwood, Babylon, Bay Shore, Islip and extending to Patchogue.

Martinez, 44, of Brentwood, is a former Suffolk County legislator who served in the State Senate from 2017-2018 in the 3rd Senate District on Suffolk County’s South Shore. She was defeated by Republican Alexis Weik, who is currently running in the 8th District. 

LI Senate races 

1st District: 

  • Skyler Q. Johnson (D, WF)
  • Anthony H. Palumbo (R, C)

2nd District:

  • Susan A. Berland (D, WF)
  • Mario R. Mattera (R, C)

3rd District:

  • Farzeen A. Bham (D)
  • Dean Murray (R, C)

4th District: 

  • Monica R. Martinez (D, WF)
  • Wendy Rodriguez (R, C)

5th District

  • John E. Brooks (D, WF)
  • Steven D. Rhoads (R, C)

6th District

  • Kevin M. Thomas (D, WF)
  • James L. Coll (R, C)

7th District

  • Anna M. Kaplan (D, WF)
  • Jack M. Martins (R, C)

8th District

  • John R. Alberts (D)
  • Alexis Weik (R, C)

9th District

  • Kenneth M. Moore (D, WF)
  • Patricia M. Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick (R, C) 
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