ALBANY — Entering the legislative campaigns that will determine which party controls the State Senate the Republican majority has $3.4 million in campaign cash compated with the Senate Democrats’ $750,000, spokesmen for the committees said Friday.
The Democrats said they had drained their funds in a special election earlier this year in which they won a key Long Island seat long held by Republicans. Democrat Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach filled the seat vacated by former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) after his corruption conviction.
But the seat that broke the long-established “Long Island Nine” came at a cost that Democrats must now make up. Democratic Senate spokesman Gary Ginsberg said the campaign has raised $1.35 million since January and intends to continue a fundraising pace that he said will surpass the Republicans.
“The people of Long Island want change and our Democratic candidates are best to bring reform to Albany,” said Sen. Michael Gianarias (D-Queens), who heads the Senate Democratic campaign. He cited the need to combat corruption in Albany.
“I believe people are supporting our agenda because they believe in who we are, what we have done,” said Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) said. He cited legislation Republicans led including a property tax cap, middle class tax cut, more cancer screenings and a program to combat heroin and opioid addiction.
In other Long Island races, Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo has a sizable fundraising advantage over former Nassau. Legis. Jeff Toback leading up to the Sept. 13 Democratic primary for the vacant 21st Assembly seat, according to new State Board of Election filings.
The seat was vacated in April when Kaminsky won the special election.
The filings show Eramo (D-Long Beach) raised $83,976, spent $2,473 and has $100,164 on hand.
Toback, a Long Beach attorney who served 10 years in the legislature before his defeat in 2009, reported raising $24,300, spending $3,245 and has $21,055, according to his campaign.
In the 18th District, Assemb. Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) faces a Democratic primary from Freeport Village Trustee Carmen Pineyro.
Hooper has yet to release a campaign report while Pineyro raised $39,580, spent $9,882 and had $55,467 on hand, records show.
With Robert Brodsky