State Sen. Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach on Sept. 28, 2021.

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach on Sept. 28, 2021. Credit: Howard Schnapp

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky said Wednesday he will not seek reelection, deciding to step out of politics just three months after he was defeated in a rough-and-tumble campaign for Nassau County district attorney.

Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) said he was leaving public service after 18 years, which included time as an assistant federal prosecutor and as a state assemblyman and senator. He was first elected to the Senate in a special election in May 2016.

"After much thought and consideration, I have decided that I will not run for reelection, or for any office, this fall," said Kaminsky, 43. "It has been an honor to represent the communities of the South Shore of Long Island for the past seven years, but I believe that it is the best thing for my family to pursue a new path."

In a statement, Kaminsky, chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said he was proud to have played a role in legislation to fight climate change, protect coastal communities, aid 9/11 first responders and help his community recover from Superstorm Sandy.

He jumped into the district attorney race last year to succeed Madeline Singas, who was appointed to a judgeship. But he lost to Republican Anne Donnelly after the GOP hammered Kaminsky over his vote, as a senator, to support an overhaul of the state's bail laws, even though he and other Long Island Democrats pushed to amend the law.

"Senator Todd Kaminsky knows that he has no choice but to step down from office, realizing that voters are angry at out-of-touch Democrats and their reckless laws and policies," said Nassau Republican chairman Joe Cairo in a statement.

Kaminsky is expected to join a private law firm, Democrats said Wednesday.

His departure sets up a scramble for the 9th Senate District, a swing seat in southwestern Nassau that traditionally had supported Republicans prior to 2016.

Republican Dean Skelos held the seat for 31 years before being indicted and later convicted on bribery and extortion charges, opening the door for Kaminsky's victory.

The district boundaries were changed under a new redistricting map approved by lawmakers this month. Though it largely stays the same, it no longer includes Lawrence, Cedarhurst and other parts of the Five Towns area.

One Democrat possibly interested in running is former Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Democrats said.

"I feel very good about winning it if we have the right candidate," said Jay Jacobs, the state and Nassau Democratic chairman, on Wednesday.

Cairo said Republicans would back a "well-qualified candidate who will stand with law enforcement."

Latest videos