“We need someone who will work for us, not the special interests,” Shotland said.
Regina Corbin, of Westbury, which is outside Denenberg’s current district, said she thought he is an “awesome legislator, even though I can’t vote for him.”
“I’ve watched his career,” Corbin said. “I admire his courage, teamwork and ability to represent his district.”
Nonetheless, Levy acknowledged that the 8th Senate District race could be competitive. He said that Republicans have a stronger political organization in the district than Democrats, which could be critical for County Legislator Michael Venditto, a Massapequa Republican and the son of John Venditto, supervisor of the Town of Oyster Bay. The younger Venditto emerged as the Republicans’ candidate in the State Senate race on Thursday evening.
Michael Venditto “has a very powerful and well-respected name from his father that will definitely help him, particularly with rank-and-file Republicans,” Levy said.
The 8th Senate District, which stretches from Baldwin to Lindenhurst, has been without a senator since Charles Fuschillo Jr., a Merrick Republican, resigned on Dec. 31 to become CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
Every State Senate race is worth watching this year, as the two major parties compete for control of the chamber. A thin majority of Republicans and a handful of breakaway Democrats who vote with them currently rule the Senate in an unprecedented power-sharing arrangement.
Denenberg told supporters that he would need to raise between $500,000 and $1 million to run an effective campaign, and he cautioned that his opponent might easily amass a $2 million war chest. In January Denenberg loaned his campaign $50,000 of his own money, according to State Board of Elections records. The campaign’s first fundraiser will take place March 13 at the Coral House in Baldwin.