Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), who for nearly a month had yet to officially declare his candidacy for the vacant State Senate seat left open by former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos following his corruption conviction in December, formally announced his campaign in Long Beach on Sunday.
Surrounded by neighbors, family and supporters, the former federal prosecutor announced today his candidacy to replace Skelos at East School, his alma mater.
“As a corruption prosecutor, I was proud of the work I did, successfully convicting both Democrats and Republicans for violating the public’s trust. But, as we’ve seen in our own community, the corruption continues,” Kaminsky said. “We must return our government to where it belongs -- into the hands of the people -- so that it will deliver the results Long Island deserves.
Earlier this month, Nassau Democrats tapped Kaminsky as their candidate to replace Skelos in the 9th District, and he had long been rumoured to be the favorite for the Senate seat prior to Skelos's ignominious departure. Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, was unanimously selected at a meeting on Jan. 4, beating out other potential candidates including Rockville Centre attorney Laura Gillen and County Legislator Carrie Solages.
The Nassau County Republican Committee announced this week that it is backing Hewlett resident and Inwood native Christopher McGrath to run against Kaminsky, and a special election is set for April 19, the day of New York State’s presidential primary.
A committee to help elect Kaminsky to the Senate opened earlier this month, and raised more than $250,000 in less than one week. Kaminsky also reported two weeks ago that he already had more than $332,000 on-hand for a Senate race.
When he was convicted of felonies in his corruption trial on Dec. 11, Skelos was immediately removed from office, creating a vacancy that many say Democrats and Republicans are going to fight a nasty campaign battle over. With Skelos gone, the Senate is evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, although the GOP still controls a narrow majority because some Democrats caucus with them.