NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A neck-and-neck presidential race may be grabbing all the headlines, but there is also a hot contest for control of the New York State Senate.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday, two Long Island races could very well determine who rules the roost in Albany.
There must be something big going on when all of a sudden, Gov. Andrew Cuomo shows up to push the senate candidacies of two Long Island Democrats – Todd Kaminsky on the South Shore and Adam Haber on the North Shore.
Control of the state Senate hangs in the balance.
“The governor has been terrific about helping us and our candidates,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens).
Both races are hotly contested. Kaminsky, who won a special election this spring to replace convicted former state Senate Majority Leaders Dean Skelos, is running against Republican attorney Chris McGrath. Haber, a Roslyn businessman, is running in an open seat against Flower Hill Mayor Elaine Phillips.
Both sides admit their success on Long Island could very well be determined by voter turnout at the top of the ticket – the excitement people feel about voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
But there are other factors – with political corruption being a major concern. There are questions as to whether the indictment of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, a Republican, will face voters’ decisions.
Also of note is the fact that the last time Democrats controlled the state Senate in 2009 and 2010, the roll call of indicted Democratic senators included Pedro Espada, Malcolm Smith, Carl Kruger, Hiram
Spokesmen for both parties said things will be better if their party is in the driver’s seat.
“First and foremost, we’re going to make sure we make the changes to the ethics laws that people are calling for,” Gianaris said.
“The last time Democrats controlled the Senate, Bill de Blasio and New York City’s liberal agenda took us so far left with the MTA payroll tax Spending was out of control. Education dollars left Long Island and went back to New York City,” said Republican political consultant O’Brien Murray.
The outcome will determine whether there is one-party rule Albany, where the Democrats already control the Assembly.
It should be noted that before Cuomo endorsed Haber and Kaminsky, he sought their positions on a host of issues from ethics to budgets and gun laws.