GOP hopes to regain NY Senate seat in pivotal LI race
Republican Massapequa Mayor Jeff Pravato launched his campaign for the 8th District state Senate seat Saturday morning, challenging Democratic freshman state Sen. John Brooks.
The announcement sparks what political experts expect to be one of the most expensive state Senate races in New York. It's a seat Republicans hope to regain following a series of announcements that other Republican state senators would not seek re-election.
"Because this seat is so critical, I wouldn't be shocked based on some of the recent contests that this is a $1 million race," says political expert Jerry Kramer.
Kremer expects the majority of funding will be from Republicans as they try to hold onto their razor thin edge in the state Senate.
"Right now, they are faced with five retirements overall…one seat can make a difference by either party," he said.
Some Republican leaders said this race is not only important for control of the Senate, but also important for Long Island.
“The Democrats in Albany are controlled by New York City Democrats,” said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford). “It’s important that we have Republican senators from Long Island to fight for us."
The incumbent state Sen. Brooks says Republican control of the Senate has not helped Long Islanders.
"As much as the argument is the Republicans are bringing the state aide to Long Island – they don’t,” he says. "We are the second lowest funded county in the state…they have not been delivering.”
Democrats currently have control of the Senate, but Republicans control the chamber, thanks to a Brooklyn Democrat who votes with Republicans.