Queens Democratic Sen. Mike Gianaris on Friday said the mainline conference will be competitive next year in elections be waged on Long Island, where Republicans control all nine seats in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
The so-called “Long Island” are a key bloc of votes for Senate Republicans, as well as the conference’s leadership, including Majority Leader John Flanagan.
In an interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom, Gianaris said the competitive districts include the ones represented by GOP Sens. Kemp Hannon, Jack Martins, Carl Marcellino and former Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who retains his seat in the chamber after stepping down from his leadership job after his arrest on corruption charges.
“There are plenty of opportunities down there,” he said.
Senate Democrats have won a seat on Long Island since 2008, the last time the party won a majority, which held for two, tumultuous years.
But Senate Democratic tend to do better in presidential election years, when the top of a ticket drives turnout and benefits down-ballot races.
Gianaris, as he has in previous interviews, pointed to the Democratic wins for Nassau County district attorney, as well as Oyster Bay town supervisor’s race, where Sen. Michael Venditto’s father is fighting to keep his job in a close vote.
Republicans contend the local races will have little, if any, impact, on state Senate races.
To the north, meanwhile, Democrats are also looking to the Hudson Valley seat represented by Republican Bill Larkin as well as the one held by freshman Sue Serino.
“That’s a great district for us, it’s a Democratic one,” Gianaris said. “We have a lot of good potential candidates that we’re talking to.”