The Point: About those special elections | Gaughran 2018
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The Point: About those special elections

By: 
Michael Dobie
Publication: 
Newsday
Apr
4
2018

The deal also intensifies the focus on the April 24 special elections, which include two Senate seats.

Democratic Assemb. Luis Sepúlveda is heavily favored to win the Bronx seat vacated by Rubén Díaz Sr., who won election to the New York City Council.

The other race, for the Westchester seat vacated by Democrat George Latimer, now the Westchester County executive, is considered more competitive. But Democrats expect that Assemb. Shelley Mayer will prevail against Republican Julie Killian.

Two Democratic victories would produce a 31-31 tie in the Senate — plus Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat who caucuses with Republicans. And that would set the stage for a more-interesting-than-usual final two months of the legislative session.

A whole bunch of issues were not resolved during the budget process, from voting and ethics reforms to gun control, child sexual abuse victims, cash bail, plastic bags, food waste and more.

With fall elections looming and Democrats certain to retain their dominance in the Assembly, whatever happens — or, more tellingly, doesn’t happen — on these issues in the Senate will provide campaign grist for each party about why it needs to be in control.

And that will further animate races already expected to be hotly contested, like the Long Island rematch between GOP incumbent Sen. Carl Marcellino and Democratic challenger James Gaughran. In 2016, Marcellino won by 1.2 percent.