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Todd Kaminsky declared winner in Senate race to replace Skelos

Robert Brodsky

Assemb. Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach was declared the winner of last month's special election in the 9th Senate District to replace former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on May 2, 2016. (Credit: James Escher)
For the first time in six years, Long Island has a Democratic state senator, as Assemb. Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach on Monday was declared the winner of last month’s special election in the 9th Senate District to replace former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

The Nassau County Board of Elections officially certified the results of the race Monday, with Kaminsky defeating Republican Christopher McGrath by 886 votes, according to Democratic Commissioner David Gugerty.

“Todd Kaminsky is officially the winner of the special election for the vacant seat in State Senate District 9,” Gugerty said.

Republican Elections Commissioner Louis Savinetti signed off on the results after a count of the remaining 61 contested absentee ballots, said his counsel John Ryan.

In a statement, Kaminsky said he would immediately push to ban state lawmakers from earning outside income and to close a “loophole” allowing limited liability companies to contribute to campaigns.

“For far too long, South Shore taxpayers have been the victim of politicians who put themselves before their community and I pledge to fight everyday to return our state government to the people,” he said.

Kaminsky declared victory after the April 19 special election, but McGrath has thus far declined to concede and a campaign spokesman last week pledged to “review all options.”

A McGrath spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

Kaminsky will be sworn in Tuesday when the Senate returns to session. Kaminsky will serve out the rest of Skelos’ term this year and faces another run for the seat in November.“This district has been without representation for close to five months and we look forward to his immediate swearing in,” said Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers. Kaminsky’s victory breaks up the so-called Long Island 9, a reference to an Island-wide bloc of all Republican state senators.

A Long Island Democrat last held a seat in the State Senate in 2010 when Craig Johnson was defeated by Republican Jack Martins in the 7th District and Brian Foley lost to Lee Zeldin in the 3rd District.

Republicans hold 31 of 63 State Senate seats but control the chamber because of a governing coalition with six breakaway Democrats.

Former Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) lost the 9th District seat after he was convicted with his son, Adam, in December on eight federal counts of bribery, extortion and conspiracy. They are appealing.