• 32BJ SEIU
  • Building and Constructions Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties
  • United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
  • Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – Candidate of Distinction
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo
  • County Executive Steve Bellone
  • Babylon Town Supervisor and Chair of Suffolk County Democratic Party Rich Schaffer
  • LEAP Forward
  • Fighting for Children PAC/Protect NY Kids
  • NYSUT: New York State United Teachers
  • Long Island Progressive Coalition

Former President Barack Obama endorses Long Island Democrats for state Senate

ALBANY — Former President Barack Obama has endorsed eight Democrats including two on Long Island who hope to help the party win majority control of the state Senate from Republicans.

Obama endorsed Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford), who faces Republican Jeff Pravato, mayor of Massapequa Park. Senate Democrats and Republicans are making the seat a priority because of its potential to flip.

Obama also is backing Suffolk County Water Authority Chairman Jim Gaughran, who is challenging Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset).

Obama also endorsed former Suffolk Legis. Louis D’Amaro, who is challenging state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore); Assemb. James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) who faces Republican Tom Basile, a Stony Point councilman, for the seat vacated by Sen. William Larkin, who retired this year; Democrat Karen Smythe, who is challenging Sen. Susan Serino (R-Hyde Park); Democrat John Mannion, a teacher, over Republican Robert Antonacci, the former Onondaga County comptroller; Democrat Rachel May, an administrator at Syracuse University, as she takes on Republican Janet Burman; and Democrat Jen Metzgar of Rosendale, who is facing Orange County Clerk Annie Rabbitt for the seat vacated by Sen. John Bonacic (R-Mount Hope), who retired.

The endorsement can be found here.

Louis D’Amaro to represent New York’s 4th Senate District

The Newsday editorial board’s 2018 endorsement for State Senate.

State Sen. Philip M. Boyle made a decision last year to play footsie with the Machiavellian mastermind of Suffolk County politics. Now Boyle has the taint of the swamp on him. And it won’t wash off. Worse, Boyle isn’t even trying to get rid of the stench.

That’s a debilitating problem for Boyle, who is seeking his fourth term in the Senate after many years in the Assembly.

His opponent, former Suffolk Legis. Louis D’Amaro, has unambiguous stands on voting and ethics reforms that make him the clear choice for any voter who believes in honest elections, decries backroom deal-making, and wants to pull the plug on Suffolk’s sorry political cesspool.

Boyle, 57, a Bay Shore Republican, was part of an odious 2017 deal between county Democratic boss Rich Schaffer and former Conservative Party head Edward Walsh to deprive voters of choices in judgeship races by cross-endorsing candidates. As part of the deal, Schaffer backed off the sheriff’s contest. Walsh, a former corrections lieutenant convicted of corruption charges on the basis of evidence from then-Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, abandoned DeMarco, an actual Conservative, in a favor of Boyle, who has no law enforcement experience but did employ Walsh’s wife in his office, part of Boyle’s history of hiring relatives of political cronies. And Boyle did not rule out accepting the Democratic line from Schaffer, who was ready to extend it.

The deal blew up when Boyle lost the GOP primary. Even now, Boyle says he supports the party boss system and says candidates should be allowed to run on as many lines as party bosses will give them. Primary voters stopped him from leaving the Senate for the high-paying sheriff’s job. Why should he be returned to a job he didn’t want?

D’Amaro, 57, thinks the system is repugnant and broken. He’s right. An attorney from North Babylon, the Democrat spent 12 years in Suffolk’s legislature as a thoughtful lawmaker. He supports a full range of real ethics and voting reforms — including redistricting by an independent commission to create competitive races. He says candidates should run on one ballot line, that the State Legislature should be a full-time position with no outside income, and that lawmakers should hold hearings and discuss bills before passing them. Judges, he says, should be appointed in a way that insulates them from politics. He will be a strong voice for local interests if Democrats take control of the caucus.

D’Amaro’s very presence in this race is unusual. For years, Schaffer essentially gave Boyle and his predecessor, Owen Johnson, a free pass to Albany by nominating Senate candidates who were not serious contenders. He does not support D’Amaro’s candidacy. It’s easy to see why.

To be sure, we have applauded Boyle in the past. His environmental advocacy has been sound, he did good work as chair of the Senate task force on heroin and opioid addiction, and he is fiscally conservative. But that can’t save him now that his integrity is so badly tarnished.

The endorsement can be found here.