GOP's Boyle to Face Only Token Senate Challenge

GOP's Boyle to Face Only Token Senate Challenge

GOP's Boyle to Face Only Token Senate Challenge
July 22, 2014

The state Senate Republicans, who hold all nine seats on Long Island, must withstand several serious threats during the fall elections to maintain their regional dominance.

But at least one potential tossup seat, the Suffolk County district represented by Republican state Sen. Phil Boyle, is likely to be virtually uncontested.

The Democratic candidate, John Alberts, does not plan to mount an aggressive challenge in the 4th Senate District, judging by a campaign filing, and it is possible that he will not campaign at all. In lieu of a campaign contribution filing, Alberts submitted a statement that he plans to raise less than $1,000, according to Matt Jennings, executive director of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee.  

Alberts, an election clerk with the Suffolk County Board of Elections, has not hired a campaign manager or spokesperson either, and will not seek any third party lines.

That should make for a much easier race for Boyle, who in 2012 beat Democrat Ricardo Montano with a relatively narrow 52.6 percent of the vote. The seat had been vacated by longtime Republican state Sen. Owen Johnson, and Montano, a county legislator, faced then-assemblyman Boyle in what Newsday called “the marquee State Senate race on Long Island.”

This year the race is expected to be an afterthought, much like it was during Johnson’s three decades in office as local Democrats regularly ran weak candidates or let the incumbent run unopposed.  

The 2014 race will be overshadowed on Long Island by contests for two other Republican seats, one vacated by Charles Fuschillo, who left office at the end of 2013 to run a nonprofit, and another opened up by state Sen. Lee Zeldin’s congressional bid. Republican state Sen. Jack Martins' Nassau County seat is also a tossup. 

The Suffolk County Democrats have endorsed Alberts, but Jennings declined to comment on his candidacy. A spokesman for the Senate Democrats also declined to comment. 

Jon Lentz
is City & State’s former editor-in-chief.