Who will win the most competitive state Senate contests?

Wally Gobetz

Who will win the most competitive state Senate contests?

Republicans and Democrats are fighting over the GOP’s last foothold in state politics. Weigh in on the races that will make the difference.
October 28, 2018

With Election Day just days away, Democrats are hopeful that they can win enough seats to take control of the state Senate. Republicans are fighting back as they try to keep a hold on their last bastion of statewide power. 

We’ve been tracking the most competitive races in the 63-seat chamber since the primaries. Now, we’re asking our readers to weigh in on the 14 contests that we have determined are in play. Cast your votes below.


 

DISTRICT 3

Dean Murray vs. Monica Martinez

City & State rating: Likely Republican

State Sen. Tom Croci announced in May that he would not seek re-election, instead returning to the Navy and leaving his seat open in November. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking to flip the seat and personally lobbied Suffolk County Legislator Monica Martinez to enter the race. She is facing Republican Assemblyman Dean Murray.

DISTRICT 4

Phil Boyle (incumbent) vs. Louis D’Amaro

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City & State rating: Likely Republican

Republican state Sen. Phil Boyle took the place of the late state Sen. Owen Johnson in 2012, apparently continuing a controversial agreement with Suffolk County Democrats to keep the seat red. But this year, the governor recruited former Suffolk County Legislator Louis D’Amaro to challenge Boyle.

DISTRICT 5

Carl Marcellino (incumbent) vs. James Gaughran

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City & State rating: Toss-up

State Sen. Carl Marcellino, a Republican, has held this seat for 23 years. However, he had a razor-thin margin of victory in 2016. James Gaughran, the Suffolk County Water Authority chairman who nearly beat Marcellino two years ago, is running again as his Democratic challenger.

DISTRICT 6

Kemp Hannon (incumbent) vs. Kevin Thomas

City & State rating: Likely Republican

Republican state Sen. Kemp Hannon has served in Albany for years, but he did not win a landslide victory in 2016 and his district was carried by Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. Attorney Kevin Thomas, the Democratic nominee, has trailed Hannon in fundraising.

DISTRICT 7

Elaine Phillips (incumbent) vs. Anna Kaplan

City & State rating: Toss-up

State Sen. Elaine Phillips is a first-term lawmaker who succeeded former state Sen. Jack Martins, a fellow Republican, when he chose not to seek re-election in 2016. She is facing Anna Kaplan, a North Hempstead councilwoman, who has the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is one of the first New York candidates to be endorsed by former President Barack Obama.

DISTRICT 8

John Brooks (incumbent) vs. Jeff Pravato

City & State rating: Toss-up

Republican Michael Venditto narrowly lost this seat to Democrat John Brooks in 2016, due in part to corruption charges leveled against Venditto’s father, then-Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, shortly before the election. Brooks is facing Jeff Pravato, the mayor of Massapequa Park.

DISTRICT 9

Todd Kaminsky (incumbent) vs. Francis Becker Jr.

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Todd Kaminsky and Francis Becker Jr.
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Todd Kaminsky and Francis Becker Jr.
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Todd Kaminsky and Francis Becker Jr.
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Todd Kaminsky and Francis Becker Jr.

City & State rating: Likely Democrat

Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who entered office in a 2016 special election, is facing Nassau County Legislator Francis Becker Jr., who belongs to a well-known political family in the town of Lynbrook – his father, Francis Becker Sr., had been mayor of Lynbrook and his grandfather, Francis J. Becker, was a congressman.

DISTRICT 22

Martin Golden  (incumbent) vs. Andrew Gounardes

City & State rating: Lean Republican

Republican state Sen. Martin Golden has won re-election year after year and is well-known across the district, with a reputation of delivering for constituents. But he is a Republican in a majority Democratic district in a largely left-leaning city. Democrat Andrew Gounardes ran against Golden in 2012, losing by a significant margin, but expects more progressive energy to help spur him to victory.

DISTRICT 39

Tom Basile vs. James Skoufis

City & State rating: Toss-up

When Republican state Sen. William Larkin announced his retirement, the GOP had a candidate ready to go: Tom Basile, a Stony Point councilman, who started campaigning early. He is facing Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis, who has some name recognition and Cuomo’s support.

DISTRICT 40

Terrence Murphy (incumbent) vs. Peter Harckham

City & State rating: Likely Republican

Republican state Sen. Terrence Murphy’s seat has long been held by the GOP despite a large Democratic voter enrollment advantage. Democrat Peter Harckham has the support of Cuomo, his former boss, and the Working Families Party line, but has trailed in fundraising.

DISTRICT 41

Sue Serino (incumbent) vs. Karen Smythe

City & State rating: Likely Republican

Republican state Sen. Sue Serino’s district has switched hands in recent years. The incumbent faces Democrat Karen Smythe, who has the support of Cuomo and the Working Families Party.

DISTRICT 42

Ann Rabbitt vs. Jen Metzger

City & State rating: Lean Republican

Republican state Sen. John Bonacic’s retirement made this seat competitive. Democrat Jen Metzger is a Rosendale councilwoman and former Rosendale deputy mayor. Republican Ann Rabbitt currently serves as Orange County clerk and is a former assemblywoman.

DISTRICT 43

Daphne Jordan vs. Aaron Gladd

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Daphne Jordan and Aaron Gladd
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Daphne Jordan and Aaron Gladd
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Daphne Jordan and Aaron Gladd
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Daphne Jordan and Aaron Gladd

City & State rating: Likely Republican

The seat being vacated by state Sen. Kathleen Marchione has been in Republican hands for decades, has a GOP voter enrollment advantage and voted for President Donald Trump in 2016. But former state Sen. Roy McDonald, the Republican who represented the district before Marchione, endorsed Democrat Aaron Gladd over Republican Daphne Jordan, crossing party lines to offer his support. Marchione has endorsed Jordan.

DISTRICT 50

Robert Antonacci vs. John Mannion

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Robert Antonacci vs. John Mannion
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Robert Antonacci vs. John Mannion
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Robert Antonacci vs. John Mannion
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Robert Antonacci vs. John Mannion

City & State rating: Lean Republican

Democrat John Mannion, a high school biology teacher, announced his candidacy before Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco announced his intention to retire. Republicans put up Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci when the seat became open. Although Hillary Clinton carried the district in 2016, the district is one of the few in the state with a Republican voter enrollment advantage, even if it is a slight one.

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