Long Island Senate election could tip balance of NY Senate

Dean Skelos, Gail Skelos
Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos and his wife Gail Skelos arrive at Federal court, in New York, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Jury deliberations began Thursday at the corruption trial of Skelos, accused of using his clout to extort about $300,000 in income and other benefits for his son, Adam Skelos. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A tightly contested legislative race on Long Island could determine which party leads the New York state Senate — and give Democrats a shot at total control of state government.

Republican Chris McGrath and Democrat Todd Kaminsky are vying to replace Dean Skelos, the former Republican Senate leader convicted of corruption last year. It’s one of four special legislative elections on Tuesday.

The Senate is now split between Democrats and Republicans, though the GOP has control thanks to support from some breakaway Democrats. That could change if Kaminsky wins.

Democrats already have the governor’s office and the Assembly majority.

Kaminsky, an assemblyman, has campaigned on proposals to fight corruption. McGrath, an attorney, says he will better represent Long Island and prevent New York City Democrats from taking over state government.

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