Long Beach resident and Assistant U.S. District Attorney Todd Kaminsky was in Brooklyn on Monday — where his boss, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, announced that New York Rep. Michael Grimm had been indicted on 20 counts of fraud — when he learned that Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg would not seek re-election.
Lynch had just thanked Kaminsky, a prosecutor on the Grimm case, at a press conference announcing the charges against the congressman, who is accused of making more than $1 million in revenue disappear and evading the IRS.
But when he heard about Weisenberg shortly after the event, Kaminsky — a Democrat who is active in the Long Beach community — said that he immediately saw an opportunity to represent the 20th Assembly District in Albany, and decided to hand in his resignation in order to run in the November election for the open seat.
“When I learned that there was going to be an open seat, I thought that as someone who has been able to get results in the criminal justice system, I want to put that same passion, energy and skill to work for my community in the State Assembly,” he said. “It’s obviously a very important opportunity — and I’m running because I believe government can be more effective in New York, and my experience as a prosecutor and community advocate make me qualified to lead on behalf of the people in the 20th A.D.”
Kaminsky — who grew up in Long Beach and lives there with his wife, Ellen — is the first to publicly announce his candidacy, and both Democratic and Republican party leaders said that others are expected to enter the race in the coming weeks and months.
“I’m getting a lot of calls encouraging me to run,” said Councilman Anthony Eramo, whose name has been floated as a potential candidate. “I’m seriously considering it but haven’t made up my mind yet, and have to discuss it with my family.”