Long Beach City Councilman Anthony Eramo, who announced his campaign for State Assembly in May, has backed out of the race, effectively clearing the way for former Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Kaminsky to run as the sole Democrat for Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg’s seat. Weisenberg, 80, is retiring in December after representing the District for 25 years.
Eramo, a Democrat and member of the Working Families Party, was to face Kaminsky, 36, a formidable opponent who was endorsed by Weisenberg and the Nassau County Democratic Committee, in a Sept. 9 primary.
Now, Kaminsky, of Long Beach, will face Republican candidate Avi Fertig, of Woodmere, in November. District 20 encompasses the Long Beach barrier island, Island Park, Oceanside, the Five Towns and parts of East Rockaway and Valley Stream.
Rumors had circulated last week that Eramo was considering dropping out of the race. Eramo announced in a statement on July 10 that he would not be filing petitions to run, citing obligations to his family. Eramo’s West End home was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. He is currently rebuilding and in May said he had hoped to return this month with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children.
“I love my community and believe it needs a strong voice in Albany representing the interests of working people,” Eramo said. “However obligations to my family prevent me from continuing my campaign for State Assembly. Displaced by Sandy almost two years ago, my wife and two children are forced to move again as our house has not yet been completed. We hope to be home later this summer. I will continue to fight for the South Shore as a member of the Long Beach City Council and working to help middle-class families and those who are struggling build a better life.”
Eramo, 40, told the Herald last month that he had gathered more than enough signatures on petitions to get on the primary ballot, and decided to let “the people of the 20th Assembly District speak through a Democratic primary.” He said he was motivated to run, in part, by the opportunity to advocate on the state level for storm victims and for funding for storm resiliency projects.
Eramo — a field technician for Verizon and a former lobbyist and political director for his union, the Communications Workers of America 1104 — was endorsed by the Working Families Party and the Long Island Progressive Coalition.
The race leading up to the September primary was initially set to be a crowded affair, with four Democrats running to fill Weisenberg’s seat. Eramo’s announcement came nearly a month after Democratic candidate and Long Beach attorney Robert Solomon said that he would no longer run. Solomon had received the backing of the Long Beach Democratic Committee, which subsequently threw its support behind Eramo. Lawrence school board Trustee Asher Mansdorf, who had mulled an Assembly run but officially entered the race just last month, also pulled out.
The Long Beach Democratic Committee, like Mansdorf, is now reportedly supporting Kaminsky.
“Post Sandy, the people of the 20th District need Albany to work for them now more than ever,” Kaminsky said in a statement. “Storm recovery must move faster; taxes must go down; and serious infrastructure improvements must be made. I am grateful for the broad support our campaign has gathered so far, and am excited to build on this momentum through the election in November and into Albany, where we can deliver results on storm recovery, taxes and other pressing issues for the South Shore.”