Election 2014

Race heats up for vacant Senate seat


A pair of Nassau County legislators are vying for an open seat in the State Senate, with both candidates recently picking up major endorsements.

David Denenberg, a Democrat from Merrick, and Michael Venditto, a Republican from Massapequa, are looking to fill the 8th District seat vacated at the end of last year by Charles Fuschillo. The district stretches from Baldwin Harbor to Wheatley Heights in Suffolk County, and includes Freeport, Merrick, Bellmore, Wantagh and Seaford. It has been without representation in the Senate since Fuschillo left to become the CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Denenberg is in his eighth term representing Nassau County’s 19th Legislative District. Venditto was elected to fill Peter Schmitt’s 12th District seat in December 2012, after the presiding officer died in office. Venditto was re-elected last year to a full term.

Fuschillo, a Republican, has endorsed Venditto. “Michael Venditto is an excellent candidate who is focused on the right priorities — cutting taxes, creating jobs, and controlling spending — which have helped turn New York state around,” Fuschillo said. “He’s done it as a county legislator. He works tirelessly, and fights hard to help people. He’s exactly what our community needs in Albany.”

Several unions and advocacy groups have endorsed Denenberg, including, last week, the Transport Workers Union of America. He has also received the support of the AFL-CIO, the New York State Union of Teachers, the Communication Workers of America and other groups.

Of his endorsement by the TWU, Denenberg said, “To have this support, in light of the threatened LIRR strike and Long Island’s sustainability issues, it is indicative that we will work together to secure our future.”

The two candidates have been campaigning extensively, appearing at several events throughout the 8th District, including a trio of ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Wantagh last week. The have also been testing the waters in Suffolk County. Election Day is Nov. 4.