ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is set to host a numbers of fundraisers in coming weeks to help state Senate Democrats in their effort to capture control of the chamber.
Starting Oct. 7, Cuomo will host at least seven fundraisers for Senate Democratic candidates, beginning with Andrew Gounardes, who is taking on veteran Brooklyn GOP incumbent Sen. Martin Golden, and Lou D’Amaro, who is facing off against Republican incumbent Phil Boyle in Suffolk County.
“We believe every seat is in play and will fight to build on the progress we’ve made as the alternative to Trump’s America and win in November,” Cuomo campaign chairman Bill Mulrow said.
In addition to helping Gounardes and D’Amaro, Cuomo — who has been criticized in some circles for not doing enough to help Senate and congressional Dems — will headline fundraisers for incumbent Senate Democrats John Brooks and Todd Kaminsky in Nassau County, as well as candidates Anna Kaplan in Nassau County, Monica Martinez in Suffolk County, and former staffer Peter Harckham in the Hudson Valley.
“The next six weeks are going to be a sprint to the finish line,” said a source close to Cuomo. “The governor will spend little time campaigning for himself, and all of his time campaigning for state Senate and House campaigns.”
In addition, the Cuomo source said, fundraisers are being scheduled to help Karen Smythe, Mulrow’s sister-in-law who is challenging Sen. Sue Serino (R-Dutchess County), and James Skoufis, a state assemblyman squaring off against Republican Tom Basile for the Orange County seat being vacated by Republican Sen. William Larkin.
“I think it’s great,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris, the Queens Democrat who heads his conference’s campaign committee. “The more support we can get for our candidates, the better our chances will be in November.”
The Republicans, with the help of Brooklyn Sen. Simcha Felder, a Democrat who caucuses with the GOP, currently has a one-seat majority.
Asked about Cuomo fundraising on behalf of the Senate Dems, state Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif cited the recent convictions of two Cuomo aides and several donors as well as probes into the fundraising efforts by Mayor de Blasio in 2014 to help the Senate Dems.
“They’re perfect for each other,” Reif said. “The Democrat socialists will need a heck of a lot more money than they have now if they’re going to attempt to explain their radical positions to middle-class New Yorkers who want lower taxes and a good job. We’re going to win in November; no amount of Cuomo money is going to change that.”
Cuomo will stump heavily on Long Island, which is considered a key battleground area particularly in the fight for the state Senate, the source close to him said.
He’ll also stump in Brooklyn against Golden and help Max Rose, who is running for Congress on Staten Island against Republican Rep. Daniel Donovan, the source said.