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SD-5: Marcellino Challenger Gains Bi-County Nods

State of Politics
Time/Warner Cable News

From the Morning Memo:

The Democratic opponent for Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino has received endorsements from party committees in both Nassau and Suffolk counties — a move Senate Democrats say is key for a win in the district later this year.

The endorsements for a Marcellino challenger, James Gaughran, from both Democratic committees hasn’t happened for the district in a while, buoying Democratic hopes the race is winnable.

Democrats point to the 4,000-voter enrollment advantage in the race, which could help amid turnout in a presidential election.

At the same time, the 5th Senate district has traditionally been a sleepy race: No one has spent more than $40,000 for an election there, and often Marcellino has faced largely token opposition.

Democrats plan a well-funded campaign for Gaugrhan, with efforts to include a full TV, mail and field operation. Gaughran is a former county legislator, town councilman and Water Authority chairman, giving him a public profile in the race.

Democrats also expect to hit on the theme of corruption, especially after the conviction and sentencing of Republican former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, hoping the anti-incumbent sentiment helps them in down-ballot races.