From the Morning Memo:
Jim Gaughran, the Democratic challenger to Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino, will report having raised more than $90,000 in his bid to unseat the Nassau County lawmaker.
Democrats are especially buoyed by the fundraising total given he’s outpaced Marcellino’s own fundraising since announcing his bid for Senate.
Still, Marcellino, the Senate’s Education Committee chairman, has a formidable $280,710 war chester. During a total six-month time filing period, he raised $94,375.
“The outpouring of support, small donations and good wishes from my friends and neighbors has been truly humbling,” Gaughran said. “I started this campaign pushing for common sense tax relief, fair education funding for our communities and meaningful ethics reforms to clean up Albany, and I am thrilled with the outpouring of support from the residents of Suffolk and Nassau County.
The race is one of a half-dozen key contests around the state this year that could determine control of the Senate, narrowly led by Republicans.
Democrats are especially focused on Nassau County races this year in particular, with potential pickup opportunities with the seat being vacated by Sen. Jack Martins, a congressional candidate, and the one held by incumbent Sen. Kemp Hannon, who is running for re-election.
Democrats also hope to be competitive in the Hudson Valley, where there have been several narrow Senate races in recent election cycles.
Fro Republicans, the map is narrower, with a potential pickup in the western New York district being vacated by Democratic Sen. Marc Pannepinto.