Freshman Democratic state Sen. John Brooks declared his bid for re-election Sunday, with Democratic officials saying his candidacy is at the “top of the Republican hit list” in the fight to control the State Senate.
Several state and county officials and Democratic Party members came out to the Roosevelt American Legion to support Brooks, who won his seat in a surprise 2016 upset over Republican incumbent Mike Venditto. An indictment of Venditto’s father, former Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto — who is awaiting a verdict in his federal corruption trial — was unsealed weeks before the election.
Brooks, of Seaford, who represents the 8th State Senate District, was elected two years ago without the support of the state or Suffolk County Democratic parties. But now Democrats have a narrow 32-31 hold of the Senate, although Democrat Simcha Felder of Brooklyn caucuses with Republicans. Fellow Democrats such as state Sen. Michael Gianaris of Queens, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee, stressed the importance of retaining Brooks’ seat, which has historically been controlled by Republicans.
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