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Former President Barack Obama endorses Long Island Democrats for state Senate

Michael Gormley

ALBANY — Former President Barack Obama has endorsed eight Democrats including two on Long Island who hope to help the party win majority control of the state Senate from Republicans.

Obama endorsed Sen. John Brooks (D-Seaford), who faces Republican Jeff Pravato, mayor of Massapequa Park. Senate Democrats and Republicans are making the seat a priority because of its potential to flip.

Obama also is backing Suffolk County Water Authority Chairman Jim Gaughran, who is challenging Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset).

Obama also endorsed former Suffolk Legis. Louis D'Amaro, who is challenging state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore); Assemb. James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) who faces Republican Tom Basile, a Stony Point councilman, for the seat vacated by Sen. William Larkin, who retired this year; Democrat Karen Smythe, who is challenging Sen. Susan Serino (R-Hyde Park); Democrat John Mannion, a teacher, over Republican Robert Antonacci, the former Onondaga County comptroller; Democrat Rachel May, an administrator at Syracuse University, as she takes on Republican Janet Burman; and Democrat Jen Metzgar of Rosendale, who is facing Orange County Clerk Annie Rabbitt for the seat vacated by Sen. John Bonacic (R-Mount Hope), who retired.

How influential the Democrat’s endorsement of Democrats will be is yet to be seen. But a Siena College Research Institute poll found Obama was the favorite living ex-president among New Yorkers, with a favorability rating of 67-29 percent.

Obama on Monday endorsed dozens of candidates in most states, primarily in congressional midterm elections.