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Ross to challenge Martins for Senate

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Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 4:46 pm | Updated: 5:53 pm, Thu Jun 14, 2012.

The Nassau County Democratic Party recently nominated Daniel Ross, an automobile sales manager who ran unsuccessfully last year for commissioner of the Manhasset-Lakeville Water and Fire District, to oppose state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) in the November election.

“Dan Ross is a successful businessman and lifelong resident of Nassau County who has a proven track record of creating jobs. He is exactly the type of candidate the people of Long Island need in these tough economic times,” said state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. “Dan Ross is just one of an exciting slate of candidates throughout Long Island who will help the Democrats retake the Senate majority in November.”

Steve Glass, a spokesman for the Nassau County Democratic Party, said a number of prospective candidates were approached to run against Martins in the 7th state Senate District prior to party leaders picking Ross.

“We spoke to everybody, to people who are in office now and to Dan Ross. He wanted to run and it’s a good match,” Glass said.

Ross is a captain in the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department, where he has been an active volunteer for the past 10 years.

Attempts to reach him for a comment on his candidacy proved unavailing. 

Martins, a first-term senator, won election over incumbent Democrat Craig Johnson by a 451-vote margin in a 2010 election that was contested by the Democrats in a recount and protracted court battle. Martins’ victory gave the Republicans a 32-30 majority in the state Senate.   

Since being elected, Martins has also scored points with local municipalities, school district and fire departments in the 7th state Senate District by restoring more than $4 million in state grants promised by Johnson that were either rescinded or left in limbo by the state Senate Democratic majority after Martins won the seat. He has also reached across the aisle to co-sponsor legislation with state Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel (D-Great Neck). 

“Senator Martins has worked well with Gov. Cuomo and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring positive change to New York State. By working together, the legislature and the executive were able to balance the state budget without raising any taxes and fees as well as eliminate the MTA Payroll Tax for millions of businesses and all schools. Sen. Martins will run on his record of accomplishment and his proven ability to work in a bipartisan manner for the good of the residents,” said Martins spokesman Joseph Rizza.

Some Republicans see the Democrats’ choice of Ross as an indication of Martins’ perceived strength in the upcoming election.

“We don’t believe he’s a credible candidate who’s going to unseat a sitting senator who’s been working with Governor Cuomo and the Senate Republicans to turn the state around,” said Scott Reif, spokesman for the Senate Republicans.

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