Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano is expected to announce later this week he will seek the Democratic nomination for a crucial state Senate special election in Westchester County that could impact which party controls the chamber, a source close to him said.
On the Republican side, commercial litigation lawyer Sarmad Khojasteh, a man who as a young boy fled Iran with his family during the Islamic Revolution to come to America, has created a campaign account to run as a Republican for the same seat that is being vacated by Democrat George Latimer, who is leaving to become Westchester County executive in January
Spano, who has two years left of his final term as mayor, is one of three Democrats interested in replacing replace Latimer.
If Cuomo calls a special election for the spring, the candidates will be picked by the county parties, not through a primary process.
Spano is set to announce his intention to seek the seat by Friday, the source said.
A Spano spokesman said no official announcement has yet been made. She added the Yonkers mayor appreciates the support he’s been getting from those who want him to run.
Other Dems seeking the nomination are Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, who formally announced her candidacy last week, and Kat Brezler, who founded a pro-Bernie Sanders group.
Meanwhile, Khojasteh is one of two Republicans who have expressed interest in the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat George Latimer. The other is former prosecutor Dan Schorr.
The campaign account will allow Khojasteh to begin raising money for the potential race.
The Senate Democrats will be losing two seats in January with the departure of Latimer and Bronx state Sen. Ruben Diaz, who is joining the City Council.
The Westchester seat is seen as key in the fight for control of the chamber. The Republicans currently have the majority thanks Sen. Simcha Felder, a Brooklyn Democrat who caucuses with the GOP.
A reunification plan agreed to last week by be the mainline Senate Democrats and a group of eight breakaway Dems currently aligned with the Republicans is contingent, in part, on the Democrats keeping Latimer’s seat.
Cuomo is expected to call a special election for some time after the budget is supposed to be enacted in the spring.