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Queens State Senate Candidates Make Final Push In Critical Race

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Control of the New York State Senate could come down to a race in Queens, where a Republican with two decades in the job is facing a stiff challenge from a two-term Democratic councilman with deep political roots. NY1's Kristen Shaughnessy spoke with both men Monday as they campaigned down to the wire.

The race between State Senator Serphin Maltese and City Councilman Joseph Addabbo now appears to be a tossup.

Voters in District 15, which spans from Maspeth to Howard Beach, are being inundated with information by each campaign.

Republicans hold a 31-29 majority in the State Senate. It is the only branch of state government the GOP controls and Democrats want it.

Polls show that a Long Island seat already seems likely to go from Republican to Democratic. Just one more would give the Democrats control of the Senate for the first time since 1965, making this race crucial to both sides.

Maltese was campaigning at the Metropolitan Ave subway station in Middle Village Monday morning. He says he is concerned that in a district where Democrats have a 2 ½ to 1 advantage, there will be some who might vote right down the party line and sweep him out of office.

"It is a concern, especially among new enrollees," said Maltese. "I'm not concerned about people from the communities here, because although I haven't had a major opponent in some time, they have returned me to office for 20 years."

"We're not going to count on the momentum that is definitely on the Democratic Party's side," said Maltese's challenger, Joseph Addabbo. "We are talking to everyone and telling them to vote for everyone they believe in and trust."

Voters, even those who are still undecided, have been watching each candidate very closely.

"Maltese has had the job for a while," said one voter. "He has had a good long run; maybe it is time for a change."

"I've had people come to my door for Mr. Addabbo telling me what a great guy he is," said another. "I'm a registered Democrat, but I've got to vote for Serphin Maltese."

"I really can't be sure who I will vote for," said a third. "Have to listen to more before tomorrow."

It is the undecided voters who could well make the difference in this race, which both candidates describe as the toughest, closest race they have ever been in.
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