State Senator-elect and current Assemblyman Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) has been appointed to serve as the brains behind Democratic state Senate campaigns, the party announced last week.
He was selected by Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) to head the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.
Gianaris will vet candidates, help raise money and strategize to win elections.
Though his position does not come with an extra salary, he is excited to begin. “I am a multi-tasker by nature,” he said. “I am honored that the Senate Democrats thought of giving me this position.”
His appointment does not come without precedent. In 2006, Gianaris served as finance chairman for the state Democratic Party, helping to break fundraising records which contributed to the Democrats’ historic sweep of every statewide office and the gain of three congressional seats. This year, the party lost state Senate control to the Republicans.
Heading into a presidential election year, when Democratic strategists expect increased voter turnout to bolster their efforts to retake Congress and expand the number of Democratic seats in the state Senate, Gianaris’ expertise may be useful.
“Mike Gianaris is a dynamic fundraiser and effective leader who will work with our members to win more Democratic seats,” Sampson said in a statement.
The outgoing DSCC chairman, Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx and Westchester), will continue as deputy leader for the state Senate Democratic Conference and will focus his efforts on the legislative agenda over the next two years, Sampson said.
Gianaris said DSCC chairpersons usually serve for one election cycle at the discretion of the leadership.
“I look forward to working with all of our members to produce the success that the people of New York State deserve,” he said in a statement.