Tuesday’s special election will fill 5th Senatorial District seat

The vacant 5th Senatorial District seat will be filled on Tuesday in a special election.

The seat has been vacant since Democrat Mike Stack became lieutenant governor.

Republicans nominated Tim Dailey, a history and psychology teacher at Father Judge. Democrats selected state Rep. John Sabatina Jr., who edged Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 president John McNesby for the nod.

Both candidates live in Rhawnhurst.

Dailey, a union member for 20 years, favors business tax credits to spur job creation, adding that labor unions should back such a proposal.

“We have to work together,” he said.

Dailey, who attended Maternity BVM, Archbishop Ryan and Holy Family, believes there should be an equal focus on public, charter and private schools.

“I believe that there are three school systems. We have to recognize everybody’s needs,” he said.

As for funding public education, Dailey wants it done responsibly.

“It needs to be funded in a way that’s smart,” he said.

Dailey wants to lower property taxes, but does not favor an increase in the sales tax.

The GOP candidate believes he is the better choice because his party controls the Senate.

“It’ll be 31–19, Republicans in the majority,” he said.

Sabatina enjoys big voter-registration, name recognition and campaign money advantages.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “But I don’t consider myself a shoo-in.”

Sabatina, a former City Council staffer and assistant district attorney, won a 2006 special election to replace Alan Butkovitz, who became city controller.

“I have nine years experience in the House of Representatives. I feel I can make a somewhat seamless transition over to the Senate. I know the people and I know the issues,” he said.

Sabatina wants to continue focusing on quality-of-life issues. Though largely a city issue, he wants to make sure Northeast residents get the services for the taxes they pay.

In the House, he is sponsoring “Paul’s Law,” which would prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities who need organ transplants.

If Sabatina wins, there will be a special election for his 174th Legislative District seat. Dailey could run in that race, though he is running to win the Senate seat.

“I’ll make that decision on May 20th or beyond,” he said. ••