Four candidates trying to fill former Bronx State Senator Guy Velella's seat

Four candidates are trying to fill former State Senator Guy Velella's (R-Bronx) seat. The veteran Republican politician lost his job after pleading guilty to taking bribes while in office.

State Assembly member Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) has represented the 80th District for the last 10 years. Klein says if elected he will fight for more school funds, raising the minimum wage and protecting affordable housing programs like Mitchell-Lama.

Though Egido Sementilli (D) has never held political office, he is very active in the community. Sementilli is the chairman for the Pelham Bay Democratic Committee and the Bronx Coalition for Good Government. He says he would expand day care services and lobby to reverse the 18.5 percent real estate tax increase.

State Assembly member for the 82nd District Stephen Kaufman (D-Bronx) is running on a similar platform to Klein's. He says he will continue to improve the quality of life issues, secure money for Bronx schools and keep affordable housing. Kaufman is also running as a Republican.

Kaufman's Republican opponent is former police detective John Fleming. Fleming says if he wins Velella's seat he will focus on tax reform, controlling Medicaid costs and getting homeland security funding for New York.

The former senator's seat is for District 34, which predominately covers the Bronx and 30 percent of Westchester. Bronx voters will head to the polls September 14.

Former Senator Velella is serving one year in prison.

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