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EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Malcolm Smith remains optimistic about re-election amid controversy

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QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) -- Despite facing retrial on federal bribery charges in January and difficulties raising campaign funds, Sen. Malcolm Smith remains optimistic about re-election.

Smith has held a seat on the State Senate for 14 years. His most formidable challenger is former city Councilman Leroy Comrie, who has the backing of the Queens Democratic Party and a number of unions, including the 120,000-member Teamsters Joint Council 16.

Some of the pundits say the race could be a toss up. The question is can the candidate under the cloud of serious felony charges overcome the stigma of a federal indictment and win re-election to the Senate. Smith believes he can.