From the Morning Memo:

The candidates vying to fill the Westchester County state Senate district have in recent days began to coalesce around issues ahead of what’s expected to be a crucial special election scheduled for April 24.

Republican Julie Killian, who had sought the seat in 2016 when it was held by Democrat George Latimer, has pointed to combating opioid and heroin addiction. Democrat Shelley Mayer, a state Assembly lawmaker, after the shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people, spoke Sunday at a rally with left-leaning groups demanding action on gun control.

The race is one of 11 to be held in the April special election to fill vacancies in both the Senate and Assembly.

But Democrats late last year reached a unity pact for the Senate races, which include filling a district formerly represented by Ruben Diaz, now on the city Council, that is meant to bring together the Independent Democratic Conference and the mainline conference.

The Westchester County district, vacated by County Executive George Latimer, has been long sought by Republicans to flip, or at least remain competitive. It’s expected to be a costly race given the stakes and the interest in the seat.

Killian pointed to the heroin and opioid addiction issue as one of the reasons why she’s running for the seat.

“It is government’s role to help lift that burden. That is why I am running for the Senate: to fight for Westchester’s fair share of funding for prevention, treatment and recovery services so that other local families will not have to go through the heartbreak of losing loved ones to addiction,” she said.

Mayer, meanwhile, has been racking up a series of endorsements in the weeks after securing the nomination. Last week, she received the nod of the New York State Nurses Association.

“The New York State Nurses Association is excited to endorse Shelley Mayer for State Senate,” said Jayne Cammisa, a registered nurse at Westchester Medical Center and a board member for the group.

“Throughout her career, Shelley has been a fierce advocate for healthcare access and Westchester families can trust her to continue to do so in the State Senate. Now, more than ever before, we need leaders who will fight for us and listen to the needs of the community. Shelley has proven her ability to deliver and we look forward to working with her when she reaches the Senate.”