New York State Primaries Sept 13 - Pt 1
So being that NY is my home state and where half the people I know live, I am going to go a little more in depth than I normally do on the State level races.
NY is really annoying in having its federal and state primary on 2 different days (which will hopefully be fixed next time around) The entire state legislature plus the Governor, Lt Governor, and Attorney General spots are up and with lots of active primaries. I voted today actually, since I will be out of town on the 13th - you can go down to your local county board of elections and vote right now if you want to! They even expanded their hours in the lead up to the election. More info
Republicans control the NY State Senate. This is despite the fact that Democrats technically have a 32-31 majority - a Senator from Brooklyn, Simcha Felder, is caucusing with the Republicans to give them control. There is also of course, plenty of gerrymandering afoot, considering NY is a massively Blue State with a huge Dem majority in the Assembly.
Then there is the matter of the Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) - since 2011 a group of Democratic Senators have ignored the fact that they were elected as Democrats and caucused with the Republicans, basically in exchange for better offices and committee assignments. This group disbanded (supposedly) in April and are now back to caucusing with the Democrats, but quite understandably, the Dem voters in their districts are annoyed that they voted for Democrats who then refused to be Democrats. Every single one of them has a primary challenger, and since most of them are in solid Dem districts, the only chance to get rid of them is on Sept 13. As you might be able to guess, I strongly support kicking the IDC Senators out. When I vote for a Democrat, I want them to caucus with the Democrats, even if they have issues with the leadership and even if they get offered perks.
Today's State Senate Races:
SD11 (Whitestone, Bayside, College Point, Flushing): IDC member Tony Avella is being challenged by John Liu. John is a former NYC Comptroller and former NYC City Council member and teaches Public Policy at CUNY and Columbia, so he is very qualified. He was a staunch opponent of stop-and-frisk and a champion of better wages and treatment of contractors. Queens, send John Liu to Albany!
SD13 (Jackson Heights, Corona, East Elmhurst, Woodside, Astoria): IDC member Jose Peralta is being challenged by Labor activist Jessica Ramos. Jessica is endorsed by Bill deBlasio, Our Revolution, and the Progressive Change Campaign. Jessica is focused on fixing the MTA, rising rents, and better public schools. Queens, send Jessica Ramos to Albany!
SD17 (Borough Park, Midwood, Flatbuch, Sunset Park, Kensington, Bensonhurst, Madison): This is Simcha Felder's district. Felder is the only member of the IDC STILL caucusing with the Republicans, and is the only reason they have control at this moment. And he has a challenger in Blake Morris, an attorney endorsed by Our Revolution. And it really doesn't seem fair that Felder gets to run as both the Democrat and the Republican in the race, so Brooklyn, put Morris on the ballot!
Queens, Brooklyn, you are Blue territory! If you vote for a Democrat, you deserve to actually get a Democrat! #beavoter