New York State Primaries Sept 13 - Pt 3!
First, sorry that I missed New Hampshire and Rhode Island - I am traveling for a work conference and they don't have wifi so I can't blog while listening to really boring presentations (I consider this practically criminal!) But my home state's primary is tomorrow, so I am plowing through the rest of the races!!
On to more Senate races!
SD30 (Harlem, UWS, Sugar Hill): Incumbent Brian Benjamin is running for his first full term, after winning a special election in 2017. This is also the first time he is facing primary voters, since he was nominated in by a party committee for that special election. He is facing a primary challenger from Union leader and activist LaShawn Henry. Benjamin seems to have done a fine job so far, but it hasn't been very long, and Henry is also quite qualified and active in the community. Check them both out!
SD31 (Inwood, Washington Heights, Hudson coast down to 14th St) Full disclosure, this is MY voting district! The incumbent, Marisol Alcantara, narrowly won when Espaillat moved up to US Rep, and she promptly joined the IDC and screwed over her fellow Democrats. I have been actively campaigning for her major opponent, NYC City Council member Robert Jackson. Jackson is a great progressive fighter, endorsed by the PCCC, and I am proud to support him. There are 2 other candidates on the ballot, but neither of them has any major endorsements or experience, so people who want Alcantara out need to unite behind Jackson!
SD32 (Morissania, Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester): There is a challenger on the ballot against Luis Sepulveda, but as she doesn't have a website or any info, I think we are good to keep Sepulveda.
SD34 (Hunt's Point, Throgs Neck, Pelham, Mount Vernon): The big kahuna, the leader of the IDC, Jeff Klein is facing Alessandra Biaggi, Dem activist who has worked for several elected officials and on the Clinton campaign in 2016. She is also endorsed by Our Revolution, the PCCC and Alexandria OC. Klein has got to go!
SD35 (Yonkers, New Rochelle, White Plains, Scarsdale): Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Democrat leader, is facing a challenge from Virginia Perez, a County Board member. Considering Perez's most known action as a Board member was to caucus with Republicans and every Democrat on that Board is endorsing Stewart-Cousins, I think we should stick with the incumbent here.
SD38 (Rockland County and Ossining): Another IDC member, David Carlucci is facing a challenge from librarian Julie Goldberg. Out with the IDC!
SD53 (Syracuse): Our final IDC member, David Valesky, is being challenged y Rachel May, a Director and former Russian Language Professor at Syracuse University. May is endorsed by Our Revolution and the PCCC. And she promises to caucus with the party that elected her!
SD63 (Buffalo): Incumbent Timothy Kennedy has a challenger in attorney Shaqurah Zachery. As far as I can tell there's nothing wrong with Kennedy and Zachery only has a Facebook website so I have no idea what her positions are and she doesn't have any major endorsements.
So that's all for incumbent challengers, on to open races!
SD6 (Hempstead, Levittown): A targeted Republican held seat, its Andrew Grover vs Kevin Thomas to take on the Republican incumbent. Kevin Thomas has the endorsements and seems the stronger candidate.
SD22 (Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach): 2 Dems are battling to take on the Republican incumbent, Andrew S Gounardes has the endorsements. There is no reason this Brooklyn seat should be Republican.
SD40 (Westchester and Husdon Valley) Another Republican-held seat where Dems should easily be winning! Peter Harkham has the major endorsements here.
SD42 (New Palz to Delhi to the PA border): This is an Obama-Trump kind of district that Dems want to win back. Its an open seat, and Jen Metzger has the major endorsements.
SD58 (Ithaca and Finger Lakes to PA border): Another Obama-Trump district, Michael Lausell has the endorsements.
Since the State Assembly is very solidly Dem-held, there is a lot less happening here. Of note are a couple of open seats in safe Dem districts, in Districts 46, 61, 87, 90, 104, 119, and 136. There are also several primaries to challenge Republican incumbents.
Now of course, we also have active primaries for Governor, Lt Governor, and Attorney General.
Governor Cuomo is being challenged from his left by actress and activist Cynthia Nixon. The Dem party is of course behind the incumbent governor, while Nixon has been endorsed by all the major progressive groups. Cuomo is kind of a jerk who has constantly been under fire for not setting a more liberal agenda in this super blue state, and of course for ignoring the New York Subway's deterioration and for corruption allegations, though to his credit during his tenure NY legalized same-sex marriage, implemented tuition-free college at public universities, and raised the minimum wage. Nixon has been a progressive education activist for years, and in addition to education reform and fixing the subway, has been strongly talking about legalizing marijuana and criminal justice reform. This was a tough call for me - after the disaster that is Trump, I wasn't eager to support an actor with no elective experience, and though Cuomo is not a strong progressive-socialist type, he is a solid liberal. Ultimately, I voted for Nixon, with the hope that even if she did not win, this challenge from the left has scared the pants off Cuomo and he will be strongly motivated to win back the liberal base by taking on many of her policy positions.
For Lt Governor, there is a similar dynamic with incumbent Kathy Hochul vs progressive challenger NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams.
There are 4 candidates for Attorney General, but the main 2 seem to be NYC Public Advocate Tish James and Law Professor and activist Zephyr Teachout. While both are qualified, I feared James is too close to Cuomo when it would be her job to investigate him if he is accused of any misconduct, so I voted for Teachout.
And that's it! Come on NY, we need to take back the Senate, so let's kick out every single member of the IDC and select good challengers to vulnerable Republicans! As the 2nd largest Blue state and the one where Trump conducted lots of of legally dubious business deals, the whole nation looks to us to set the example. #beavoter!!!!!