How many election days does a state need to get everyone elected? This year in New York – exceptional as always – there are three, including yesterday’s state Senate and Assembly primaries, which shared the ballot with various other races for district leader, judge and district attorney. Voters didn’t exactly flock to the polls, but they ousted incumbents mired in legal trouble, cast votes for or against Republicans who voted for same-sex marriage in races still too close to call, and gave us plenty of primary day winners, and their unhappy counterparts, the losers.
William Boyland, Jr. – Introduce fewer bills than any other lawmaker? Check. Skip legislative sessions? Check. Stay up late playing CityVille on Facebook? Check. Get charged with bribery? Check. Get charged with bribery again after being acquitted? Check. Win primary race despite pending trial? Check!
Hector Figueroa – The head of 32BJ SEIU’s New York operations is set to become the union’s president next month, and yesterday Figueroa showed the union’s strength with a strong get-out-the-vote effort on an unusual Thursday primary. That effort bolstered a slew of winning candidates, from Sen. Adriano Espaillat to Sen. Gustavo Rivera to Ron Kim, whose primary win positions him well to replace Assemblywoman Grace Meng in November.
Mark Grisanti – The Buffalo state senator still has a battle ahead of him in November, but he had probably the best night he could have hoped for in yesterday’s election. Not only was Grisanti the one GOP senator who voted for same-sex marriage and sought re-election to easily win his primary race, perhaps Grisanti’s most dangerous potential opponent on the Democratic side, Charles Swanick, lost to the relatively untested Michael Amodeo.
Vito Lopez – Sure, he’s under investigation. Sure, he’s lost two of the posts that were central to his power. Sure, he’s hiding from the press. But yesterday’s primary results showed that Brooklyn voters don’t seem to be blaming Lopez’s allies for the sexual harassment allegation leveled against him. How close they still are to Vito is unclear, but Martin Dilan, Walter Mosley and Rafael Espinal all won their races, while the most famous anti-Vito candidate, Lincoln Restler, is currently trailing Lopez’ handpicked candidate in a too-close-to-call race for Democratic district leader. Maybe Vito will be able to keep some of that clout after all.
David Soares – Four more years! Lee Kindlon ran a spirited challenged against the Albany County DA, but the incumbent proved too strong to overcome despite his weaknesses, including being censured by a state appeals court for “reckless and misleading” comments and questions about the county’s high crime rate.
Joe Crowley and Phil Ragusa – Crowley, the powerful chair of the Queens County Democrats, went with Jerry Iannece in the race to replace Assemblyman Rory Lancman. Yet the party’s backing wasn’t enough to stop Nily Rozic from running – and winning – and showing that the party doesn’t always pick the right candidate. (Remember Weprin-Turner, anybody?) Talking about Queens County party leaders making the wrong choice, GOP chair Ragusa spurned rising star Eric Ulrich and went with Juan Reyes, who lost the yesterday’s primary in a landslide.
Shirley Huntley and Naomi Rivera – Talk about bad timing. Questions about Assemblywoman Rivera’s boyfriends – an apparent no-show job at her district office for one, and a job for another one who ran a nonprofit that may have doubled as Rivera’s personal expense account – were just too much for voters. Sen. Huntley’s arrest, just weeks before the primary, wasn’t much help either. Now both of them will have plenty of time on their hands to deal with the accusations of wrongdoing against them.
Jeff Klein – Whatever hopes Klein had of growing the ranks of the Senate Independent Democratic Conference may have to come from further defections, not from elections. The state senator’s IDC was a big backer of Shawn Morse, who put up a strong challenge against state Sen. Neil Breslin but was defeated by the veteran lawmaker.
Guillermo Linares – Linares, one of New York’s top Dominican politicians, was walloped by the state’s other top Dominican politician, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, in a rancorous battle for control of northern Manhattan. Assemblyman Linares made one risky choice backing Rep. Charlie Rangel over Espaillat in a congressional primary this year, and another one when he decided to run for the Senate. To top it off, his daughter, Mayra, failed to capture the Assembly seat he vacated to challenge Espaillat.
Marriage equality advocates – Grisanti had a good night, but both Sen. Steve Saland and Sen. Roy McDonald are locked in close counts this morning with their more conservative challengers. All three Republicans voted for same-sex marriage, making New York the first state where it passed with a Republican-majority house. With the results yesterday, same-sex marriage advocates have to be wondering how long it will take now for another state to repeat the feat.
Tags: #winnersandlosers, 32BJ SEIU, Adriano Espaillat, Bob Turner, Charlie Rangel, Chuck Swanick, david soares, David Weprin, Eric Ulrich, Grace Meng, Guillermo Linares, Gustavo Rivera, Hector Figueroa, Jeff Klein, Jerry Iannece, Joe Crowley, Juan Reyes, Lee Kindlon, lincoln-restler, Mark Grisanti, Martin Dilan, Mayra Linares, Michael Amodeo, naomi-rivera, Nily rozic, Phil Ragusa, primary, Rafael Espinal, Ron Kim, Rory Lancman, Roy McDonald, Same Sex Marriage, shirley huntley, Steve Saland, Vito Lopez, walter mosley, william boyland
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