There are scores of winners – and losers – this week due to the primaries on Tuesday, and tough competition to get on the list. A special shoutout goes to incumbent Mayors Byron Brown of Buffalo, Kathy Sheehan of Albany and Lovely Warren of Rochester for not blowing it completely and winning as expected. We give a toast to the numerous victors of the state’s primaries, but below are the biggest names of the week.
Bill de Blasio – The mayor of New York City stood a bit taller this week as he dispatched a quartet of little-known challengers in the Democratic primary. All those pay-to-play allegations? Didn’t matter. Questions about his late nights, his late arrivals and his Park Slope workouts? Not important. Fears of a crime wave driving an exodus from the city? Never happened. Now all Hizzoner has to do is win the general, which won’t be tough to do in a city with nearly seven times as many Democrats as Republicans.
Michael Bloomberg – The former mayor was basking in the warm glow of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s praise, and presumably from the shiny new glass structures at the opening of the game-changing Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Cuomo played cheerleader-in-chief, eulogizing Bloomberg for his vision, saying he reminded him of former Govs. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a certain Mario Cuomo. Bloomberg didn’t win a primary, but when the governor wants to sing your praises, it’s hard to lose.
Rubén Díaz Sr., Mark Gjonaj & Francisco Moya – It is a truth universally acknowledged that state government has more power over New York City than the city’s own elected officials. So why would state legislators give up their clout by joining the JV team in the New York City Council? Well, it’s also universally acknowledged that a man serving in elected office must be in want of a good fortune – and with their primary victories, this trio of state lawmakers will get a nice salary bump in the City Council starting next year.
Eric Gonzalez – The acting Brooklyn DA can soon drop the acting part of his title after earning his first election win thanks to a huge spate of endorsements and a sprawling ground game. “Gonzo” won big, with 53 percent of the vote in a six-way race to become the first Latino district attorney in the state. Say goodbye to the “law and order” days of “tough on crime.” Say hello to reform and decriminalization.
Steve McLaughlin – He may have been a loser last week, but the verbally abusive Rensselaer County executive candidate had the last McLaugh. The Republican assemblyman overcame the bad press after it was revealed that he harassed a female staffer, defeating opponent Christopher Meyer, who had been endorsed by the county GOP committee. For being a winner literally, if not in personality, McLaughlin makes the list.
Phil Boyle – The state senator and designated GOP nominee seemed set to win the GOP primary for Suffolk County sheriff against Larry Zacarese. But Zacarese’s upset victory left Boyle in a bind, as his plans to step down from his Senate seat early went out the window. Boyle may now run in November on the Democratic line, which is embarrassing for him and the Suffolk political machine that would allow it.
Ronnie Cho – The Lower East Side City Council candidate struck out with his idol when Yankees legend Derek Jeter had to explain that, no, despite the press release sent from Cho’s campaign, Jeets did not actually endorse him. Voters didn’t either, and Cho finished a distant third in his first run for office despite big spending. Better luck next at bat!
Barry Diller – A fond farewell to the fodder of many Winners & Losers entries, as the billionaire media mogul has admitted defeat on his quixotic quest to build a hill that was also a pier that was also a music venue. After lobbying for the privately funded Hudson River park for six years, Diller got nothing – except an awesome cartoon in The Real Deal of a superhero Diller fighting development foe Douglas Durst.
Robert Nickol – State Sen. William Larkin’s counsel was arrested for felony assault, allegedly whipping his girlfriend with a television cord, according to the Daily News. Larkin’s office was silent on the arrest, perhaps deliberating over why their top legal expert would break the law. Good thing you’re a lawyer, Bob – you’re gonna need one.
Martin Shkreli – It was the hair that broke the braggart’s back. The world’s most loathed “pharma bro” was jailed for putting a bounty on Hillary Clinton’s hair. His Facebook post offered to “pay $5,000 per hair” – or about seven of those lifesaving pills he boasted profiting from at the pumped-up price of $750 each. Previously out on $5 million bail for fraud charges, the enticement made him a threat to public safety, a judge ruled. Ironic that his $5,000 bounty posted on Facebook will put him in jail faster than hiking up the price a life-saving drug 5,000 percent.
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