This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Nothing gets politicians’ blood pumping like an open congressional seat, so the elected officials of the lower Hudson Valley were handed quite the gift with Rep. Nita Lowey’s announcement she’ll retire. The dust hasn’t settled yet, but already two white guys named David are in and a certain presidential scion named Chelsea is out. We say, the more candidates the merrier – it just creates more future losers to nominate. 


Frances Cabrini -

The first American saint will be getting a statue in New York City after a very unholy dispute between New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Earlier this year, first lady Chirlane McCray requested nominations for an initiative to have the city erect statues of important female figures. When Mother Cabrini wasn’t chosen, some – like actor Chazz Palminteri – felt it was a snub, considering she received the most nominations. Now, since Cuomo can’t ever pass up the chance to torment de Blasio, no matter how petty, the state will make sure Mother Cabrini has her very own statue in the city – never mind that there’s already a New York City shrine devoted to the beloved Italian-American

Emilia Decaudin -

Emilia Decaudin could have called it a day when she became the youngest and the first openly transgender member of the New York State Democratic Committee, but like the gun control advocates from Parkland, Florida, or 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg, Decaudin – a 20-year-old senior at the City College of New York – possesses that relentless Gen Z commitment to progress. Thanks to Decaudin, the committee is stripping gendered language from its bylaws to make its rules more inclusive of non-binary people. You may have spent your senior year going to frat parties or sleeping through an 8 a.m. class, but Decaudin is busy making history.

Elizabeth Glazer & Jonathan Lippman -

After wading through fights with NIMBYs, correction officers and #NoNewJails activists, the infamous Rikers Island is finally set to shutter after 87 years of operation. And from its ashes will rise four new borough-based jails, all thanks to the efforts of Elizabeth Glazer, the mayor's criminal justice leader, and former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who led the commission to close the horror show of a jail. Of course, the hard part has yet to come: jailing fewer people, actually treating them better and keeping all that on the plan’s seven-year timeline.

Letitia James, Todd Kaminsky & Joe Lentol -

Cue the “Jeopardy” theme song – because New York prosecutors will be hunting for a Daily Double now that Cuomo signed the bill closing the “double jeopardy loophole.” These two bill sponsors – and the A.G. who championed it – have their sights set on prosecuting any Trump administration figures the prez may pardon. They’ll take Paul Manafort for $200, Alex.

Ritchie Torres -

When it comes to elections, endorsements don’t usually mean a whole lot. But backing from Arena, a progressive PAC that trains and supports candidates, is sort of a big deal for Ritchie Torres, the city councilman and candidate to replace Rep. José E. Serrano. Arena apparently trained all the new main characters this season: Delgado, Rose, Biaggi, Myrie and Ramos. Sure, Torres doesn’t need the training, but the financial backing and progressive bona fides that come with the endorsement can give him a leg up in a crowded race.


Andrew Cuomo -

White people should always check themselves whenever quoting rap lyrics, Chris Rock skits and, evidently, The New York Times. The governor violated this cardinal rule of American culture when he dropped the n-word on the radio this week. Though he was quoting an article by the Times on anti-Italian-American discrimination (technically the governor said “n— wop”), the interviewer was actually asking Cuomo about his administration’s questionable Medicaid funding maneauvers. Next time you change the subject, guv, try not to end up on TMZ.

Adam McFadden -

Kids at the after-school nonprofit Adam McFadden used to run may have learned lots about money management, but the former Rochester city councilman could probably use some lessons himself after he admitted to nabbing more than $131,000 from the organization – keeping it from going toward hundreds of local kids. But at least the disgraced politician doesn't discriminate. He's also admitted to illegally taking money meant for a charity helping the city's disabled and elderly, which got him booted from office earlier this year.

John Pettigrew -

The National Grid CEO had claimed that the utility couldn’t possibly allow new gas hookups unless it got a new pipeline across New York Harbor. Then the state threatened millions of dollars in fines unless the company connected 1,157 customers that had been denied in Brooklyn and Queens and on Long Island. Lo and behold, National Grid found a way to get the gas flowing! Nothing like a vengeful Andrew Cuomo to light a fire under your boiler.

Perry Pettus -

In a state as rife with corruption as New York, it’s helpful when the politicians come right out and say it. Pettus, a former Hempstead village trustee, told probation officials that he was actually innocent of corruption charges he pleaded guilty to over the summer. But when he returned to court, he walked back the walk-back and admitted that his “pride got in the way” and that he is in fact “a dirty politician.” For his transgression, the judge threatened to hand Pettus a stiffer prison sentence. Still, after taking the scenic route to get there, Pettus’ eventual flat-out admission of guilt is a breath of fresh air in New York.

Al Sharpton -

There may never be a right time to give anti-vaccination activists a public forum to spread debunked theories, but the Rev. Al Sharpton learned this week that hosting such an event in Harlem, a month after New York City declared an end to a major measles crisis attributed to misinformation about vaccines, isn’t exactly expert timing. Sharpton claimed that both sides of the issue ought to be heard, but for that to work, you kind of need both sides to show up, and the event was canceled after it was discovered that most speakers were anti-vaxxers – you know, the one side bringing back extinct diseases with misinformation.