Winners & Losers

This week’s biggest Winners & Losers

Who’s up and who’s down this week?

Surprise Joann Ariola, it's your inauguration! The New York City Council member’s friends and family decided to kick off the Republican’s second term without looping her in ahead of time. Among those celebrating the Fire and Emergency Management Committee chair were mayoral chief adviser Ingrid Lewis-Martin and Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. Surprise Byron Brown, it snows in Buffalo! The Buffalo mayor announced that he may have to raise property taxes to pay for snow removal costs due to larger storms hitting the lake-effect snow-prone city. If all else fails, Brown could always hit up Bills fans who lined up to shovel out Highmark Stadium before Taylor Swift brought the Kansas City Chiefs to town. 


Adrienne Adams and Jumaane Williams -

There’s a new dynamic duo in town. While Mayor Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams share a lot – a history of relatively moderate politics, a southeast Queens alma mater, a last name and even, according to them, love for each other – lately, the two have drifted increasingly far apart on policy. If Speaker Adams has a strong partner in government these days, it’s Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. Speaker Adams corralled the council’s rank-and-file to deliver a decisive override of Mayor Adams’ vetoes of two bills sponsored by Williams that passed the council late last year. Mayor Adams’ aggressive campaign against those bills didn’t measure up to the council’s solidarity and the speaker and public advocate’s own passionate campaign in favor of the bills.

Steven James -

It’s always great to get a new job, especially when it makes you the boss. The governor nominated Steven James, a 32-year veteran of the State Police, to serve as the superintendent of the agency. The state Senate still needs to confirm him to the position, but he got to work immediately as the acting head. His first order of business was to remove the old top brass in order to make room for his own picks. James wasted no time either – the leadership changes came within hours of his nomination and promotion to acting superintendent. Nothing quite says “I’m in charge” like immediately installing your people into top positions at the agency.

Harvey Stenger -

It’s raining money in the Southern Tier. A coalition led by Binghamton University won a National Science Foundation innovation competition for research and development battery development, which will bring in $160 million in federal funding. The project is part of the Upstate New York Energy Storage Engine and the next step in the growth of the battery, clean energy and semiconductor economy upstate. Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger has made economic development a cornerstone of his presidency.


Eric Adams -

New York City Mayor Eric Adams fought hard to veto two law enforcement bills then he lost hard when the City Council overrode both attempts. If that wasn’t enough to make for a rough week, the mayor’s preliminary progress update for the year showed dismal wait times for cash assistance and other flagging metrics for agency performance. Oh and a sweeping joint investigation from three news organizations found evidence of an illegal practice at the center of the probes in Adams’ 2025 political contributions.

Jeremy Cohan -

Eyeball emoji bigtime! The New York City DSA has been quietly fighting a complaint brought by a state elections watchdog who says they didn’t properly document their campaign committee that supported candidates in 2022. The New York Times broke the story last week, reporting the technicality could cost the DSA some $300,000, completely draining their coffers. Political columnist Ross Barkan later noted that state BOE watchdog Michael L. Johnson formerly worked for then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and was counsel to the Assembly – long-time members of which have been challenged and unseated by the DSA. Jeremy Cohan, who was co-chair of the New York City chapter throughout all this, has mused aloud about the state BOE’s political motives. 

Jamaal Bowman -

Perhaps a few alarm bells are ringing for Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s reelection campaign. Challenger George Latimer, Westchester County executive, raised far more money than Bowman did in the latest fundraising hall, and Latimer is racking up endorsements from a long list of Democratic committees in the district. Also, Bowman may have once been a 9/11 truther? Recent reporting found that Bowman previously promoted conspiracy theories about 9/11 on his personal blog roughly a decade ago.