Top kickers of 2018

Some quotes from big stories, others emerged from otherwise forgettable ones.

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2018 began with a sexual misconduct allegation against state Sen. Jeff Klein and ended with a hotly contested legislative pay raise, with the gubernatorial run of Cynthia Nixon and so much more sandwiched in between. Sometimes, a good quote from those stories was commemorated at the bottom of First Read every morning as the day’s “Kicker.” Other times, humorous quotes emerged from otherwise forgettable stories, like Staten Island’s turkey infestation or Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s annual New York State Fair sausage. We sorted through every “Kicker” of the year and chose the very best ones:

 

April 17
“Don’t mess with me, I’m the new IDC.” – state Sen. Simcha Felder, joking about his role as the last remaining Democrat to caucus with Republicans following the Independent Democratic Conference’s reunification with mainline Democrats, via Politico New York

 

May 9
“Vote for the homo, not Cuomo.” – Nixon, at the Legislative Correspondents Association Show, making fun of 1977 campaign posters that read “Vote for Cuomo, not the homo” when Mario Cuomo was running for mayor of New York City against Ed Koch, who faced rumors of being gay, via the New York Post

 

May 23
“I’m quite sure I’ve never had my picture taken so many times in quick succession before.” – state Attorney General Barbara Underwood, the first woman ever to hold the post, after being appointed to the position by the state Legislature and getting swarmed by reporters, via Politico New York

 

June 27
“We met a machine with a movement.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, upon seeing her lead over Rep. Joe Crowley for the first time, and shortly before she was declared the winner in the race, via Politico New York

 

Aug. 16
“We are not going to make America great again. It was never that great.” – Cuomo, mocking Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, via The New York Times

 

Aug. 30
“If you stop lying, I will stop interrupting.” – gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, during one of several testy exchanges with Cuomo during their only gubernatorial debate, via CNN

 

Sept. 21
“Frankly it’s not surprising that citizens of this state have absolutely lost faith in their government.” – Judge Valerie Caproni, during the sentencing of former top Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco, who was convicted of pay-to-play corruption, via Politico New York

 

Nov. 7
“You’ve got to forgive us for basking in the applause.” – state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who is poised to become state Senate majority leader, at a victory party after declaring the chamber for Democrats, via The New York Times

 

Dec. 19
“It is curious to me why the only branch of government that was told they had to reform was the Legislature. … God knows the governor has had issues in his office.” – Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, on reforms tied to a pay raise for state legislators, via the Daily News

 

 

NEXT STORY: The top tweets of 2018

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