54th Post Mortem
September 14th, 2011
So Vito Lopez er — I mean Rafael Espinal won the 54th Assembly seat vacated by Darryl Towns by a pretty hefty margin.
Now that Espinal and I will be spending so much time together in Albany maybe he will answer basic questions about where he stands on the issues.
Being that he is safe in his seat and will likely hold the seat for years to come — barring some scandal –he really doesn’t have anything to lose by saying where he really stands. For those who don’t know, the Assemblyman-elect filled out questionnaires from the Working Families Party and Conservative Party in totally contradictory ways and tried to dictate terms of an interview with the Gazette before running out on a scheduled interview.
It may be safe to assume that Espinal will be toting the Assembly Democrats talking points — or at least Lopez’s — when he arrives in Albany.
So how did the race actually break down?
Unofficial results show that the Conservative Party line really did not put Espinal over the top in any sort of way. According to unofficial results from the Board of Elections, out of 5,900 votes cast Espinal received 2,226 votes or 37.73 percent of the total vote on the Democratic line. He received 321 votes or 5.44 percent of total votes on the Conservative Party line and 73 votes on the United We Can line. Unsurprisingly It was the Democratic line that did it plain and simple — and for that he has Lopez to thank.
Meanwhile, Jesus Gonzalez brought in 1,913 votes or 32.42 percent of the total vote on the Working Families Party Line. The WFP’s get-out-to vote efforts, the Daily News endorsement and Gonzalez’s organizational skills a helped him get over 30 percent of the vote–but it wasn’t enough.
Meanwhile, Deidra Towns brought in 1,367 votes or 23.17 percent of the total vote on the Community First line. Towns’ campaign relied heavily on her name recognition and did not stake out a strong policy platform but if she or Gonzalez had the Democratic line either of them would likely have been sitting pretty.
Would it have made a difference if either Gonzalez or Towns stood aside to make a two-way race? It seems that way. But would the establishment crowd have gone with Espinal if Towns left? And would as many people showed up to vote if Gonzalez, the young organizer, hadn’t stirred the pot? Who knows.
But this is what makes special elections so special — the party establishment almost always win.By David King on September 14, 2011, 3:21 pm
In category: Albany, Electoral Politics, Eye on Albany | 1 Comment »