Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/congress 2018-11-19T12:13:30+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com Antonio Delgado Makes Final Pitch in Bid to Swing New York-19 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 2018-11-04T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/8044-antonio-delgado-makes-final-pitch-in-bid-to-swing-new-york-19 Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/delgadotownhall_audience.jpg" alt="Antonio Delgado town hall" width="600" height="288" /></p> <p>Antonio Delgado at Friday's town hall (photo: Brianna Zimmerman)</p> <hr /> <p>Hyde Park, New York —&nbsp;In one of the most critical battleground races of the Congressional midterm elections, Democrat Antonio Delgado held the last town hall of his campaign in Dutchess County on Friday, seeking to cement his relationship with constituents and drive home his message of unity and solutions-based leadership. Delgado is attempting to swing New York’s 19th Congressional District out of Republican hands, part of Democrats’ national effort to win back the House of Representatives this fall. He’s facing incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso, who is seeking a second term representing parts of the state including the Catskills and Hudson Valley, north of New York City.</p> <p>The race appears close in a swing district with nearly even Democratic and Republican voter enrollment. It voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, then went for Donald Trump in 2016. <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York's_19th_Congressional_District" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The district is nearly 90% white</a>, and is characterized by small towns, a large constituency of farmers, small businesses, and the working poor, with huge infrastructure projects running through it like the Metro North rail line and the Taconic Parkway. Winning what was then an open seat due to the retirement of former Rep. Chris Gibson, a moderate Republican, Faso beat Zephyr Teachout in 2016 by a 9% margin as Trump won the district and the presidency.</p> <p>Tuesday’s polls showed this year’s Faso-Delgado race to have razor-thin margins, though Delgado was up by 5 points in <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2018/house/ny/new_york_19th_district_faso_vs_delgado-6350.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the most recent Monmouth survey</a>, other polls show Faso leading. Outside money has poured into the race, with both candidates receiving support from the national campaign committees of the two major parties, though controversy has accompanied ads paid for by Republicans.</p> <p>Both candidates have expressed support for bipartisanship in Congress, for local farmers, for bringing businesses back into the region, for protecting the gorgeous upstate environment, and for combating the opioid epidemic. They differ along party lines on other central issues to the campaign like gun rights, abortion, immigration, military funding, and healthcare.</p> <p>Over the course of an hour and a half on Friday night at St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, Delgado spoke of his youth growing up in Schenectady and and his wife’s background in Woodstock, saying that coming from working-class families meant they were both raised with an idea of what it meant to “grow up before greed.” He pitched a return to the values of his youth, when the working poor was not the largest growing class in America and teachers and education and labor were, according to him, valued differently.</p> <p>“We were the last generation to really benefit from that old economic model,” the 41-year-old said. “And we were standing —&nbsp;we still stand —&nbsp;on those values: integrity, honesty, decency, service, compassion, love, because that’s how we were raised.”</p> <p>Delgado’s central message to the roughly 100 people gathered — some of whom were clearly already supporters —&nbsp;was that his style of leadership and representation would emphasize accountability to his constituents and a higher moral standard for political leaders. At times prompted by questions and at times not, he repeatedly pitched a vision for the district that includes bipartisan infrastructure investment and decriminalized substance abuse, as well as job growth while preserving the environment. He emphasized civil discourse.</p> <p>“It’s important to set the example, for ourselves and the community beyond, of what democracy ought to look like and feel like,” Delgado said early in the evening, sounding more like Obama than Trump. “That we can disagree and do so agreeably. That we can be respectful towards each other, and be civil, and ground our conversation in intellectual honesty, and decency.”</p> <p>Delgado, who is African-American, is running against Faso, who is white, on a liberal platform in what has been a heated campaign where race has been a significant factor and racism has boiled to the surface. Should Delgado win, he would be the first person of color to represent New York’s 19th district in Congress.</p> <p>But Delgado hasn’t focused on race in his campaign — rather the need for a set of elected officials who can find common ground when dealing with diverse views and perspectives. Even as the National Republican Congressional Committee has run a series of ads highlighting the Harvard-trained lawyer and Rhodes scholar’s past foray into rap music, which <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/opinion/editorials/john-faso-antonio-delgado-congress-19th.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many have called</a> racialized or racist.</p> <p>At Friday’s town hall, Delgado joked about the ads, saying, “My parents were a little bemused by that choice not ‘cause of what I was saying but because they thought — well, you might want to use your law degree.”</p> <p>Delgado’s focus on issues he sees as unifying a divided constituency was clear as he sought to make his closing pitch, win votes, and inspire volunteers in the final days before the election. He gave charismatic oratory and detailed answers to questions about complex problems throughout the night.</p> <p>President Trump is <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1058762842629984256" target="_blank" rel="noopener">supporting</a> Faso, while former President Obama has endorsed Delgado. The race has received national attention both due to its closeness, as well as the amount of money raised and spent by both sides, and the controversial ads.</p> <p>While the attacks have flown, both candidates have also preached bipartisanship, understanding that the path to victory is through voters in the middle, perhaps many of them unaffiliated with any party.</p> <p>“Rebuilding and remaking this country anew, economically speaking, is where we can meet across the aisle,” Delgado said on Friday to a round of applause.</p> <p>For his part, Faso has run his campaign on promises to work on bipartisan legislation on healthcare, fixing immigration policy, climate change, and infrastructure.</p> <p>While Delgado applauded Faso’s support of the STOP Act, which deals with opioid abuse, on Friday he criticized several of Faso’s first term choices. Delgado disavowed Faso’s vote for the Financial Support Act, which he said enables risky lending practices for large banks, among others, and accused him of being swayed in office due to donations from big pharmaceutical companies. In contrast Delgado asked those in attendance to remember that his campaign has not taken any money from those drug companies.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“We don’t owe anybody in D.C. anything, no one brought me up, no one recruited me,” Delgado said to those gathered. “Only folks I care about and are beholden to, day in and day out, are you. And we need to restore that bar [for elected officials].”</p> <p>Faso voted against the Trump-led <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/taxes/trumps-tax-reform-plan-explained/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tax overhaul</a> and voted for the Trump-supported <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1628" target="_blank" rel="noopener">American Health Care Act of 2017</a>, which peeled back aspects of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.</p> <p>After beating out seven other Democrats in the June primary and earning 22% of the vote, Delgado has been able to raise significant funds and excite audiences with his speeches, but while polls show a close race, only Tuesday will tell whether he’s been able to capture enough of his primary opponents’ supporters and earn the confidence of thousands of other voters in this swing district.</p> <p>In New York and across the country, every seat in the House of Representatives is on the ballot this year, and as Democrats attempt to swing the chamber and take some control of government in Washington, the Delgado-Faso race is seen by some as one of the most critical bellwethers. If Democrats are going to take the House, it is the type of race they need to win.</p> <p>On the ground in Hyde Park before the town hall, constituents expressed very different needs and takes on the race, in which there are two other candidates: Steven Greenfield is the Green Party nominee, and Diane Neil is running as an independent.</p> <p>Lesley Pinto, the 20-year-old owner of El Guacamole in Hyde Park, plans to vote for Delgado in the hope that her two small local businesses will receive tax breaks, allowing her to buy a house with her husband, Carlos Pinto. She also likes his stance on immigration laws, as both her parents and many friends and family are Mexican immigrants.</p> <p>A 71-year-old man and his wife who own a small jewelry store in Hyde Park are firm Faso supporters. They spoke of their concern that social welfare programs are cutting into their profits as the minimum wage rises and tax breaks don’t favor them -- and they expressed doubts about Delgado’s promises to help small businesses. Episcopalians, they support Faso’s anti-abortion stance and, gun owners, appreciate his opposition to more gun regulations.</p> <p>Toward the end of the town hall, Delgado was asked how he would maintain his moral compass in office in the current political climate.</p> <p>“You,” Delgado said. “I’m gonna do the work for everyday Americans. I’m gonna come back and host town halls, just like this. I’m gonna show up and listen and be accountable.”</p> <p>***<br />by Brianna Zimmerman for Gotham Gazette</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/delgadotownhall_audience.jpg" alt="Antonio Delgado town hall" width="600" height="288" /></p> <p>Antonio Delgado at Friday's town hall (photo: Brianna Zimmerman)</p> <hr /> <p>Hyde Park, New York —&nbsp;In one of the most critical battleground races of the Congressional midterm elections, Democrat Antonio Delgado held the last town hall of his campaign in Dutchess County on Friday, seeking to cement his relationship with constituents and drive home his message of unity and solutions-based leadership. Delgado is attempting to swing New York’s 19th Congressional District out of Republican hands, part of Democrats’ national effort to win back the House of Representatives this fall. He’s facing incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso, who is seeking a second term representing parts of the state including the Catskills and Hudson Valley, north of New York City.</p> <p>The race appears close in a swing district with nearly even Democratic and Republican voter enrollment. It voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, then went for Donald Trump in 2016. <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York's_19th_Congressional_District" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The district is nearly 90% white</a>, and is characterized by small towns, a large constituency of farmers, small businesses, and the working poor, with huge infrastructure projects running through it like the Metro North rail line and the Taconic Parkway. Winning what was then an open seat due to the retirement of former Rep. Chris Gibson, a moderate Republican, Faso beat Zephyr Teachout in 2016 by a 9% margin as Trump won the district and the presidency.</p> <p>Tuesday’s polls showed this year’s Faso-Delgado race to have razor-thin margins, though Delgado was up by 5 points in <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2018/house/ny/new_york_19th_district_faso_vs_delgado-6350.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the most recent Monmouth survey</a>, other polls show Faso leading. Outside money has poured into the race, with both candidates receiving support from the national campaign committees of the two major parties, though controversy has accompanied ads paid for by Republicans.</p> <p>Both candidates have expressed support for bipartisanship in Congress, for local farmers, for bringing businesses back into the region, for protecting the gorgeous upstate environment, and for combating the opioid epidemic. They differ along party lines on other central issues to the campaign like gun rights, abortion, immigration, military funding, and healthcare.</p> <p>Over the course of an hour and a half on Friday night at St. James Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, Delgado spoke of his youth growing up in Schenectady and and his wife’s background in Woodstock, saying that coming from working-class families meant they were both raised with an idea of what it meant to “grow up before greed.” He pitched a return to the values of his youth, when the working poor was not the largest growing class in America and teachers and education and labor were, according to him, valued differently.</p> <p>“We were the last generation to really benefit from that old economic model,” the 41-year-old said. “And we were standing —&nbsp;we still stand —&nbsp;on those values: integrity, honesty, decency, service, compassion, love, because that’s how we were raised.”</p> <p>Delgado’s central message to the roughly 100 people gathered — some of whom were clearly already supporters —&nbsp;was that his style of leadership and representation would emphasize accountability to his constituents and a higher moral standard for political leaders. At times prompted by questions and at times not, he repeatedly pitched a vision for the district that includes bipartisan infrastructure investment and decriminalized substance abuse, as well as job growth while preserving the environment. He emphasized civil discourse.</p> <p>“It’s important to set the example, for ourselves and the community beyond, of what democracy ought to look like and feel like,” Delgado said early in the evening, sounding more like Obama than Trump. “That we can disagree and do so agreeably. That we can be respectful towards each other, and be civil, and ground our conversation in intellectual honesty, and decency.”</p> <p>Delgado, who is African-American, is running against Faso, who is white, on a liberal platform in what has been a heated campaign where race has been a significant factor and racism has boiled to the surface. Should Delgado win, he would be the first person of color to represent New York’s 19th district in Congress.</p> <p>But Delgado hasn’t focused on race in his campaign — rather the need for a set of elected officials who can find common ground when dealing with diverse views and perspectives. Even as the National Republican Congressional Committee has run a series of ads highlighting the Harvard-trained lawyer and Rhodes scholar’s past foray into rap music, which <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/opinion/editorials/john-faso-antonio-delgado-congress-19th.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many have called</a> racialized or racist.</p> <p>At Friday’s town hall, Delgado joked about the ads, saying, “My parents were a little bemused by that choice not ‘cause of what I was saying but because they thought — well, you might want to use your law degree.”</p> <p>Delgado’s focus on issues he sees as unifying a divided constituency was clear as he sought to make his closing pitch, win votes, and inspire volunteers in the final days before the election. He gave charismatic oratory and detailed answers to questions about complex problems throughout the night.</p> <p>President Trump is <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1058762842629984256" target="_blank" rel="noopener">supporting</a> Faso, while former President Obama has endorsed Delgado. The race has received national attention both due to its closeness, as well as the amount of money raised and spent by both sides, and the controversial ads.</p> <p>While the attacks have flown, both candidates have also preached bipartisanship, understanding that the path to victory is through voters in the middle, perhaps many of them unaffiliated with any party.</p> <p>“Rebuilding and remaking this country anew, economically speaking, is where we can meet across the aisle,” Delgado said on Friday to a round of applause.</p> <p>For his part, Faso has run his campaign on promises to work on bipartisan legislation on healthcare, fixing immigration policy, climate change, and infrastructure.</p> <p>While Delgado applauded Faso’s support of the STOP Act, which deals with opioid abuse, on Friday he criticized several of Faso’s first term choices. Delgado disavowed Faso’s vote for the Financial Support Act, which he said enables risky lending practices for large banks, among others, and accused him of being swayed in office due to donations from big pharmaceutical companies. In contrast Delgado asked those in attendance to remember that his campaign has not taken any money from those drug companies.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“We don’t owe anybody in D.C. anything, no one brought me up, no one recruited me,” Delgado said to those gathered. “Only folks I care about and are beholden to, day in and day out, are you. And we need to restore that bar [for elected officials].”</p> <p>Faso voted against the Trump-led <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/taxes/trumps-tax-reform-plan-explained/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tax overhaul</a> and voted for the Trump-supported <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1628" target="_blank" rel="noopener">American Health Care Act of 2017</a>, which peeled back aspects of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.</p> <p>After beating out seven other Democrats in the June primary and earning 22% of the vote, Delgado has been able to raise significant funds and excite audiences with his speeches, but while polls show a close race, only Tuesday will tell whether he’s been able to capture enough of his primary opponents’ supporters and earn the confidence of thousands of other voters in this swing district.</p> <p>In New York and across the country, every seat in the House of Representatives is on the ballot this year, and as Democrats attempt to swing the chamber and take some control of government in Washington, the Delgado-Faso race is seen by some as one of the most critical bellwethers. If Democrats are going to take the House, it is the type of race they need to win.</p> <p>On the ground in Hyde Park before the town hall, constituents expressed very different needs and takes on the race, in which there are two other candidates: Steven Greenfield is the Green Party nominee, and Diane Neil is running as an independent.</p> <p>Lesley Pinto, the 20-year-old owner of El Guacamole in Hyde Park, plans to vote for Delgado in the hope that her two small local businesses will receive tax breaks, allowing her to buy a house with her husband, Carlos Pinto. She also likes his stance on immigration laws, as both her parents and many friends and family are Mexican immigrants.</p> <p>A 71-year-old man and his wife who own a small jewelry store in Hyde Park are firm Faso supporters. They spoke of their concern that social welfare programs are cutting into their profits as the minimum wage rises and tax breaks don’t favor them -- and they expressed doubts about Delgado’s promises to help small businesses. Episcopalians, they support Faso’s anti-abortion stance and, gun owners, appreciate his opposition to more gun regulations.</p> <p>Toward the end of the town hall, Delgado was asked how he would maintain his moral compass in office in the current political climate.</p> <p>“You,” Delgado said. “I’m gonna do the work for everyday Americans. I’m gonna come back and host town halls, just like this. I’m gonna show up and listen and be accountable.”</p> <p>***<br />by Brianna Zimmerman for Gotham Gazette</p> New York Congressional Races to Watch - Start of October 2018-09-30T04:00:00+00:00 2018-09-30T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7964-new-york-congressional-races-to-watch-end-of-september Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/nydemoparty-dp.jpg" alt="nydemoparty dp" width="600" /></p> <p>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a NY rally (photo: New York Democratic Party)</p> <hr /> <p>Four-and-a-half months after Donald Trump became president, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a rally in New York City with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, pledging to help take back the lower chamber of Congress by flipping several New York seats through the midterm elections, which were then well over a year out.</p> <p>Those elections are now five weeks away, and, after his decisive victory in the gubernatorial primary on September 13, Cuomo held another rally recommitting himself and the state party he controls to the effort Democrats are waging across the country in the hopes of securing at least one foothold of power on the federal level.</p> <p>Along with his own reelection and that of his statewide state-level slate of party-mates, Cuomo has verbally committed to working to flip the New York State Senate and several U.S. House seats in the state. There are a number of potential targets for Democrats in New York in a year that is expected to see a so-called blue wave of energy and voter turnout in many parts of the country. That notion was bolstered in New York by an explosion in turnout for the primaries, which saw Cuomo dispatch Cynthia Nixon, but several progressive challengers unseat Democratic incumbents in the state Senate.</p> <p>With a reconstituted group of state Senate nominees, Democrats must flip only a net of one seat to take the majority in the upper chamber of the state Legislature, while they already enjoy a sweeping majority in the Assembly.</p> <p>As for House, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees’ national “Red to Blue” districts — a list of tens of races it is focusing its resources to unseat Republicans — includes five New York congressional races. A state that Hillary Clinton won over Trump by a 22.5 points in 2016, though of course redder in the districts home to competitive races, Democrats hope New York will be fertile ground for them in November.</p> <p>“I think we have to win at least two seats in New York to contribute to the overall effort to take back the house,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn and Queens told reporters after a recent event. Jeffries listed Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Max Rose (NY-11), and Dana Balter (NY-24) as Democratic candidates most likely to flip seats in November. &nbsp;</p> <p>“The progressive delegation is clear we have to play our part in delivering the House majority to Democrats, and the road to doing so runs in part through New York State,” Jeffries said.</p> <p>Asked about a recent commercial from Rose’s campaign that presents the Democratic candidate as an independent-minded candidate who doesn’t align himself with the leaders in either major party in Washington and New York — and attacks Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio by name — Jeffries said that as long as they speak “affirmatively talk about pocketbook issues,” it’s fine by him if candidates running in purple or red districts keep the more liberal party leadership at arm’s length. . &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi holds it against anyone,” he continued, “and she‘s basically indicated to everyone ‘Do what’s necessary to run the race that you have to run in your district.’”</p> <p>Many races are at least in part seen as referendums on Trump, his leadership, character, and policies. In some of the swing congressional districts in New York, the new federal tax reforms signed by Trump late last year are central campaign issues. The vote split New York’s Republican delegation, but even those like Donovan who voted against it may be forced to answer for it.</p> <p>Rep. Grace Meng of Queens was optimistic about the potential for New York races contributing to the Democrats effort to take control of the House in January, saying she expects Democrats to this year flip more seats than what is currently forecasted.</p> <p>“The definition of viable doesn’t necessarily hold in this political climate,” she said. “I’m hopeful for a lot of these races.”</p> <p>Meng went on to say there are many college campuses in the five swing district, so she is counting on young voters and campaigners to help push the candidates over the edge. “In these five districts, there are 23 college campuses,” she said, referring to the DCCC-identified “Red to Blue” candidates. “I’m hoping that our college-aged voters will make a difference.”</p> <p>Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan also said she expects young voters to make a difference, based on the elections this summer and earlier in the fall.</p> <p>“We saw that in the elections in New York, in the [Rep. Joe] Crowley race and some of the races that we just had in the State Senate,” she said in reference to to Crowley’s upset loss to insurgent democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the June primary and the September primary wins by state Senate primary challengers to the former members of the rogue Independent Democratic Conference that worked closely with Republicans.</p> <p>But while members of Congress who spoke to Gotham Gazette were eager to help out fellow Democratic House candidates, many eyes have turned to the state’s Democratic governor, and how he is spending his immense power, including his fundraising capabilities. As Politico<a href="https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/09/19/new-york-democrats-still-waiting-for-cuomos-help-620037" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> reported</a> recently, several Democrats in New York are waiting for Cuomo to fulfill his promise to allocate resources to competitive 2018 House races in the state. Recently released campaign finance filings from the Cuomo and the Cuomo-controlled New York State Democratic Committee showed that the governor spent over $26 million during the primary, the vast majority on his own campaign, and the state party spent about $1 million for Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in her primary win, and $860,000 for Public Advocate Letitia James in her successful attorney general primary bid. But the committee had spent no money on Congressional Democratic candidates as of September 25.</p> <p>A Cuomo campaign spokesperson stressed to Gotham Gazette that with the state primaries now over, the governor is turning his attention to the House and state Senate races. The spokesperson, Abbey Collins, also pointed out that from his campaign coffers, Cuomo has given max donations to the Democratic nominees in 10 House races and seven state Senate races, and said that the governor has several fundraisers with candidates already scheduled and is in the process of scheduling others, that he plans to campaign with Democratic candidates over the coming weeks, and that the state party has a robust organizing effort underway.</p> <p>"The Governor launched an aggressive coordinated campaign over a year ago and has laid a robust infrastructure to take back the House and State Senate to fight back against Donald Trump and Washington Republicans. As we head towards November, we will continue to build on the State Party’s dynamic field, data and mail program and ramp up fundraising and advertising efforts," Collins said in a statement. "There is no more urgent task ahead than defeating Trump and Democrats have never been more energized and united to win the day.”</p> <p>As Election Day approaches, Cuomo’s efforts for both the state Senate and House will be of interest, but his role will only be a piece of the puzzle in a variety of contests that will help determine which party controls the two chambers.</p> <p>In June, just after the congressional primaries, Gotham Gazette examined the congressional races to watch in <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7775-new-york-general-election-congressional-matchups-to-watch?edchoice=side" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York for the general election</a>. Since then, Democrats’ chances to gain seats in New York have only improved, by all projections. Below is an updated look at where things stand on the Congressional side, starting with the lone competitive New York City-based race, followed by numerical order by district beyond the five boroughs.</p> <p><strong>New York Congressional District 11</strong><br /> Rep. Dan Donovan, New York City’s sole Republican member of Congress, is facing a challenge this year from military veteran Max Rose, who is running as a middle-of-the-road Democrat in a district of diverse political leanings. District 11, comprised of Staten Island and parts of Southern Brooklyn, includes some of the city’s most conservative territory, some liberal areas, and a large portion of moderate neighborhoods full of Democrats who supported politicians like Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg, and Dan Donovan.</p> <p>The seat has largely been held by Republicans, and Trump is more popular in the district than any other in the city. Donovan, who defeated his predecessor, Michael Grimm in a hard-fought primary earlier this year, has touted his support for Trump, though he did vote against Trump’s signature tax reforms. The president endorsed Donovan in the primary.</p> <p>In a recent <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/09/17/staten-island-dem-launches-attack-ad-against-de-blasio/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ad</a>, Rose lamented the “traffic” and “drugs,” among other problems that the “establishment” — including Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is unpopular in the district — has allowed to feser in New York-11.</p> <p>Donovan is favored to win by the Cook Political Report, which places the seat he has represented since 2015 in the “likely Republican” category; Real Clear Politics is a bit more bullish on Rose’s chances, placing the seat in the “leans GOP” category. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>District 1</strong><br />New York’s first Congressional District, which includes most of eastern Long Island’s Suffolk County, is represented by Rep. Lee Zeldin, in his second term in the House. A President Donald Trump-supporting Republican in a district where he isn’t unpopular, Zeldin is perhaps the most likely of the “Red to Blue” districts to stay in Republican control.</p> <p>Perry Gershon, a commercial real estate lender, is the Democratic nominee, and faces an uphill climb in a district where Zeldin prevailed over his last Democratic opponent by over 15 percent. According Cook Report’s ranking of the district’s partisan leanings, the district compared to the rest of the country is R+5, which means the district went for Trump by five points more than the nation as a whole.</p> <p>Cook puts the seat in the “likely Republican” category as does Real Clear Politics. The race, however, was recently targeted by the DCC. And it was represented by a Democrat not long ago, noted Rep. Jeffries. &nbsp;</p> <p>“That is a race that I think can be won. Tim Bishop held that seat for six terms as a Democrat and just lost in 2014,” Jeffries said. “Trump did win the district in 2016 but his numbers are falling. But it’s a district that can be won, particularly in a Democratic wave.”</p> <p><strong>District 2</strong><br /> On Wednesday, the Cook Political Report moved Congressional District 2, held for decades by Rep. Peter King from being deemed an uncompetitive race to “likely Republican.” Vying to represent the South Shore of Long Island district is Democrat Liuba Grechen Shirley, who previously worked for nonprofits in global economic development and human rights as well as New York University and the United Nations Foundation.</p> <p>King has been in Congress for 25 years and has a <a href="https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/report-cards/2017/party-house-republican/ideology" target="_blank" rel="noopener">relatively moderate voting record,</a> though he is also a prominent Trump supporter on most topics. Cook Report has the district as R+3, and it voted for Trump by nine points. Still, given enrollment numbers, a wave election could put the seat in play if turnout for Democrats surges to the degree some are expecting.</p> <p><strong>District 18</strong><br />Coming off his second unsuccessful run for New York Attorney General, Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney will attempt to hold onto his seat against Republican opponent James O'Donnell, an Orange County legislator. District 18, a swing district, is currently “likely Democrat,” according to the Cook Political Report. Maloney in 2012 flipped the seat from red to blue, and has kept it in two elections since.</p> <p>During his bid to become the state’s chief legal executive, Maloney donated a lot of money from his House campaign tranche to that of his Attorney General campaign, sparking criticism, as well as a suit from fellow Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout. Maloney, holding a seat in a district that voted for Hillary Clinton by just a two-point margin, appears to remain popular, but it remains to be seen if Hudson Valley remain enamored with him in the wake of his third place finish in the Attorney General race. Democrats hope to hang on to his seat to amass a net gain of Congressional seats in New York races. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>District 19</strong><br />Held by Republican Rep. John Faso, New York’s 19th District, which includes parts of the Hudson Valley and Catskill region, voted for Trump by nearly a seven-point margin, but for Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008. Attempting to unseat Faso is Antonio Delgado, a Harvard graduate, corporate attorney, and former Rhodes Scholar. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The race has garnered a lot of media attention, in part because of what <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/opinion/7960-race-baiting-politics-has-no-place-in-our-district-or-any" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many regard</a> as <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/opinion/editorials/john-faso-antonio-delgado-congress-19th.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">race-baiting</a> ads run by Republicans, pointing to the facts that Delgado, who is black, in 2007 released a rap album and expressed certain left-wing views. A recently released <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djALdCJ4EEQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ad</a>, for example, labeled Delgado a “bit-city rapper.”</p> <p>Cook Political Report rates the district R+2 and a “Toss Up,” as does Real Clear Politics.</p> <p><strong>District 22</strong><br /> Another Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics “Toss Up” seat is Central New York’s 22nd Congressional District, including Rome, Utica and Cortland, and held by Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. Running against her in the Cook R+6 district is Anthony Brindisi, a member of the state Assembly, in a race that is among the DCCC’s prime targets in November.</p> <p>Brindisi is running on a centrist record while Tenney has largely leaned in to a more hard right orthodoxy, and is an unapologetic Trump supporter. They both have “A” ratings from the NRA, which Brindisi earned in part by voting against Cuomo’s SAFE Act, though that didn’t stop gun safety group Giffords from endorsing him.</p> <p><strong>District 24</strong><br /> Dana Balter, a lifelong educator and currently an assistant professor at Syracuse University, is running to unseat Republican Rep. John Katko, who represents the Syracuse-area 24th District. Katko, who has been in Congress since 2015, may be the most vulnerable Republican incumbent from the New York delegation.</p> <p>Though she is on the DNC”s Red to Blue list, Real Clear Politics and Cook Report both rate the race likely Republican. The district, however, is a Cook D+3, and Trump in 2016 lost the district by 3.6 points. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>District 27</strong><br />Republican Rep. Chris Collins, who has represented Western New York’s 23th District since unseating now-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in 2012, was Donald Trump’s first congressional endorser for president. Collins is now running for reelection despite having been indicted for insider trading.</p> <p>Nate McMurray, a Democrat and Grand Island town supervisor, is looking to unseat Collins, who had in the wake of his indictment told Republican leaders in the Buffalo area that he would work with them to get off the ballot, then reversed course, saying he will actively campaign. Real Clear Politics puts the race in its “Toss Up” category and Cook Political Report rates its “lean Republican.” Despite the district’s heavy red tilt — Trump won the district by over 24 points and it’s a Cook Political Report R+11 — Democrats have been potentially handed a gift in Collins’ legal troubles, which he is fighting.</p> <p>Prosecutors in August charged Collins with using information obtained via his seat in Congress about a drug company’s board to provide a stock tip to his son. There will be a court hearing on the case on October 11.</p> <p><em>Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.</em></p> <p> </p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/nydemoparty-dp.jpg" alt="nydemoparty dp" width="600" /></p> <p>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a NY rally (photo: New York Democratic Party)</p> <hr /> <p>Four-and-a-half months after Donald Trump became president, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a rally in New York City with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, pledging to help take back the lower chamber of Congress by flipping several New York seats through the midterm elections, which were then well over a year out.</p> <p>Those elections are now five weeks away, and, after his decisive victory in the gubernatorial primary on September 13, Cuomo held another rally recommitting himself and the state party he controls to the effort Democrats are waging across the country in the hopes of securing at least one foothold of power on the federal level.</p> <p>Along with his own reelection and that of his statewide state-level slate of party-mates, Cuomo has verbally committed to working to flip the New York State Senate and several U.S. House seats in the state. There are a number of potential targets for Democrats in New York in a year that is expected to see a so-called blue wave of energy and voter turnout in many parts of the country. That notion was bolstered in New York by an explosion in turnout for the primaries, which saw Cuomo dispatch Cynthia Nixon, but several progressive challengers unseat Democratic incumbents in the state Senate.</p> <p>With a reconstituted group of state Senate nominees, Democrats must flip only a net of one seat to take the majority in the upper chamber of the state Legislature, while they already enjoy a sweeping majority in the Assembly.</p> <p>As for House, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees’ national “Red to Blue” districts — a list of tens of races it is focusing its resources to unseat Republicans — includes five New York congressional races. A state that Hillary Clinton won over Trump by a 22.5 points in 2016, though of course redder in the districts home to competitive races, Democrats hope New York will be fertile ground for them in November.</p> <p>“I think we have to win at least two seats in New York to contribute to the overall effort to take back the house,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn and Queens told reporters after a recent event. Jeffries listed Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Max Rose (NY-11), and Dana Balter (NY-24) as Democratic candidates most likely to flip seats in November. &nbsp;</p> <p>“The progressive delegation is clear we have to play our part in delivering the House majority to Democrats, and the road to doing so runs in part through New York State,” Jeffries said.</p> <p>Asked about a recent commercial from Rose’s campaign that presents the Democratic candidate as an independent-minded candidate who doesn’t align himself with the leaders in either major party in Washington and New York — and attacks Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio by name — Jeffries said that as long as they speak “affirmatively talk about pocketbook issues,” it’s fine by him if candidates running in purple or red districts keep the more liberal party leadership at arm’s length. . &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi holds it against anyone,” he continued, “and she‘s basically indicated to everyone ‘Do what’s necessary to run the race that you have to run in your district.’”</p> <p>Many races are at least in part seen as referendums on Trump, his leadership, character, and policies. In some of the swing congressional districts in New York, the new federal tax reforms signed by Trump late last year are central campaign issues. The vote split New York’s Republican delegation, but even those like Donovan who voted against it may be forced to answer for it.</p> <p>Rep. Grace Meng of Queens was optimistic about the potential for New York races contributing to the Democrats effort to take control of the House in January, saying she expects Democrats to this year flip more seats than what is currently forecasted.</p> <p>“The definition of viable doesn’t necessarily hold in this political climate,” she said. “I’m hopeful for a lot of these races.”</p> <p>Meng went on to say there are many college campuses in the five swing district, so she is counting on young voters and campaigners to help push the candidates over the edge. “In these five districts, there are 23 college campuses,” she said, referring to the DCCC-identified “Red to Blue” candidates. “I’m hoping that our college-aged voters will make a difference.”</p> <p>Rep. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan also said she expects young voters to make a difference, based on the elections this summer and earlier in the fall.</p> <p>“We saw that in the elections in New York, in the [Rep. Joe] Crowley race and some of the races that we just had in the State Senate,” she said in reference to to Crowley’s upset loss to insurgent democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the June primary and the September primary wins by state Senate primary challengers to the former members of the rogue Independent Democratic Conference that worked closely with Republicans.</p> <p>But while members of Congress who spoke to Gotham Gazette were eager to help out fellow Democratic House candidates, many eyes have turned to the state’s Democratic governor, and how he is spending his immense power, including his fundraising capabilities. As Politico<a href="https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2018/09/19/new-york-democrats-still-waiting-for-cuomos-help-620037" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> reported</a> recently, several Democrats in New York are waiting for Cuomo to fulfill his promise to allocate resources to competitive 2018 House races in the state. Recently released campaign finance filings from the Cuomo and the Cuomo-controlled New York State Democratic Committee showed that the governor spent over $26 million during the primary, the vast majority on his own campaign, and the state party spent about $1 million for Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in her primary win, and $860,000 for Public Advocate Letitia James in her successful attorney general primary bid. But the committee had spent no money on Congressional Democratic candidates as of September 25.</p> <p>A Cuomo campaign spokesperson stressed to Gotham Gazette that with the state primaries now over, the governor is turning his attention to the House and state Senate races. The spokesperson, Abbey Collins, also pointed out that from his campaign coffers, Cuomo has given max donations to the Democratic nominees in 10 House races and seven state Senate races, and said that the governor has several fundraisers with candidates already scheduled and is in the process of scheduling others, that he plans to campaign with Democratic candidates over the coming weeks, and that the state party has a robust organizing effort underway.</p> <p>"The Governor launched an aggressive coordinated campaign over a year ago and has laid a robust infrastructure to take back the House and State Senate to fight back against Donald Trump and Washington Republicans. As we head towards November, we will continue to build on the State Party’s dynamic field, data and mail program and ramp up fundraising and advertising efforts," Collins said in a statement. "There is no more urgent task ahead than defeating Trump and Democrats have never been more energized and united to win the day.”</p> <p>As Election Day approaches, Cuomo’s efforts for both the state Senate and House will be of interest, but his role will only be a piece of the puzzle in a variety of contests that will help determine which party controls the two chambers.</p> <p>In June, just after the congressional primaries, Gotham Gazette examined the congressional races to watch in <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7775-new-york-general-election-congressional-matchups-to-watch?edchoice=side" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York for the general election</a>. Since then, Democrats’ chances to gain seats in New York have only improved, by all projections. Below is an updated look at where things stand on the Congressional side, starting with the lone competitive New York City-based race, followed by numerical order by district beyond the five boroughs.</p> <p><strong>New York Congressional District 11</strong><br /> Rep. Dan Donovan, New York City’s sole Republican member of Congress, is facing a challenge this year from military veteran Max Rose, who is running as a middle-of-the-road Democrat in a district of diverse political leanings. District 11, comprised of Staten Island and parts of Southern Brooklyn, includes some of the city’s most conservative territory, some liberal areas, and a large portion of moderate neighborhoods full of Democrats who supported politicians like Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg, and Dan Donovan.</p> <p>The seat has largely been held by Republicans, and Trump is more popular in the district than any other in the city. Donovan, who defeated his predecessor, Michael Grimm in a hard-fought primary earlier this year, has touted his support for Trump, though he did vote against Trump’s signature tax reforms. The president endorsed Donovan in the primary.</p> <p>In a recent <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/09/17/staten-island-dem-launches-attack-ad-against-de-blasio/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ad</a>, Rose lamented the “traffic” and “drugs,” among other problems that the “establishment” — including Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is unpopular in the district — has allowed to feser in New York-11.</p> <p>Donovan is favored to win by the Cook Political Report, which places the seat he has represented since 2015 in the “likely Republican” category; Real Clear Politics is a bit more bullish on Rose’s chances, placing the seat in the “leans GOP” category. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>District 1</strong><br />New York’s first Congressional District, which includes most of eastern Long Island’s Suffolk County, is represented by Rep. Lee Zeldin, in his second term in the House. A President Donald Trump-supporting Republican in a district where he isn’t unpopular, Zeldin is perhaps the most likely of the “Red to Blue” districts to stay in Republican control.</p> <p>Perry Gershon, a commercial real estate lender, is the Democratic nominee, and faces an uphill climb in a district where Zeldin prevailed over his last Democratic opponent by over 15 percent. According Cook Report’s ranking of the district’s partisan leanings, the district compared to the rest of the country is R+5, which means the district went for Trump by five points more than the nation as a whole.</p> <p>Cook puts the seat in the “likely Republican” category as does Real Clear Politics. The race, however, was recently targeted by the DCC. And it was represented by a Democrat not long ago, noted Rep. Jeffries. &nbsp;</p> <p>“That is a race that I think can be won. Tim Bishop held that seat for six terms as a Democrat and just lost in 2014,” Jeffries said. “Trump did win the district in 2016 but his numbers are falling. But it’s a district that can be won, particularly in a Democratic wave.”</p> <p><strong>District 2</strong><br /> On Wednesday, the Cook Political Report moved Congressional District 2, held for decades by Rep. Peter King from being deemed an uncompetitive race to “likely Republican.” Vying to represent the South Shore of Long Island district is Democrat Liuba Grechen Shirley, who previously worked for nonprofits in global economic development and human rights as well as New York University and the United Nations Foundation.</p> <p>King has been in Congress for 25 years and has a <a href="https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/report-cards/2017/party-house-republican/ideology" target="_blank" rel="noopener">relatively moderate voting record,</a> though he is also a prominent Trump supporter on most topics. Cook Report has the district as R+3, and it voted for Trump by nine points. Still, given enrollment numbers, a wave election could put the seat in play if turnout for Democrats surges to the degree some are expecting.</p> <p><strong>District 18</strong><br />Coming off his second unsuccessful run for New York Attorney General, Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney will attempt to hold onto his seat against Republican opponent James O'Donnell, an Orange County legislator. District 18, a swing district, is currently “likely Democrat,” according to the Cook Political Report. Maloney in 2012 flipped the seat from red to blue, and has kept it in two elections since.</p> <p>During his bid to become the state’s chief legal executive, Maloney donated a lot of money from his House campaign tranche to that of his Attorney General campaign, sparking criticism, as well as a suit from fellow Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout. Maloney, holding a seat in a district that voted for Hillary Clinton by just a two-point margin, appears to remain popular, but it remains to be seen if Hudson Valley remain enamored with him in the wake of his third place finish in the Attorney General race. Democrats hope to hang on to his seat to amass a net gain of Congressional seats in New York races. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>District 19</strong><br />Held by Republican Rep. John Faso, New York’s 19th District, which includes parts of the Hudson Valley and Catskill region, voted for Trump by nearly a seven-point margin, but for Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008. Attempting to unseat Faso is Antonio Delgado, a Harvard graduate, corporate attorney, and former Rhodes Scholar. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The race has garnered a lot of media attention, in part because of what <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/opinion/7960-race-baiting-politics-has-no-place-in-our-district-or-any" target="_blank" rel="noopener">many regard</a> as <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/opinion/editorials/john-faso-antonio-delgado-congress-19th.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">race-baiting</a> ads run by Republicans, pointing to the facts that Delgado, who is black, in 2007 released a rap album and expressed certain left-wing views. A recently released <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djALdCJ4EEQ" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ad</a>, for example, labeled Delgado a “bit-city rapper.”</p> <p>Cook Political Report rates the district R+2 and a “Toss Up,” as does Real Clear Politics.</p> <p><strong>District 22</strong><br /> Another Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics “Toss Up” seat is Central New York’s 22nd Congressional District, including Rome, Utica and Cortland, and held by Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney. Running against her in the Cook R+6 district is Anthony Brindisi, a member of the state Assembly, in a race that is among the DCCC’s prime targets in November.</p> <p>Brindisi is running on a centrist record while Tenney has largely leaned in to a more hard right orthodoxy, and is an unapologetic Trump supporter. They both have “A” ratings from the NRA, which Brindisi earned in part by voting against Cuomo’s SAFE Act, though that didn’t stop gun safety group Giffords from endorsing him.</p> <p><strong>District 24</strong><br /> Dana Balter, a lifelong educator and currently an assistant professor at Syracuse University, is running to unseat Republican Rep. John Katko, who represents the Syracuse-area 24th District. Katko, who has been in Congress since 2015, may be the most vulnerable Republican incumbent from the New York delegation.</p> <p>Though she is on the DNC”s Red to Blue list, Real Clear Politics and Cook Report both rate the race likely Republican. The district, however, is a Cook D+3, and Trump in 2016 lost the district by 3.6 points. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>District 27</strong><br />Republican Rep. Chris Collins, who has represented Western New York’s 23th District since unseating now-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul in 2012, was Donald Trump’s first congressional endorser for president. Collins is now running for reelection despite having been indicted for insider trading.</p> <p>Nate McMurray, a Democrat and Grand Island town supervisor, is looking to unseat Collins, who had in the wake of his indictment told Republican leaders in the Buffalo area that he would work with them to get off the ballot, then reversed course, saying he will actively campaign. Real Clear Politics puts the race in its “Toss Up” category and Cook Political Report rates its “lean Republican.” Despite the district’s heavy red tilt — Trump won the district by over 24 points and it’s a Cook Political Report R+11 — Democrats have been potentially handed a gift in Collins’ legal troubles, which he is fighting.</p> <p>Prosecutors in August charged Collins with using information obtained via his seat in Congress about a drug company’s board to provide a stock tip to his son. There will be a court hearing on the case on October 11.</p> <p><em>Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.</em></p> <p> </p> New York General Election Congressional Matchups to Watch - End of June 2018-06-27T04:00:00+00:00 2018-06-27T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7775-new-york-general-election-congressional-matchups-to-watch Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/rosen-donovan.jpg" alt="rosen donovan" /></p> <p>Dan Donovan (center) &amp; Max Rose (photos via @dandonovan_ny &amp; @MaxRose4NY)</p> <hr /> <p>The congressional primaries in New York on Tuesday saw a shocking defeat for a Democratic party giant in Queens while other Democratic incumbents in the city held on with close margins. And on Staten Island, a closely-watched Republican primary ended with a wider margin for the incumbent victor than expected.</p> <p>[Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7770-ocasio-cortez-upsets-crowley-donovan-defeats-grimm-other-2018-new-york-congressional-primary-results" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ocasio-Cortez Upsets Crowley, Donovan Defeats Grimm &amp; Other 2018 New York Congressional Primary Results</a>]</p> <p>All eyes will now turn to the general election, with the full slate of candidates in focus. Nationally, Democrats are attempting to claw back a majority in the 435-seat House of Representatives by flipping key Republican seats -- they currently hold 193 seats and Republicans hold 235, and there are seven vacancies -- while Republicans are hoping to fend off a blue wave that has put them on the back foot in dozens of races across the country. New York races are expected to factor significantly into the House balance of power.</p> <p>In New York, according to <a href="https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Cook Political Report</a>, there are five competitive congressional races, all held by Republicans, among the state’s 27 seats. Two are considered a toss-up -- the District 19 seat held by Rep. John Faso and the District 22 seat held by Rep. Claudia Tenney; the District 11 seat, where incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan prevailed in Tuesday’s primary, leans Republican; and District 1, held by Rep. Lee Zeldin, and District 24, held by Rep. &nbsp;John Katko, per Cook’s predictions, are considered “likely Republican.”</p> <p>The Donovan seat is the only congressional district held by Republicans in New York City.</p> <p>The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is more closely focused on Districts 11 and 22, under its organized ‘Red to Blue’ effort, backing army veteran Max Rose to challenge Donovan, and state Assembly member Anthony Brindisi against Tenney.</p> <p>And there are still other races where candidates are seen as more long-shots to win, but given the surprise leveled Tuesday by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley and the successes of Democrats, especially women, in other races in New York and elsewhere since Donald Trump’s election, some additional districts may be in play. For example, Liuba Grechen Shirley won her Democratic primary Tuesday and will now attempt to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Peter King on Long Island.</p> <p>Governor Andrew Cuomo, a two-term Democrat running for reelection himself, has also committed the state Democratic Party’s machinery to support Democratic congressional challengers. “Our focus now must turn to winning back the House of Representatives, and the road to accomplishing that runs right through New York State,” Cuomo said, in an email blast sent out by the state party on Wednesday morning. “The only way to stop Donald Trump and his hateful agenda over the next two years is to win back the House of Representatives,” he added, appealing for volunteers to join phone banking and canvassing efforts in the next few weeks.</p> <p>As New York and the country move toward November’s Election Day, congressional races are now set, while state-level primaries will happen on September 13 for all 213 seats in the state Legislature and the state-wide posts of governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, and attorney general. While those elections are being fought out, throughout the summer and into the fall, there will also be a good deal of attention of the state’s most contentious congressional races.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 11</strong></span><br /> After a caustic primary battle, Rep. Dan Donovan, a former district attorney, emerged victorious over Michael Grimm, who held the seat before Donovan but resigned after pleading guilty on charges of tax fraud. Both candidates tried to ride the coattails of Republican President Donald Trump, tying their records to his own in a district that overwhelmingly voted for him in 2016 -- the district covers all of Staten Island and a small section of southern Brooklyn.</p> <p>Grimm, despite his felony conviction, had a strong base of support on Staten Island but Trump endorsed Donovan a few weeks before the primary, pushing him far over the top in what became one of the most hard-fought primaries across the state. Donovan claimed victory with 63.9 percent of the vote to Grimm’s 36.1 percent.</p> <p>On the Democrat side, decorated army veteran Max Rose emerged victorious with a similar vote share, pulling in 64.7 percent to beat five other Democrats for the nomination. Rose ran a well-funded campaign with support from the DCCC, raising a total of $1.6 million through June 6, according to Federal Election Commission filings.</p> <p>Rose was formerly an executive at a nonprofit health care organization and worked as director of public engagement and special assistant under late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. He has received endorsements from several local and state-level elected Democrats as well as prominent national Democrats -- including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Rep. Crowley. He was also backed by the local Brooklyn City Council Member, Justin Brannan. The Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party endorsed him, as did several unions and political action groups. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>In a brief phone interview Wednesday, Rose said he will stay the course on his approach to the campaign. “The strategy does not change,” he said of moving on to the general election. Rose said his opponent “will do and say anything” to get reelected, including attempting to rewrite his record as he moves closer to the president. “So we’re gonna win the old-fashioned way. We’re gonna take it day-by-day, door-by-door, and Dan Donovan doesn’t stand a chance,” he said.</p> <p>Though the district is split between two boroughs, Rose said his pitch wouldn’t be determined by the community where he campaigns, but rather by the bread-and-butter issues that residents care about. “[W]hat matters is what is troubling voters each and every day,” he said, pointing to crumbling infrastructure, interminable commutes, an increasing cost-of-living and the hundreds of opioid overdoses in Staten Island.</p> <p>“We have got to earn voters’ trust first and then convince them that it does not have to be this way under any circumstances,” he said.</p> <p>“People are disgusted across the board,” he continued. “We don’t have a South Brooklyn strategy, a Tottenville strategy, a St. George Strategy. That’s what’s wrong with politics, is that politicians try to slice and dice the electorate. They use poll-testing and based off some high-level analytics they say one thing to the community here and…say something in another community.”</p> <p>For his part, Donovan used part of his victory speech Tuesday night to stress the importance of holding onto the GOP’s lone New York City congressional seat, and he connected the race to the larger battle for the House, warning his supporters that Democrats want to impeach Trump if they win control of the chamber.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 19</strong></span><br />Republican John Faso currently holds the District 19 seat in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills but is widely seen as a vulnerable incumbent in a toss-up seat. A former state Assembly member, Faso won the seat in 2016 after the retirement of Republican Rep. Chris Gibson. Like Donovan, Faso voted against the recent tax cuts passed by Congress and signed by Trump, and has also <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/06/20/gop-lawmaker-rips-zero-tolerance-policy-at-mexico-border/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">criticized</a> the president’s “zero tolerance” policy that separated thousands of &nbsp;migrant children from their parents. He ran unopposed in the primary and FEC filings show he has about $1.1 million in his campaign coffers.</p> <p>Faso’s Democratic opponent in the general is Harvard Law graduate and Rhodes scholar Antonio Delgado, who won in a crowded primary that saw millions in campaign money <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/nyregion/faso-rhodes-19th-midterm-election.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">coming in</a> for all the candidates. Delgado was <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2018/05/ny-19-delgado-receives-citizen-action-endorsement/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">endorsed</a> by Citizen Action of New York, a progressive, left-leaning organization that is now one of the few groups at the core of the Working Families Party. Delgado secured about 22 percent of the vote, which was enough to place him first over six other Democrats. He outraised all his primary opponents and has about $759,000 left for the general election. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 1</strong></span><br />Last night, <a href="https://www.perrygershon.com/about/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Perry Gershon</a>, a former businessman who’s framed his race as one against Trump, won the Democratic Party’s nomination to run in this eastern Long Island district. The Cook Political Report <a href="https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rates</a> NY-01 as “Likely Republican,” and it went twice for Barack Obama before supporting Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Gershon will challenge two-term Republican incumbent Rep. <a href="https://zeldinforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lee Zeldin</a>, who won re-election in 2016 by 16 points over his Democratic opponent. As of June 6, Zeldin maintains over a <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY01" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3-1 fundraising lead</a> over Gershon.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 2</strong></span><br />First-time candidate Democrat <a href="https://www.liubaforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Liuba Grechen Shirley</a> will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. <a href="https://peteking.house.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Peter King</a>, who has been in office since 1992, in this Long Island district that also voted for Trump after supporting Obama twice. King won his most recent re-election with 62.5% of the vote, defeating Democrat DuWayne Gregory, who also lost to Grechen Shirley in Tuesday’s primary election. The day after her primary victory, Grechen Shirley challenged King, who recently <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/24/politics/kfile-pete-king-town-halls/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">said</a> that town halls “diminish democracy,” to a series of five public debates. The incumbent, as of the beginning of the month, has over <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY02" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$3 million</a> on hand, while Grechen Shirley has slightly less than <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY02" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$150,000</a> left over after her primary campaign.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 3</strong></span><br />Democrat Rep. <a href="http://suozziforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tom Suozzi</a> won his seat in this district covering Long Island’s North Shore and part of Queens by a six-percent margin in 2016. NY-3 is narrowly Democratic, and it voted for Clinton in 2016 by the same margin as Suozzi. Republican challenger <a href="http://www.debonoforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dan DeBono</a> ran unopposed in the Republican primary but, going into the general election, has less than <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY03" target="_blank" rel="noopener">one-tenth</a> of the cash on hand as the incumbent. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 22</strong></span><br />First-term Republican Rep. <a href="https://tenney.house.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Claudia Tenney</a> narrowly won this large, rural, and majority-white central New York district in 2016. Democratic State Assembly Member <a href="https://brindisiforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Anthony Brindisi</a>, who faced no primary challenger, will challenge Tenney in the general election. Tenney is a <a href="https://swingleft.org/static/resources/primers/district-primer-NY-22.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hardline conservative</a> endorsed by the Tea Party and the National Rifle Association, and the district went for Donald Trump by 16 percent in 2016.</p> <p>Brindisi’s fundraising has, at times, <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/category/ny-22/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">outpaced Tenney’s</a>, and, as of June 6, the challenger maintains a $400,000 cash lead over Tenney. An <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/category/ny-22/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">April poll</a> conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported that 50% of voters in the district would favor Brindisi, who has been attempting to appeal to the district’s moderate Republicans, in the general election, compared to 44% supporting Tenney.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 24</strong></span><br />In this central New York district that voted for Trump once and Obama twice, Democratic law professor <a href="https://electdanabalter.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dana Balter</a> will face off against incumbent Republican Rep. <a href="https://katko.house.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">John Katko</a>. Katko <a href="https://swingleft.org/static/resources/primers/district-primer-NY-24.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">styles himself</a> a moderate Republican, claiming to have written in Nikki Haley’s name for president in 2016, though he has voted in line with the president approximately 90 percent of the time. Running for a third term in the House of Representatives, Katko won both his previous races by margins of <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_24th_Congressional_District" target="_blank" rel="noopener">about twenty percent</a>. He maintains a <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY24&amp;spec=N" target="_blank" rel="noopener">13-1 fundraising lead</a> over Balter, who <a href="https://electdanabalter.com/issues/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">advocates</a> for Medicare-for-All, a carbon tax, and elimination of cash bail.</p> <p>***<br /> by Samar Khurshid and Daniel Yadin</p> <p>

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by Samar Khurshid, Senior reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/rosen-donovan.jpg" alt="rosen donovan" /></p> <p>Dan Donovan (center) &amp; Max Rose (photos via @dandonovan_ny &amp; @MaxRose4NY)</p> <hr /> <p>The congressional primaries in New York on Tuesday saw a shocking defeat for a Democratic party giant in Queens while other Democratic incumbents in the city held on with close margins. And on Staten Island, a closely-watched Republican primary ended with a wider margin for the incumbent victor than expected.</p> <p>[Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7770-ocasio-cortez-upsets-crowley-donovan-defeats-grimm-other-2018-new-york-congressional-primary-results" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ocasio-Cortez Upsets Crowley, Donovan Defeats Grimm &amp; Other 2018 New York Congressional Primary Results</a>]</p> <p>All eyes will now turn to the general election, with the full slate of candidates in focus. Nationally, Democrats are attempting to claw back a majority in the 435-seat House of Representatives by flipping key Republican seats -- they currently hold 193 seats and Republicans hold 235, and there are seven vacancies -- while Republicans are hoping to fend off a blue wave that has put them on the back foot in dozens of races across the country. New York races are expected to factor significantly into the House balance of power.</p> <p>In New York, according to <a href="https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Cook Political Report</a>, there are five competitive congressional races, all held by Republicans, among the state’s 27 seats. Two are considered a toss-up -- the District 19 seat held by Rep. John Faso and the District 22 seat held by Rep. Claudia Tenney; the District 11 seat, where incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan prevailed in Tuesday’s primary, leans Republican; and District 1, held by Rep. Lee Zeldin, and District 24, held by Rep. &nbsp;John Katko, per Cook’s predictions, are considered “likely Republican.”</p> <p>The Donovan seat is the only congressional district held by Republicans in New York City.</p> <p>The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is more closely focused on Districts 11 and 22, under its organized ‘Red to Blue’ effort, backing army veteran Max Rose to challenge Donovan, and state Assembly member Anthony Brindisi against Tenney.</p> <p>And there are still other races where candidates are seen as more long-shots to win, but given the surprise leveled Tuesday by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley and the successes of Democrats, especially women, in other races in New York and elsewhere since Donald Trump’s election, some additional districts may be in play. For example, Liuba Grechen Shirley won her Democratic primary Tuesday and will now attempt to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Peter King on Long Island.</p> <p>Governor Andrew Cuomo, a two-term Democrat running for reelection himself, has also committed the state Democratic Party’s machinery to support Democratic congressional challengers. “Our focus now must turn to winning back the House of Representatives, and the road to accomplishing that runs right through New York State,” Cuomo said, in an email blast sent out by the state party on Wednesday morning. “The only way to stop Donald Trump and his hateful agenda over the next two years is to win back the House of Representatives,” he added, appealing for volunteers to join phone banking and canvassing efforts in the next few weeks.</p> <p>As New York and the country move toward November’s Election Day, congressional races are now set, while state-level primaries will happen on September 13 for all 213 seats in the state Legislature and the state-wide posts of governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, and attorney general. While those elections are being fought out, throughout the summer and into the fall, there will also be a good deal of attention of the state’s most contentious congressional races.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 11</strong></span><br /> After a caustic primary battle, Rep. Dan Donovan, a former district attorney, emerged victorious over Michael Grimm, who held the seat before Donovan but resigned after pleading guilty on charges of tax fraud. Both candidates tried to ride the coattails of Republican President Donald Trump, tying their records to his own in a district that overwhelmingly voted for him in 2016 -- the district covers all of Staten Island and a small section of southern Brooklyn.</p> <p>Grimm, despite his felony conviction, had a strong base of support on Staten Island but Trump endorsed Donovan a few weeks before the primary, pushing him far over the top in what became one of the most hard-fought primaries across the state. Donovan claimed victory with 63.9 percent of the vote to Grimm’s 36.1 percent.</p> <p>On the Democrat side, decorated army veteran Max Rose emerged victorious with a similar vote share, pulling in 64.7 percent to beat five other Democrats for the nomination. Rose ran a well-funded campaign with support from the DCCC, raising a total of $1.6 million through June 6, according to Federal Election Commission filings.</p> <p>Rose was formerly an executive at a nonprofit health care organization and worked as director of public engagement and special assistant under late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. He has received endorsements from several local and state-level elected Democrats as well as prominent national Democrats -- including U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Rep. Crowley. He was also backed by the local Brooklyn City Council Member, Justin Brannan. The Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party endorsed him, as did several unions and political action groups. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>In a brief phone interview Wednesday, Rose said he will stay the course on his approach to the campaign. “The strategy does not change,” he said of moving on to the general election. Rose said his opponent “will do and say anything” to get reelected, including attempting to rewrite his record as he moves closer to the president. “So we’re gonna win the old-fashioned way. We’re gonna take it day-by-day, door-by-door, and Dan Donovan doesn’t stand a chance,” he said.</p> <p>Though the district is split between two boroughs, Rose said his pitch wouldn’t be determined by the community where he campaigns, but rather by the bread-and-butter issues that residents care about. “[W]hat matters is what is troubling voters each and every day,” he said, pointing to crumbling infrastructure, interminable commutes, an increasing cost-of-living and the hundreds of opioid overdoses in Staten Island.</p> <p>“We have got to earn voters’ trust first and then convince them that it does not have to be this way under any circumstances,” he said.</p> <p>“People are disgusted across the board,” he continued. “We don’t have a South Brooklyn strategy, a Tottenville strategy, a St. George Strategy. That’s what’s wrong with politics, is that politicians try to slice and dice the electorate. They use poll-testing and based off some high-level analytics they say one thing to the community here and…say something in another community.”</p> <p>For his part, Donovan used part of his victory speech Tuesday night to stress the importance of holding onto the GOP’s lone New York City congressional seat, and he connected the race to the larger battle for the House, warning his supporters that Democrats want to impeach Trump if they win control of the chamber.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 19</strong></span><br />Republican John Faso currently holds the District 19 seat in the Hudson Valley and the Catskills but is widely seen as a vulnerable incumbent in a toss-up seat. A former state Assembly member, Faso won the seat in 2016 after the retirement of Republican Rep. Chris Gibson. Like Donovan, Faso voted against the recent tax cuts passed by Congress and signed by Trump, and has also <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/06/20/gop-lawmaker-rips-zero-tolerance-policy-at-mexico-border/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">criticized</a> the president’s “zero tolerance” policy that separated thousands of &nbsp;migrant children from their parents. He ran unopposed in the primary and FEC filings show he has about $1.1 million in his campaign coffers.</p> <p>Faso’s Democratic opponent in the general is Harvard Law graduate and Rhodes scholar Antonio Delgado, who won in a crowded primary that saw millions in campaign money <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/nyregion/faso-rhodes-19th-midterm-election.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">coming in</a> for all the candidates. Delgado was <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2018/05/ny-19-delgado-receives-citizen-action-endorsement/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">endorsed</a> by Citizen Action of New York, a progressive, left-leaning organization that is now one of the few groups at the core of the Working Families Party. Delgado secured about 22 percent of the vote, which was enough to place him first over six other Democrats. He outraised all his primary opponents and has about $759,000 left for the general election. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 1</strong></span><br />Last night, <a href="https://www.perrygershon.com/about/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Perry Gershon</a>, a former businessman who’s framed his race as one against Trump, won the Democratic Party’s nomination to run in this eastern Long Island district. The Cook Political Report <a href="https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rates</a> NY-01 as “Likely Republican,” and it went twice for Barack Obama before supporting Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Gershon will challenge two-term Republican incumbent Rep. <a href="https://zeldinforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Lee Zeldin</a>, who won re-election in 2016 by 16 points over his Democratic opponent. As of June 6, Zeldin maintains over a <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY01" target="_blank" rel="noopener">3-1 fundraising lead</a> over Gershon.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 2</strong></span><br />First-time candidate Democrat <a href="https://www.liubaforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Liuba Grechen Shirley</a> will challenge incumbent Republican Rep. <a href="https://peteking.house.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Peter King</a>, who has been in office since 1992, in this Long Island district that also voted for Trump after supporting Obama twice. King won his most recent re-election with 62.5% of the vote, defeating Democrat DuWayne Gregory, who also lost to Grechen Shirley in Tuesday’s primary election. The day after her primary victory, Grechen Shirley challenged King, who recently <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/24/politics/kfile-pete-king-town-halls/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">said</a> that town halls “diminish democracy,” to a series of five public debates. The incumbent, as of the beginning of the month, has over <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY02" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$3 million</a> on hand, while Grechen Shirley has slightly less than <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY02" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$150,000</a> left over after her primary campaign.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 3</strong></span><br />Democrat Rep. <a href="http://suozziforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Tom Suozzi</a> won his seat in this district covering Long Island’s North Shore and part of Queens by a six-percent margin in 2016. NY-3 is narrowly Democratic, and it voted for Clinton in 2016 by the same margin as Suozzi. Republican challenger <a href="http://www.debonoforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dan DeBono</a> ran unopposed in the Republican primary but, going into the general election, has less than <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY03" target="_blank" rel="noopener">one-tenth</a> of the cash on hand as the incumbent. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 22</strong></span><br />First-term Republican Rep. <a href="https://tenney.house.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Claudia Tenney</a> narrowly won this large, rural, and majority-white central New York district in 2016. Democratic State Assembly Member <a href="https://brindisiforcongress.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Anthony Brindisi</a>, who faced no primary challenger, will challenge Tenney in the general election. Tenney is a <a href="https://swingleft.org/static/resources/primers/district-primer-NY-22.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">hardline conservative</a> endorsed by the Tea Party and the National Rifle Association, and the district went for Donald Trump by 16 percent in 2016.</p> <p>Brindisi’s fundraising has, at times, <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/category/ny-22/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">outpaced Tenney’s</a>, and, as of June 6, the challenger maintains a $400,000 cash lead over Tenney. An <a href="http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/category/ny-22/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">April poll</a> conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported that 50% of voters in the district would favor Brindisi, who has been attempting to appeal to the district’s moderate Republicans, in the general election, compared to 44% supporting Tenney.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>District 24</strong></span><br />In this central New York district that voted for Trump once and Obama twice, Democratic law professor <a href="https://electdanabalter.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dana Balter</a> will face off against incumbent Republican Rep. <a href="https://katko.house.gov/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">John Katko</a>. Katko <a href="https://swingleft.org/static/resources/primers/district-primer-NY-24.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener">styles himself</a> a moderate Republican, claiming to have written in Nikki Haley’s name for president in 2016, though he has voted in line with the president approximately 90 percent of the time. Running for a third term in the House of Representatives, Katko won both his previous races by margins of <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_24th_Congressional_District" target="_blank" rel="noopener">about twenty percent</a>. He maintains a <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY24&amp;spec=N" target="_blank" rel="noopener">13-1 fundraising lead</a> over Balter, who <a href="https://electdanabalter.com/issues/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">advocates</a> for Medicare-for-All, a carbon tax, and elimination of cash bail.</p> <p>***<br /> by Samar Khurshid and Daniel Yadin</p> <p>

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by Samar Khurshid, Senior reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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Ocasio-Cortez Upsets Crowley, Donovan Defeats Grimm & Other 2018 New York Congressional Primary Results 2018-06-26T04:00:00+00:00 2018-06-26T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7770-ocasio-cortez-upsets-crowley-donovan-defeats-grimm-other-2018-new-york-congressional-primary-results Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/ocasio_cortz_buttons.jpg" alt="ocasio-cortez campaign buttons" width="600" height="487" /></p> <p>Ocasio-Cortez campaign buttons (image via @Ocasio2018)</p> <hr /> <p>Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old self-identified democratic socialist, unseated 10-term Congressional representative and Queens Democratic Party leader Joe Crowley in a dramatic upset quickly having ripple effects both locally and nationally. And she won handily, by about 4,000 votes and a 57.5 to 42.5 percent margin.</p> <p>Crowley entered the House in 1999 and maintained a largely center-left voting record; he was seen as a strong contender to become the next Democratic Speaker of the House, after Nancy Pelosi. Crowley is also the chair of the Queens Democratic Party, making him<a href="https://www.villagevoice.com/2017/06/19/the-most-powerful-democrat-in-queens-must-finally-compete/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> one of the most powerful kingmakers in New York City politics</a>. Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina from the Bronx, ran an aggressive, organized, energetic campaign to Crowley’s left,<a href="https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018/status/1001795660524457985?ref_src=twsrc^tfw&amp;ref_url=https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/26/17501194/crowley-ocasio-cortez-new-york-primary-midterms-democrats" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> accusing</a> the incumbent of acquiescing to real estate and financial interests rather than adequately representing constituents of the district. She has professed support for Medicare for All (which Crowley also supported during the campaign), a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and abolishing ICE.</p> <p>She further distinguished herself from Crowley by refusing money from corporate PACs; Crowley, a prolific fundraiser for the party, has raised millions of dollars over the course of his career from corporations. Crowley significantly outraised and outspent Ocasio-Cortez, but she made up for it with a significant social media presence, strong ground game, and glowing profiles in national publications. Crowley raised more eyebrows when he failed to show up for a debate with Ocasio-Cortez,<a href="https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/news-politics/joe-crowley-sends-annabel-palma-to-debate-in-his-place" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> instead</a> sending former City Council Member Annabel Palma in his place, which earned him a rebuke from The New York Times editorial board.</p> <p>Ocasio-Cortez has said that her campaign is part of a movement, emblematic of a far-left wave that is seeking to take over the Democratic primary in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, and with a chance to flip the House at stake this fall. She is all but certain to win the general election, something Crowley noted in a gracious concession speech wherein he also said he’d be supporting Ocasio-Cortez moving forward.</p> <p>The challenger’s win appeared to give a shot in the arm to other progressives hoping to unseat incumbent Democrats this year, namely gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had exchanged endorsements with Ocasio-Cortez on Monday and attended what became her victory party Tuesday night. Also apparently boosted by the result are the challengers to the former members of the Independent Democratic Conference of the State Senate. Those primaries will all be held September 13.</p> <p>Crowley was among a handful of long-time Democratic incumbents facing spirited primary challenges on Tuesday. The others appeared to hang on, with Rep. Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn leading Adem Bunkedekko by a 1,000-vote margin with 99 percent of precincts reporting at about midnight. Bunkedekko had earned the endorsement of the Times editorial board in his insurgent campaign, but it did not appear to do quite enough to get him over the hump against Clarke.</p> <p>Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Eliot Engel also fended off primary challengers, by wider margins.</p> <p>Other than the Ocasio-Cortez victory, the other top storyline of the night was Rep. Dan Donovan fending off a primary challenge from his predecessor, Michael Grimm, that looked to be going Grimm's way before President Donald Trump endorsed Donovan. Donovan wound up winning by more than 20 percentage points, though.</p> <p>On the Democratic side in New York’s 11th Congressional District, Max Rose won a crowded primary by a wide margin and will take on Donovan in the general election, attempting to swing the lone New York City House seat in GOP hands.</p> <p>In other notable congressional primary results around the city and state (many incumbents were unchallenged in the primary, some faced only nominal competition):</p> <p>Perry Gershon won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in Congressional District 1.</p> <p>Liuba Grechen Shirley won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. Peter King in Congressional District 2.</p> <p>Antonio Delgado won a crowded Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso in Congressional District 19.</p> <p>Tedra Cobb won a crowded Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik in Congressional District 21.</p> <p>Dana Balter won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. John Katko in Congressional District 24.</p> <p>Assemblymember Joseph Morelle won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Jim Maxwell in Congressional District 25, a seat vacated when Rep. Louise Slaughter passed away earlier this year.</p> <p>These results now largely set the stage for the general elections for Congress in New York, with all 27 House seas on the ballot and one U.S. Senate seat -- where Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is facing Republican challenger Chele Farley.</p> <p>State-level primaries, including for all the seats in the state Legislature and the four state-wide positions of governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, and attorney general will be September 13.</p> <p>

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by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

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<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/ocasio_cortz_buttons.jpg" alt="ocasio-cortez campaign buttons" width="600" height="487" /></p> <p>Ocasio-Cortez campaign buttons (image via @Ocasio2018)</p> <hr /> <p>Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old self-identified democratic socialist, unseated 10-term Congressional representative and Queens Democratic Party leader Joe Crowley in a dramatic upset quickly having ripple effects both locally and nationally. And she won handily, by about 4,000 votes and a 57.5 to 42.5 percent margin.</p> <p>Crowley entered the House in 1999 and maintained a largely center-left voting record; he was seen as a strong contender to become the next Democratic Speaker of the House, after Nancy Pelosi. Crowley is also the chair of the Queens Democratic Party, making him<a href="https://www.villagevoice.com/2017/06/19/the-most-powerful-democrat-in-queens-must-finally-compete/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> one of the most powerful kingmakers in New York City politics</a>. Ocasio-Cortez, a Latina from the Bronx, ran an aggressive, organized, energetic campaign to Crowley’s left,<a href="https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018/status/1001795660524457985?ref_src=twsrc^tfw&amp;ref_url=https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/6/26/17501194/crowley-ocasio-cortez-new-york-primary-midterms-democrats" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> accusing</a> the incumbent of acquiescing to real estate and financial interests rather than adequately representing constituents of the district. She has professed support for Medicare for All (which Crowley also supported during the campaign), a federal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and abolishing ICE.</p> <p>She further distinguished herself from Crowley by refusing money from corporate PACs; Crowley, a prolific fundraiser for the party, has raised millions of dollars over the course of his career from corporations. Crowley significantly outraised and outspent Ocasio-Cortez, but she made up for it with a significant social media presence, strong ground game, and glowing profiles in national publications. Crowley raised more eyebrows when he failed to show up for a debate with Ocasio-Cortez,<a href="https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/news-politics/joe-crowley-sends-annabel-palma-to-debate-in-his-place" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> instead</a> sending former City Council Member Annabel Palma in his place, which earned him a rebuke from The New York Times editorial board.</p> <p>Ocasio-Cortez has said that her campaign is part of a movement, emblematic of a far-left wave that is seeking to take over the Democratic primary in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, and with a chance to flip the House at stake this fall. She is all but certain to win the general election, something Crowley noted in a gracious concession speech wherein he also said he’d be supporting Ocasio-Cortez moving forward.</p> <p>The challenger’s win appeared to give a shot in the arm to other progressives hoping to unseat incumbent Democrats this year, namely gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo, had exchanged endorsements with Ocasio-Cortez on Monday and attended what became her victory party Tuesday night. Also apparently boosted by the result are the challengers to the former members of the Independent Democratic Conference of the State Senate. Those primaries will all be held September 13.</p> <p>Crowley was among a handful of long-time Democratic incumbents facing spirited primary challenges on Tuesday. The others appeared to hang on, with Rep. Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn leading Adem Bunkedekko by a 1,000-vote margin with 99 percent of precincts reporting at about midnight. Bunkedekko had earned the endorsement of the Times editorial board in his insurgent campaign, but it did not appear to do quite enough to get him over the hump against Clarke.</p> <p>Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Eliot Engel also fended off primary challengers, by wider margins.</p> <p>Other than the Ocasio-Cortez victory, the other top storyline of the night was Rep. Dan Donovan fending off a primary challenge from his predecessor, Michael Grimm, that looked to be going Grimm's way before President Donald Trump endorsed Donovan. Donovan wound up winning by more than 20 percentage points, though.</p> <p>On the Democratic side in New York’s 11th Congressional District, Max Rose won a crowded primary by a wide margin and will take on Donovan in the general election, attempting to swing the lone New York City House seat in GOP hands.</p> <p>In other notable congressional primary results around the city and state (many incumbents were unchallenged in the primary, some faced only nominal competition):</p> <p>Perry Gershon won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in Congressional District 1.</p> <p>Liuba Grechen Shirley won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. Peter King in Congressional District 2.</p> <p>Antonio Delgado won a crowded Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso in Congressional District 19.</p> <p>Tedra Cobb won a crowded Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik in Congressional District 21.</p> <p>Dana Balter won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Rep. John Katko in Congressional District 24.</p> <p>Assemblymember Joseph Morelle won the Democratic primary to earn the chance to face incumbent Republican Jim Maxwell in Congressional District 25, a seat vacated when Rep. Louise Slaughter passed away earlier this year.</p> <p>These results now largely set the stage for the general elections for Congress in New York, with all 27 House seas on the ballot and one U.S. Senate seat -- where Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is facing Republican challenger Chele Farley.</p> <p>State-level primaries, including for all the seats in the state Legislature and the four state-wide positions of governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller, and attorney general will be September 13.</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
Donovan, Grimm in Final Days of Contentious Congressional Primary 2018-06-22T04:00:00+00:00 2018-06-22T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7765-donovan-grimm-in-final-days-of-contentious-congressional-primary Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/grimm-donovan4.jpg" alt="grimm donovan ny1" width="600" height="254" /></p> <p>Rep. Donovan, left, and former Rep. Grimm on NY1</p> <hr /> <p>Perhaps the most-watched congressional primary in New York ahead of Tuesday’s vote is the Republican contest centered on Staten Island, where former Congressional Representative Michael Grimm is attempting to unseat incumbent Representative Dan Donovan in what has been a nasty, hard-fought race with a heavy focus on President Donald Trump.</p> <p>The district, which includes all of Staten Island and a sliver of southern Brooklyn, is home to many Trump supporters, especially in the Republican primary, and both candidates have been pledging allegiance to the commander in chief, despite each having a fairly moderate record. Trump recently endorsed Donovan, a fact that the incumbent -- who voted against Trump’s signature tax reform legislation -- has been touting as he attempts to stave off what appears to be a very serious threat to his reelection.</p> <p>The winner of the Republican primary will face the victor on <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/congressional-primary-2018/meet-the-candidates/congressional-district-11-democratic/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the Democratic side</a> in what promises to be a spirited general election also centered around Trump and the first-term president’s policies. While the district almost exclusively elects Republicans to Congress, Democrats see an opportunity this year given heightened expectations about turnout in the first national elections since Trump shocked much of the world in 2016.</p> <p>But first, the Grimm-Donovan contest has been full of energy, policy, and drama. While Donovan has virtually all of the institutional support, including from all of the Republican elected officials in the area, a long list of labor unions, and the two newspaper editorial boards that stand to matter to primary voters -- the Staten Island Advance and the New York Post -- Grimm still retains a strong following in the district and is putting his formidable campaign skills to work.</p> <p>In endorsing Donovan in a move it acknowledged as exceptional given its reluctance to weigh in during party primaries, the Advance editorial board called it an "extraordinary race" indicative of&nbsp;"this era of out-of-the-ordinary phenomena on America's political landscape."&nbsp;"For us, there is no question: Dan Donovan deserves to be the Republican nominee," <a href="https://www.silive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/06/advance_endorses_donovan_republican_primary.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the board wrote</a>. "He has served Staten Island with distinction and sensitivity, despite accusations to the contrary tossed about by Mr. Grimm."</p> <p>The two candidates recently engaged in one radio and one television debate, where they lobbed personal and professional attacks against each other, attempted to prove who is the most supportive of the president, defended their policy records, and presented some sense of their vision for representing the district into the future if entrusted by voters to do so.</p> <p>The debate on WABC radio, hosted by Rita Cosby, was full of argument and insults, emblematic of the overall race, which has been bitterly fought and has included a number of specific allegations of wrongdoing in each direction, not to mention discussion of Grimm’s time in prison after he pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion. It was that plea that led him to resign from Congress just after winning reelection in 2014, in what is the only Republican-held Congressional seat in New York City.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/06/15/grimm-donovan-gop-primary-debate-on-ny1-full" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The debate on NY1 television</a>, moderated by Errol Louis along with Courtney Gross and Anthony Pascale at the College of Staten Island, was a somewhat tamer affair than the radio debate, and included a bit more substance, though it did not lack for candidate attacks.</p> <p>“My opponent’s whole campaign has been based on lies about my record and about his,” Donovan said near the start of the radio debate, responding to a question about whether his own campaign excessively used Grimm’s criminal record. “The people have to know what the truth is.”</p> <p>“What I think it is,” Grimm responded, “is he’s trying to reflect onto me the fact that he’s been lying about his own record.”</p> <p>During his opening statement of the TV debate, Grimm criticized Donovan’s decision to not rent a D.C. apartment but to instead sleep at his office while working in the capital, which the incumbent calls an efficiency measure.</p> <p>“I’m running again because over the last three years, my opponent hasn’t just been sleeping in his office, he’s been sleeping on the job,” Grimm said. “And that’s why I’m asking for your vote.</p> <p>In asking for votes, Grimm cannot bolster his pleas with the backing of the president, whom he has heaped praise on an attacked Donovan for not supporting enough.</p> <p>The president backed Donovan’s candidacy in two tweets that lauded the incumbent for his stances on borders, crime, the military, and tax cuts. Donovan boasted of Trump’s support during the NY1 debate, &nbsp;noting that not Trump not only supported his candidacy but denounced Grimm’s, making an apparent reference to Grimm’s record and the notion that Grimm would be a weaker general election candidate than Donovan. The president analogized Grimm’s candidacy to that of Roy Moore in the 2017 special Senate election in Alabama. Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was the rare Republican to lose an Alabama Senate race to a Democrat, doing so amid allegations of sexual assault.</p> <p>“I have a campaign going on now that you’re watching and witnessing that’s filled with lies and distortions, so much so that the president of the United States had to come in and set the record straight,” Donovan said. “He told the people of our community he wants me to be the candidate, he wants me back in Congress to help him make the America first agenda succeed and help make America great again.”</p> <p>With each candidate’s allegiance to the president clear, they were asked if they would side with Trump even if it meant harming the district. Both said while they support the president’s national goals, the district will always come first. They each cited a time when they opposed the Republican Party while they were in Congress.</p> <p>Grimm spoke about his flood insurance reform bill in 2014 — a measure put in place to repeal overwhelming increases in flood-insurance rates after Superstorm Sandy devastated New York — citing that he “risked my career” to get the bill passed despite harsh opposition from Republicans.</p> <p>Donovan reminded viewers that he was one of only 12 House Republicans to vote against the GOP tax bill in December, citing that it harms high-tax states like New York.</p> <p>“I voted with the president 90% of the time,” Donovan said during the NY1 debate. “I voted with the people I represent 100% of the time.”</p> <p>Still, Grimm challenged Donovan’s allegiance to the president during the WABC debate, citing how the incumbent has voted against major legislation pushed by the Trump administration, such as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a ban of sanctuary cities, and the passage of the tax reform bill.</p> <p>“Those are three signature issues that our president actually ran on,” Grimm said.</p> <p>Though he doesn’t have Trump’s endorsement Grimm drew his own parallel with the president, saying that he was targeted by then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch just as Trump has been targeted by special counsel Robert Mueller in the federal investigation into possible Russian collusion and other matters during the presidential election.</p> <p>“I think everyone knows that I had three delivery boys and a dishwasher off the books,” Grimm said during the radio debate, referring to his hiring of undocumented employees to work at his Manhattan-based health food restaurant, Healthalicious. “And I never hid from that. It was a civil offense that the Obama Justice Department, that is politically corrupt, used against me.”</p> <p>In 2014, Grimm was indicted on 20 counts, including charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and the preparation of false federal tax returns, although he only pleaded guilty to one charge of tax evasion. When asked during the radio debate if he would now release his tax returns, Grimm said he would not because he’s “not required to,” then said that Donovan pushing for the release of his tax returns was “a typical liberal line.”</p> <p>On more substantive matters facing the country and the district, the race has had a lot of discussion of immigration, as well as storm recovery and resiliency, the opioid addiction crisis, and other matters.</p> <p>Neither candidate’s website specifically addresses immigration policy, but Grimm’s prior employment of undocumented workers and Donovan’s vote against punishing sanctuary cities like New York — cities that limit their cooperation with the federal government over the enforcement of immigration law — has elicited strong criticism from one another and some discussion of policy proposals.</p> <p>Grimm advocates for the implementation of a stronger guest worker program and e-verify, a system that allows employers to verify the eligibility of employees to work in the U.S. Donovan snapped backed during both debates that Grimm’s sudden support of e-verify is contradictory given his history of hiring of undocumented workers.</p> <p>“The one thing he mentioned that’s pretty ironic, though, is e-verify,” Donovan said on NY1. “If we had e-verify when he owned his restaurant, he would have been caught a lot earlier because e-verify requires employers to check and verify the status of anybody that they hire.”</p> <p>“Sanctuary city policy is a horrible, dangerous policy,” Grimm said during the WABC debate. “It came down to when you had an opportunity to send the message to Mayor de Blasio and ban sanctuary cities, the bottom line is he voted ‘no.’”</p> <p>The former Richmond County district attorney defended his vote, stating on NY1 that he worked in law enforcement for 20 years.</p> <p>“I believe that you have to enforce the laws and you can’t pick and choose which ones,” Donovan said. “Sanctuary cities choose which laws to enforce and they don’t enforce our federal immigration laws…if you’re not going to enforce the federal law, we’re not going to give you federal funds to do it.” He explained his vote, however, by saying he was worried about how Mayor Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat, would adjust policing in the city based on withholding of federal funds.</p> <p>In regards to the opioid epidemic on Staten Island, a significant issue in the district discussed during both debates, the two again quarreled. Donovan said within his first few months of office, he helped incorporate New York into a national database that would allow the state’s pharmacists and physicians to see whether or not patients were going to bordering states to get their prescriptions filled.</p> <p>Grimm, on the other hand, contends that New York already had such a program in place with the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, and associates the rise of the opioid epidemic with Donovan’s 12-year tenure as Richmond County’s district attorney.</p> <p>“If you really look at my opponent’s record as the district attorney, when he first came in…there was barely a problem,” Grimm said on WABC. “That problem grew into a crisis, that crisis became an epidemic on his watch. The reality is this epidemic was fostered under your watch.”</p> <p>The allegation incensed Donovan, who argued that he was both tough and smart about the growing crisis while district attorney, and was not caught flat-footed by its growth, helping by both prosecuting dealing and pursuing preventative approaches for users.</p> <p>Grimm also said that he attempted to make New York’s I-STOP program, which enables doctors and pharmacists to access data that could identify potential drug interactions or abuse between patients and other doctors, into a federal law, although it didn’t pass during his time in Congress.</p> <p>On the issue of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, which was discussed during the NY1 debate, Grimm and Donovan agreed that parts of the program should remain, such as child eligibility for parental plans until the age of 26 and covering those with preexisting conditions.</p> <p>Nevertheless, Grimm said the act should be torn apart and renewed from scratch, and he criticized Donovan for not voting for its repeal, though Donovan argued he didn’t vote to rescind the act only because there was not a suitable replacement plan.</p> <p>“Government intervention into our healthcare system was probably the worst thing we could do,” Grimm said on Thursday. “The private sector does things more efficiently, more effectively, and we should keep the government as much as we can out of our health care.”</p> <p>Donovan’s platform additionally pushes for creating new transportation projects to help those on Staten Island and in southern Brooklyn with long commutes, improving student aid for covering the costs of higher education, increasing healthcare competition while reducing premiums, supporting the Veterans Healthcare Choice Improvement Act, and fighting cuts to law enforcement resources, although these issues were barely — or not at all — brought up during either debate.</p> <p>Grimm, whose campaign website does not have a page dedicated to issues, has announced his support of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and supports the termination of the Diversity Lottery program in various press releases posted onto his website.</p> <p>The only public poll of the primary put Grimm ahead by 10 points over Donovan, as conducted by NY1 and Siena College, though potential voters were polled right around the time of the Trump endorsement, the effect of which was likely untapped. Donovan also has former Mayor (and now Trump lawyer) Rudy Giuliani and virtually the entire New York Republican establishment behind him, including Republican elected officials from Staten Island like conservative City Council Member Joe Borelli and moderate Borough President Jimmy Oddo.</p> <p>It’s a fact not lost on Grimm, who is using it to portray himself as the candidate of the people, though it is indicative of the fact that he is seen as toxic by many due to his criminal record and behavior such as his threatening a NY1 reporter while he was still in Congress.</p> <p>“Dan Donovan has the entire establishment behind him,” Grimm said, responding to a question about the poll. “He has the president behind him. He has all of these endorsements and I only have the people behind me. And I’m okay with that.”</p> <p>A Donovan campaign spokesperson, on the other hand, dismissed the lone poll results. “Siena poll means nothing,” <a href="https://twitter.com/jessicaproud/status/1003786509273706501" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tweeted Jessica Proud</a>. “In the field prior to Trump endorsement, our internals show us up. Weight of paid media on endorsement going to crush his false narrative. Talk to me in a few weeks.”</p> <p>Voters will do that talking on Tuesday.</p> <p>***<br />by Jordan Kimmel and Chelsey Sanchez</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/grimm-donovan4.jpg" alt="grimm donovan ny1" width="600" height="254" /></p> <p>Rep. Donovan, left, and former Rep. Grimm on NY1</p> <hr /> <p>Perhaps the most-watched congressional primary in New York ahead of Tuesday’s vote is the Republican contest centered on Staten Island, where former Congressional Representative Michael Grimm is attempting to unseat incumbent Representative Dan Donovan in what has been a nasty, hard-fought race with a heavy focus on President Donald Trump.</p> <p>The district, which includes all of Staten Island and a sliver of southern Brooklyn, is home to many Trump supporters, especially in the Republican primary, and both candidates have been pledging allegiance to the commander in chief, despite each having a fairly moderate record. Trump recently endorsed Donovan, a fact that the incumbent -- who voted against Trump’s signature tax reform legislation -- has been touting as he attempts to stave off what appears to be a very serious threat to his reelection.</p> <p>The winner of the Republican primary will face the victor on <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/congressional-primary-2018/meet-the-candidates/congressional-district-11-democratic/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the Democratic side</a> in what promises to be a spirited general election also centered around Trump and the first-term president’s policies. While the district almost exclusively elects Republicans to Congress, Democrats see an opportunity this year given heightened expectations about turnout in the first national elections since Trump shocked much of the world in 2016.</p> <p>But first, the Grimm-Donovan contest has been full of energy, policy, and drama. While Donovan has virtually all of the institutional support, including from all of the Republican elected officials in the area, a long list of labor unions, and the two newspaper editorial boards that stand to matter to primary voters -- the Staten Island Advance and the New York Post -- Grimm still retains a strong following in the district and is putting his formidable campaign skills to work.</p> <p>In endorsing Donovan in a move it acknowledged as exceptional given its reluctance to weigh in during party primaries, the Advance editorial board called it an "extraordinary race" indicative of&nbsp;"this era of out-of-the-ordinary phenomena on America's political landscape."&nbsp;"For us, there is no question: Dan Donovan deserves to be the Republican nominee," <a href="https://www.silive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/06/advance_endorses_donovan_republican_primary.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the board wrote</a>. "He has served Staten Island with distinction and sensitivity, despite accusations to the contrary tossed about by Mr. Grimm."</p> <p>The two candidates recently engaged in one radio and one television debate, where they lobbed personal and professional attacks against each other, attempted to prove who is the most supportive of the president, defended their policy records, and presented some sense of their vision for representing the district into the future if entrusted by voters to do so.</p> <p>The debate on WABC radio, hosted by Rita Cosby, was full of argument and insults, emblematic of the overall race, which has been bitterly fought and has included a number of specific allegations of wrongdoing in each direction, not to mention discussion of Grimm’s time in prison after he pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion. It was that plea that led him to resign from Congress just after winning reelection in 2014, in what is the only Republican-held Congressional seat in New York City.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2018/06/15/grimm-donovan-gop-primary-debate-on-ny1-full" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The debate on NY1 television</a>, moderated by Errol Louis along with Courtney Gross and Anthony Pascale at the College of Staten Island, was a somewhat tamer affair than the radio debate, and included a bit more substance, though it did not lack for candidate attacks.</p> <p>“My opponent’s whole campaign has been based on lies about my record and about his,” Donovan said near the start of the radio debate, responding to a question about whether his own campaign excessively used Grimm’s criminal record. “The people have to know what the truth is.”</p> <p>“What I think it is,” Grimm responded, “is he’s trying to reflect onto me the fact that he’s been lying about his own record.”</p> <p>During his opening statement of the TV debate, Grimm criticized Donovan’s decision to not rent a D.C. apartment but to instead sleep at his office while working in the capital, which the incumbent calls an efficiency measure.</p> <p>“I’m running again because over the last three years, my opponent hasn’t just been sleeping in his office, he’s been sleeping on the job,” Grimm said. “And that’s why I’m asking for your vote.</p> <p>In asking for votes, Grimm cannot bolster his pleas with the backing of the president, whom he has heaped praise on an attacked Donovan for not supporting enough.</p> <p>The president backed Donovan’s candidacy in two tweets that lauded the incumbent for his stances on borders, crime, the military, and tax cuts. Donovan boasted of Trump’s support during the NY1 debate, &nbsp;noting that not Trump not only supported his candidacy but denounced Grimm’s, making an apparent reference to Grimm’s record and the notion that Grimm would be a weaker general election candidate than Donovan. The president analogized Grimm’s candidacy to that of Roy Moore in the 2017 special Senate election in Alabama. Moore, the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was the rare Republican to lose an Alabama Senate race to a Democrat, doing so amid allegations of sexual assault.</p> <p>“I have a campaign going on now that you’re watching and witnessing that’s filled with lies and distortions, so much so that the president of the United States had to come in and set the record straight,” Donovan said. “He told the people of our community he wants me to be the candidate, he wants me back in Congress to help him make the America first agenda succeed and help make America great again.”</p> <p>With each candidate’s allegiance to the president clear, they were asked if they would side with Trump even if it meant harming the district. Both said while they support the president’s national goals, the district will always come first. They each cited a time when they opposed the Republican Party while they were in Congress.</p> <p>Grimm spoke about his flood insurance reform bill in 2014 — a measure put in place to repeal overwhelming increases in flood-insurance rates after Superstorm Sandy devastated New York — citing that he “risked my career” to get the bill passed despite harsh opposition from Republicans.</p> <p>Donovan reminded viewers that he was one of only 12 House Republicans to vote against the GOP tax bill in December, citing that it harms high-tax states like New York.</p> <p>“I voted with the president 90% of the time,” Donovan said during the NY1 debate. “I voted with the people I represent 100% of the time.”</p> <p>Still, Grimm challenged Donovan’s allegiance to the president during the WABC debate, citing how the incumbent has voted against major legislation pushed by the Trump administration, such as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a ban of sanctuary cities, and the passage of the tax reform bill.</p> <p>“Those are three signature issues that our president actually ran on,” Grimm said.</p> <p>Though he doesn’t have Trump’s endorsement Grimm drew his own parallel with the president, saying that he was targeted by then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch just as Trump has been targeted by special counsel Robert Mueller in the federal investigation into possible Russian collusion and other matters during the presidential election.</p> <p>“I think everyone knows that I had three delivery boys and a dishwasher off the books,” Grimm said during the radio debate, referring to his hiring of undocumented employees to work at his Manhattan-based health food restaurant, Healthalicious. “And I never hid from that. It was a civil offense that the Obama Justice Department, that is politically corrupt, used against me.”</p> <p>In 2014, Grimm was indicted on 20 counts, including charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, and the preparation of false federal tax returns, although he only pleaded guilty to one charge of tax evasion. When asked during the radio debate if he would now release his tax returns, Grimm said he would not because he’s “not required to,” then said that Donovan pushing for the release of his tax returns was “a typical liberal line.”</p> <p>On more substantive matters facing the country and the district, the race has had a lot of discussion of immigration, as well as storm recovery and resiliency, the opioid addiction crisis, and other matters.</p> <p>Neither candidate’s website specifically addresses immigration policy, but Grimm’s prior employment of undocumented workers and Donovan’s vote against punishing sanctuary cities like New York — cities that limit their cooperation with the federal government over the enforcement of immigration law — has elicited strong criticism from one another and some discussion of policy proposals.</p> <p>Grimm advocates for the implementation of a stronger guest worker program and e-verify, a system that allows employers to verify the eligibility of employees to work in the U.S. Donovan snapped backed during both debates that Grimm’s sudden support of e-verify is contradictory given his history of hiring of undocumented workers.</p> <p>“The one thing he mentioned that’s pretty ironic, though, is e-verify,” Donovan said on NY1. “If we had e-verify when he owned his restaurant, he would have been caught a lot earlier because e-verify requires employers to check and verify the status of anybody that they hire.”</p> <p>“Sanctuary city policy is a horrible, dangerous policy,” Grimm said during the WABC debate. “It came down to when you had an opportunity to send the message to Mayor de Blasio and ban sanctuary cities, the bottom line is he voted ‘no.’”</p> <p>The former Richmond County district attorney defended his vote, stating on NY1 that he worked in law enforcement for 20 years.</p> <p>“I believe that you have to enforce the laws and you can’t pick and choose which ones,” Donovan said. “Sanctuary cities choose which laws to enforce and they don’t enforce our federal immigration laws…if you’re not going to enforce the federal law, we’re not going to give you federal funds to do it.” He explained his vote, however, by saying he was worried about how Mayor Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat, would adjust policing in the city based on withholding of federal funds.</p> <p>In regards to the opioid epidemic on Staten Island, a significant issue in the district discussed during both debates, the two again quarreled. Donovan said within his first few months of office, he helped incorporate New York into a national database that would allow the state’s pharmacists and physicians to see whether or not patients were going to bordering states to get their prescriptions filled.</p> <p>Grimm, on the other hand, contends that New York already had such a program in place with the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or I-STOP, and associates the rise of the opioid epidemic with Donovan’s 12-year tenure as Richmond County’s district attorney.</p> <p>“If you really look at my opponent’s record as the district attorney, when he first came in…there was barely a problem,” Grimm said on WABC. “That problem grew into a crisis, that crisis became an epidemic on his watch. The reality is this epidemic was fostered under your watch.”</p> <p>The allegation incensed Donovan, who argued that he was both tough and smart about the growing crisis while district attorney, and was not caught flat-footed by its growth, helping by both prosecuting dealing and pursuing preventative approaches for users.</p> <p>Grimm also said that he attempted to make New York’s I-STOP program, which enables doctors and pharmacists to access data that could identify potential drug interactions or abuse between patients and other doctors, into a federal law, although it didn’t pass during his time in Congress.</p> <p>On the issue of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, which was discussed during the NY1 debate, Grimm and Donovan agreed that parts of the program should remain, such as child eligibility for parental plans until the age of 26 and covering those with preexisting conditions.</p> <p>Nevertheless, Grimm said the act should be torn apart and renewed from scratch, and he criticized Donovan for not voting for its repeal, though Donovan argued he didn’t vote to rescind the act only because there was not a suitable replacement plan.</p> <p>“Government intervention into our healthcare system was probably the worst thing we could do,” Grimm said on Thursday. “The private sector does things more efficiently, more effectively, and we should keep the government as much as we can out of our health care.”</p> <p>Donovan’s platform additionally pushes for creating new transportation projects to help those on Staten Island and in southern Brooklyn with long commutes, improving student aid for covering the costs of higher education, increasing healthcare competition while reducing premiums, supporting the Veterans Healthcare Choice Improvement Act, and fighting cuts to law enforcement resources, although these issues were barely — or not at all — brought up during either debate.</p> <p>Grimm, whose campaign website does not have a page dedicated to issues, has announced his support of Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and supports the termination of the Diversity Lottery program in various press releases posted onto his website.</p> <p>The only public poll of the primary put Grimm ahead by 10 points over Donovan, as conducted by NY1 and Siena College, though potential voters were polled right around the time of the Trump endorsement, the effect of which was likely untapped. Donovan also has former Mayor (and now Trump lawyer) Rudy Giuliani and virtually the entire New York Republican establishment behind him, including Republican elected officials from Staten Island like conservative City Council Member Joe Borelli and moderate Borough President Jimmy Oddo.</p> <p>It’s a fact not lost on Grimm, who is using it to portray himself as the candidate of the people, though it is indicative of the fact that he is seen as toxic by many due to his criminal record and behavior such as his threatening a NY1 reporter while he was still in Congress.</p> <p>“Dan Donovan has the entire establishment behind him,” Grimm said, responding to a question about the poll. “He has the president behind him. He has all of these endorsements and I only have the people behind me. And I’m okay with that.”</p> <p>A Donovan campaign spokesperson, on the other hand, dismissed the lone poll results. “Siena poll means nothing,” <a href="https://twitter.com/jessicaproud/status/1003786509273706501" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tweeted Jessica Proud</a>. “In the field prior to Trump endorsement, our internals show us up. Weight of paid media on endorsement going to crush his false narrative. Talk to me in a few weeks.”</p> <p>Voters will do that talking on Tuesday.</p> <p>***<br />by Jordan Kimmel and Chelsey Sanchez</p> New York Congressional Primaries to Watch Ahead of June 26 Vote 2018-06-11T04:00:00+00:00 2018-06-11T04:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7728-new-york-congressional-primaries-to-watch-ahead-of-june-26-vote Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/trump-dan-donovan.jpg" alt="trump dan donovan" width="600" /></p> <p>Rep. Dan Donovan with President Trump (photo: @DanDonovanSI)</p> <hr /> <p>New Yorkers will head to the polls on Tuesday, June 26 to vote in Democratic and Republican congressional primary elections, determining which candidates will appear on the parties’ ballots in November’s general election. Not every one of New York’s 27 congressional districts is home to one or two primaries, but some districts are in the midst of competitive primary campaigns.</p> <p>In New York City, where just one seat in the House of Representatives delegation is held by a Republican, there are several hotly-contested primaries, though only one race is expected to be competitive in the general election. The lone GOP-held seat is also the one where a tough general election is expected -- there is currently an intense primary on each side of the aisle in the 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and a sliver of Southern Brooklyn and is represented by incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan.</p> <p>A small handful of Democratic incumbents representing parts of the city are facing spirited primary challenges, largely from the left, though incumbents, as is almost always the case, are favored. Without public polling, it is often difficult to tell if challengers are breaking through at all, or how voters feel about their incumbent representative.</p> <p>Candidates are campaigning feverishly leading up to the primary, which is expected to see fairly low turnout, though it may see a boost relative to past years due to the competitive nature of some races and the larger atmosphere surrounding “the resistance” to President Donald Trump.</p> <p>While NY-11 will factor into the discussion for the general election, other congressional seats outside New York City will form the vast majority of those seen as the state’s swing districts, where either a Democrat or a Republican could win and influence which party controls the House in January.</p> <p>While every one of the country’s 435 House seats are on the ballot this year, as they are every other year, there are some U.S. Senate seats up for election this year as well -- Senators serve six-year terms and states stagger the elections of their two Senate seats. This year, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is seeking another term and is being challenged by Republican Chele Farley in the general election.</p> <p>In order to vote in the upcoming federal primaries, New Yorkers have to already be registered to vote and with the party holding a primary in their district. A closer look at the congressional primaries to watch leading up to June 26:</p> <p><strong>District 9</strong><br />In Central Brooklyn’s District 9, 12-year Democratic incumbent Rep. Yvette Clarke faces her first primary challenge in six years. Adem Bunkeddeko, 29, was, until recently, an associate director at Brooklyn Community Services and, for five years, a member of Brooklyn Community Board 8, which includes Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and Weeksville.</p> <p>He <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/nyregion/adem-bunkeddeko-city-politics-envigorate.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">says</a> he is running because “the political culture is so static” in the nation’s largest and most diverse city. Bunkeddeko’s platform includes the expansion of charter schools, legalization of marijuana, and an aggressive housing plan that, he says, would open paths to homeownership for families making between $30,000 and $80,000 a year.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ademforcongress.com/meet-adem-bunkeddeko/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bunkeddeko</a> has raised more than <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY09&amp;spec=N" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$200,000 </a>in his bid for the Democratic nomination as of March 31. Clarke, meanwhile, has raised at least <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00026961" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$600,000</a> in her bid for re-election. Almost <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00026961" target="_blank" rel="noopener">60%</a> of Clarke’s campaign contributions have come from political action committees; Bunkeddeko has <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY09&amp;spec=N" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reported zero</a> donations from PACs.</p> <p>Clarke’s campaign <a href="http://www.voteyvette.com/meet_yvette" target="_blank" rel="noopener">highlights</a> her introduction of legislation granting new legal rights to homeowners facing foreclosure, work on the Affordable Care Act, and support for universal firearm background checks. She also is <a href="http://www.pnhp.org/news/2017/february/brooklynites-cheer-single-payer-health-care-at-congressional-town-hall" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a signatory</a> to the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. Clarke has not stated her positions on other marquee Democratic issues like &nbsp;<a href="https://www.kingscountypolitics.com/clarke-ducks-fed-legalization-of-marijuana-question/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legalization of marijuana</a> and the abolition of ICE, though she has <a href="https://clarke.house.gov/ice-agents-wear-body-cameras-nyc-council-members-say/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">introduced legislation</a> that would equip ICE agents with body cameras.</p> <p>“Our community is under siege and has been for quite some time,” Bunkeddeko wrote on his <a href="https://www.ademforcongress.com/home" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a>, with reference to the Trump administration. “More and more of our neighbors are finding inequality and injustice in Central Brooklyn (NY-9), and good folks are being pushed out in droves.”</p> <p><strong>District 11</strong><br />In New York City’s only Republican-represented congressional district, Rep. Dan Donovan is facing a primary challenge from his predecessor, former Rep. Michael Grimm, who resigned the office three-and-a-half years ago just after winning reelection while under federal indictment. Grimm pleaded guilty to tax evasion and served time in federal prison. He now wants his old job back and is challenging Donovan in a Republican-heavy district where, unlike in most of the rest of the city, allegiance to President Donald Trump is seen as essential -- at least in the primary.</p> <p>Grimm represented the mostly-Staten Island district from 2010 to 2015. In 2014, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/nyregion/representative-michael-grimm-is-indicted-on-fraud-charges.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he was charged</a> with 20 counts of fraud, federal tax evasion and perjury. He resigned in January of 2015, and served eight months in federal prison.</p> <p>Grimm recently <a href="https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/michael-grimm-qualifies-run-donovan-setting-showdown" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gathered over 3,000 signatures</a> from those in the district, easily surpassing the 1,250 required to appear on the primary ballot, and, while Donovan has <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY11" target="_blank" rel="noopener">raised</a> over three times as much money as Grimm, a recent<a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2018/06/04/michael-grimm-dan-donovan-ny1-siena-college-poll-congressional-primary-nyc-" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> NY1/Siena poll </a>shows Grimm with a ten-point lead over the incumbent.</p> <p>Differences between the candidates have been largely non-ideological — Grimm’s campaign <a href="http://www.michaelgrimm2018.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a> does not even offer a list of his positions, and <a href="http://dandonovanforcongress.com/the-issues/#1474037339002-e2962ff0-88e2" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Donovan’s</a> stakes out his stances on widely-agreeable issues like Staten Islanders’ commutes (shorten them), taxes (cut them), and homeland security (protect it).</p> <p>As representatives, Donovan introduced <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/04/22/donovan-to-propose-bill-that-targets-sanctuary-city-funding/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legislation</a> this year to target federal funding for sanctuary cities, and Grimm, in 2013, <a href="http://www.ontheissues.org/Notebook/Note_14_Lt_Imm.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">urged</a> the Department of Homeland Security to stop releasing low-risk undocumented immigrants from detention camps.</p> <p>In 2012, <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2018/04/12/dan-donovan-record-tackling-staten-island-opioid-crisis-as-district-attorney-congress" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the two worked together</a> — Donovan as Staten Island District Attorney, Grimm as Congressional representative — on legislation to fight prescription drug abuse.</p> <p>Both candidates have made a show of their support for Trump in the only New York City district he carried. While Grimm has attacked Donovan as a moderate who voted against the Trump tax reform package, Donovan has pointed to Grimm’s moderate record when he represented the district. Donovan introduced a bill that would mandate every post office display photos of the president and vice president.</p> <p>Trump recently endorsed Donovan, <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1001973090107248641" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tweeting</a> that “There is no one better to represent the people of N.Y. and Staten Island (a place I know very well) than @RepDanDonovan, who is strong on Borders &amp; Crime, loves our Military &amp; our Vets, voted for Tax Cuts and is helping me to Make America Great Again.”</p> <p>“Dan has my full endorsement!” he concluded. Donovan was quick to boast about the endorsement, while Grimm downplayed it.</p> <p>The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of a competitive Democratic primary in NY-11, which includes six Democrats. That pack is led by fundraising leader and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee endorsee Max Rose, a veteran who has raised more money as of the March 31 filing date than all of his Democratic competitors combined. Michael DeVito is also running an especially active campaign, while <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/congressional-primary-2018/meet-the-candidates/congressional-district-11-democratic/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">other Democrats</a> include Omar Vaid, Zach Emig, Paul Sperling, and Radhakrishna Mohan.</p> <p>NY-11 is on the Democratic Party’s “Red to Blue” shortlist of currently-Republican congressional districts that realistically may elect a Democrat in November.</p> <p><strong>District 12</strong><br />Meanwhile, in District 12, covering much of Manhattan’s East Side and parts of Brooklyn and Queens, 34-year-old Suraj Patel, an entrepreneur and <a href="http://www.stern.nyu.edu/experience-stern/about/departments-centers-initiatives/academic-departments/business-society-program/faculty-staff/faculty/suraj-patel" target="_blank" rel="noopener">business ethics professor</a> at New York University, is attempting to unseat 25-year incumbent <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Carolyn_Maloney" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rep. Carolyn Maloney</a>.</p> <p>Patel has raised slightly over <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY12" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$1 million</a> for his bid, nearly matching Maloney’s $1.4 million war chest -- a rare development for a primary challenger to an incumbent. Maloney retained the money advantage, at least as of the March 31 filing, and has significant establishment support for her reelection.</p> <p><a href="https://www.surajpatel.nyc/about-suraj/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Patel</a> was born in Mississippi to Indian immigrant parents, and has worked in various capacities in Barack Obama’s orbit, including as a volunteer on his 2008 presidential campaign.</p> <p>“Our republic is broken,” Patel wrote on his <a href="https://www.surajpatel.nyc/issues/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a>. “Big money has corrupted the system, there are too many obstacles to voting, and undemocratic policies like partisan gerrymandering have made our House of Representatives unrepresentative of the American people.”</p> <p>The upstart and insurgent candidate challenging a well-established party representative is something Maloney has seen before. She last faced a serious primary challenge in 2010, when lawyer <a href="https://medium.com/girls-who-code/teach-girls-bravery-not-perfection-257691d13476" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reshma Saujani</a> raised upwards of $1.3 million in a bid to unseat the incumbent. Nevertheless, Maloney prevailed with 81% of the vote.</p> <p>Saujani endorsed Maloney in early March, according to the <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/03/06/maloney-has-backing-of-former-rival-in-re-election-bid/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a>, as have several advocacy groups and unions, including 32BJ SEIU, the largest union of property service workers in America.</p> <p>She is <a href="https://carolynmaloney.com/issues/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">running</a> on her consumer protection bona fides, experience “on the front lines in the fight for women’s rights,” and legislative work for paid parental leave, among other positions.</p> <p><strong>District 14</strong><br />In District 14, covering northwest Queens and the eastern Bronx, 28-year-old organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is offering 56-year-old Rep. Joe Crowley <a href="https://qns.com/story/2018/03/26/bronx-resident-will-queens-congressman-joe-crowleys-first-primary-challenger-14-years/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">his first contested primary</a> in his 14 years in office.</p> <p>Crowley has significant establishment ties: as <a href="https://crowley.house.gov/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the chair of the House Democratic Caucus</a>, he’s the fourth highest ranking official in the House Democratic leadership and is <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/in-the-shadow-of-nancy-pelosi-joseph-crowley-campaigns-without-a-target/2018/02/08/04694d92-0b95-11e8-8b0d-891602206fb7_story.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">frequently mentioned</a> as a possible successor to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Crowley runs the Queens County Democratic Party, with great influence over local elections, the courts, and government in Queens and beyond.</p> <p>Crowley touts his support for equal pay legislation, co-sponsorship of legislation mandating universal firearm background checks, and authorship of an act providing tax relief for poor renters.</p> <p>Ocasio-Cortez is challenging Crowley from his left as part of the slate of the <a href="https://www.justicedemocrats.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Justice Democrats</a>, a political action committee that supports progressive candidates who pledge to not accept corporate donations. She’s staked out her support for a federal jobs guarantee, the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and tuition-free public college.</p> <p>Both candidates tout their immigrant roots — Crowley’s family is Irish, Ocasio-Cortez’s is Puerto Rican — and their support for Medicare-for-All.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY14" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fundraising</a> gap between the two candidates is significant — with $2.78 million on hand compared to Ocasio-Cortez’s $116,000, Crowley’s outraised his opponent almost twenty-four times over.</p> <p>“It's a major David-vs-Goliath tale for the soul of the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/SandersForPresident/comments/6ftvhu/hey_reddit_i_am_alexandria_ocasiocortez_us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a blog post</a> on Reddit. “We are going to have to choose whether we will continue down the path of corporate patronage or return to the Democratic spirit of our governance.”</p> <p><strong>Races Outside New York City: Districts 1, 19, 22, and 24</strong><br />The Cook Political Report carefully&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">designates</a>&nbsp;“competitive” House races and lists a few New York races outside the five boroughs.</p> <p>In Long Island’s 1st District, five Democrats are running for their party’s nomination. Perry Gershon, a former businessman who <a href="https://www.perrygershon.com/about/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">says</a> he was inspired by Trump’s election to “set out to personally fight for change,” has raised more <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY01" target="_blank" rel="noopener">money</a> than all his competitors combined. The winner of the contested primary will face off against two-term Republican incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin, who <a href="https://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/spin-cycle/emily-s-list-declares-rep-zeldin-on-notice-for-2016-1.10496400" target="_blank" rel="noopener">co-sponsored a ban on abortions</a> after 20 weeks and voted to defund Planned Parenthood.</p> <p>Voters in the 19th District, which comprises of much of the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, will choose from seven Democrats competing for a chance to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso in the general election.</p> <p>The district backed Barack Obama in 2012 but favored Donald Trump in 2016, and its past three representatives have been Republican. Most recently, Faso defeated Democrat Zephyr Teachout in <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-york-house-district-19-teachout-faso" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2016</a>.</p> <p>The Democratic candidates <a href="http://wamc.org/post/listen-ny-19-democratic-candidate-debate" target="_blank" rel="noopener">debated each other this past Thursday on WAMC</a>, a public radio network headquartered in Albany, for nearly two hours, regarding topics ranging from the environment to health care.</p> <p>In District 22, another vital district that the national Democratic Party is prioritizing, Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi is challenging Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney in what <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_22nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018" target="_blank" rel="noopener">looks to be a tight race</a>.</p> <p>In District 24, which includes a chunk of central New York, Democrats <a href="https://electdanabalter.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dana Balter</a> and <a href="https://voteforjuanita.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Juanita Perez Williams</a> are competing for the chance to challenge Republican Rep. John Katko in the general.</p> <p>Districts 22 and 24 are also on the Democratic Party’s “Red to Blue” list.</p> <p><strong>National</strong><br />The Democratic Party is hoping to gain control of the House of Representatives through November’s general elections. Currently, <a href="https://pressgallery.house.gov/member-data/party-breakdown" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the House</a> is composed of 235 Republicans and 193 Democrats with seven vacancies. Democrats see several recent elections results, in New York and elsewhere, as encouraging in their efforts to flip the House this year, including through a few New York wins.</p> <p>New York Governor Andrew Cuomo <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7434-2018-will-be-a-busy-contentious-election-year-in-new-york" target="_blank" rel="noopener">spoke at a rally last year</a> with House Minority Leader Pelosi, of California, and other Democratic leaders to announce a movement to flip six New York House seats from red to blue. Cuomo vowed to unseat New York Representatives Lee Zeldin (CD1), John Faso (CD19), Elise Stefanik (CD21), Claudia Tenney (CD22), and Tom Reed (CD23), and Chris Collins (CD27). The districts represented by Reps. Stefanik, Reed, and Collins are generally regarded as safely Republican.</p> <p><em>You can find your local polling station <a href="https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</em></p> <p>***<br />by Jordan Kimmel and Daniel Yadin</p> <p>

***
by Jordan Kimmel, Gotham Gazette
@GothamGazette

Read more by this writer.

&nbsp;</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2018/trump-dan-donovan.jpg" alt="trump dan donovan" width="600" /></p> <p>Rep. Dan Donovan with President Trump (photo: @DanDonovanSI)</p> <hr /> <p>New Yorkers will head to the polls on Tuesday, June 26 to vote in Democratic and Republican congressional primary elections, determining which candidates will appear on the parties’ ballots in November’s general election. Not every one of New York’s 27 congressional districts is home to one or two primaries, but some districts are in the midst of competitive primary campaigns.</p> <p>In New York City, where just one seat in the House of Representatives delegation is held by a Republican, there are several hotly-contested primaries, though only one race is expected to be competitive in the general election. The lone GOP-held seat is also the one where a tough general election is expected -- there is currently an intense primary on each side of the aisle in the 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and a sliver of Southern Brooklyn and is represented by incumbent Rep. Dan Donovan.</p> <p>A small handful of Democratic incumbents representing parts of the city are facing spirited primary challenges, largely from the left, though incumbents, as is almost always the case, are favored. Without public polling, it is often difficult to tell if challengers are breaking through at all, or how voters feel about their incumbent representative.</p> <p>Candidates are campaigning feverishly leading up to the primary, which is expected to see fairly low turnout, though it may see a boost relative to past years due to the competitive nature of some races and the larger atmosphere surrounding “the resistance” to President Donald Trump.</p> <p>While NY-11 will factor into the discussion for the general election, other congressional seats outside New York City will form the vast majority of those seen as the state’s swing districts, where either a Democrat or a Republican could win and influence which party controls the House in January.</p> <p>While every one of the country’s 435 House seats are on the ballot this year, as they are every other year, there are some U.S. Senate seats up for election this year as well -- Senators serve six-year terms and states stagger the elections of their two Senate seats. This year, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is seeking another term and is being challenged by Republican Chele Farley in the general election.</p> <p>In order to vote in the upcoming federal primaries, New Yorkers have to already be registered to vote and with the party holding a primary in their district. A closer look at the congressional primaries to watch leading up to June 26:</p> <p><strong>District 9</strong><br />In Central Brooklyn’s District 9, 12-year Democratic incumbent Rep. Yvette Clarke faces her first primary challenge in six years. Adem Bunkeddeko, 29, was, until recently, an associate director at Brooklyn Community Services and, for five years, a member of Brooklyn Community Board 8, which includes Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and Weeksville.</p> <p>He <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/nyregion/adem-bunkeddeko-city-politics-envigorate.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">says</a> he is running because “the political culture is so static” in the nation’s largest and most diverse city. Bunkeddeko’s platform includes the expansion of charter schools, legalization of marijuana, and an aggressive housing plan that, he says, would open paths to homeownership for families making between $30,000 and $80,000 a year.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ademforcongress.com/meet-adem-bunkeddeko/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Bunkeddeko</a> has raised more than <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY09&amp;spec=N" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$200,000 </a>in his bid for the Democratic nomination as of March 31. Clarke, meanwhile, has raised at least <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00026961" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$600,000</a> in her bid for re-election. Almost <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/members-of-congress/summary?cid=N00026961" target="_blank" rel="noopener">60%</a> of Clarke’s campaign contributions have come from political action committees; Bunkeddeko has <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/candidates?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY09&amp;spec=N" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reported zero</a> donations from PACs.</p> <p>Clarke’s campaign <a href="http://www.voteyvette.com/meet_yvette" target="_blank" rel="noopener">highlights</a> her introduction of legislation granting new legal rights to homeowners facing foreclosure, work on the Affordable Care Act, and support for universal firearm background checks. She also is <a href="http://www.pnhp.org/news/2017/february/brooklynites-cheer-single-payer-health-care-at-congressional-town-hall" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a signatory</a> to the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. Clarke has not stated her positions on other marquee Democratic issues like &nbsp;<a href="https://www.kingscountypolitics.com/clarke-ducks-fed-legalization-of-marijuana-question/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legalization of marijuana</a> and the abolition of ICE, though she has <a href="https://clarke.house.gov/ice-agents-wear-body-cameras-nyc-council-members-say/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">introduced legislation</a> that would equip ICE agents with body cameras.</p> <p>“Our community is under siege and has been for quite some time,” Bunkeddeko wrote on his <a href="https://www.ademforcongress.com/home" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a>, with reference to the Trump administration. “More and more of our neighbors are finding inequality and injustice in Central Brooklyn (NY-9), and good folks are being pushed out in droves.”</p> <p><strong>District 11</strong><br />In New York City’s only Republican-represented congressional district, Rep. Dan Donovan is facing a primary challenge from his predecessor, former Rep. Michael Grimm, who resigned the office three-and-a-half years ago just after winning reelection while under federal indictment. Grimm pleaded guilty to tax evasion and served time in federal prison. He now wants his old job back and is challenging Donovan in a Republican-heavy district where, unlike in most of the rest of the city, allegiance to President Donald Trump is seen as essential -- at least in the primary.</p> <p>Grimm represented the mostly-Staten Island district from 2010 to 2015. In 2014, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/29/nyregion/representative-michael-grimm-is-indicted-on-fraud-charges.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">he was charged</a> with 20 counts of fraud, federal tax evasion and perjury. He resigned in January of 2015, and served eight months in federal prison.</p> <p>Grimm recently <a href="https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/michael-grimm-qualifies-run-donovan-setting-showdown" target="_blank" rel="noopener">gathered over 3,000 signatures</a> from those in the district, easily surpassing the 1,250 required to appear on the primary ballot, and, while Donovan has <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY11" target="_blank" rel="noopener">raised</a> over three times as much money as Grimm, a recent<a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2018/06/04/michael-grimm-dan-donovan-ny1-siena-college-poll-congressional-primary-nyc-" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> NY1/Siena poll </a>shows Grimm with a ten-point lead over the incumbent.</p> <p>Differences between the candidates have been largely non-ideological — Grimm’s campaign <a href="http://www.michaelgrimm2018.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a> does not even offer a list of his positions, and <a href="http://dandonovanforcongress.com/the-issues/#1474037339002-e2962ff0-88e2" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Donovan’s</a> stakes out his stances on widely-agreeable issues like Staten Islanders’ commutes (shorten them), taxes (cut them), and homeland security (protect it).</p> <p>As representatives, Donovan introduced <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/04/22/donovan-to-propose-bill-that-targets-sanctuary-city-funding/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">legislation</a> this year to target federal funding for sanctuary cities, and Grimm, in 2013, <a href="http://www.ontheissues.org/Notebook/Note_14_Lt_Imm.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener">urged</a> the Department of Homeland Security to stop releasing low-risk undocumented immigrants from detention camps.</p> <p>In 2012, <a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/politics/2018/04/12/dan-donovan-record-tackling-staten-island-opioid-crisis-as-district-attorney-congress" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the two worked together</a> — Donovan as Staten Island District Attorney, Grimm as Congressional representative — on legislation to fight prescription drug abuse.</p> <p>Both candidates have made a show of their support for Trump in the only New York City district he carried. While Grimm has attacked Donovan as a moderate who voted against the Trump tax reform package, Donovan has pointed to Grimm’s moderate record when he represented the district. Donovan introduced a bill that would mandate every post office display photos of the president and vice president.</p> <p>Trump recently endorsed Donovan, <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1001973090107248641" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tweeting</a> that “There is no one better to represent the people of N.Y. and Staten Island (a place I know very well) than @RepDanDonovan, who is strong on Borders &amp; Crime, loves our Military &amp; our Vets, voted for Tax Cuts and is helping me to Make America Great Again.”</p> <p>“Dan has my full endorsement!” he concluded. Donovan was quick to boast about the endorsement, while Grimm downplayed it.</p> <p>The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of a competitive Democratic primary in NY-11, which includes six Democrats. That pack is led by fundraising leader and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee endorsee Max Rose, a veteran who has raised more money as of the March 31 filing date than all of his Democratic competitors combined. Michael DeVito is also running an especially active campaign, while <a href="http://www.nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/vgwelcome/congressional-primary-2018/meet-the-candidates/congressional-district-11-democratic/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">other Democrats</a> include Omar Vaid, Zach Emig, Paul Sperling, and Radhakrishna Mohan.</p> <p>NY-11 is on the Democratic Party’s “Red to Blue” shortlist of currently-Republican congressional districts that realistically may elect a Democrat in November.</p> <p><strong>District 12</strong><br />Meanwhile, in District 12, covering much of Manhattan’s East Side and parts of Brooklyn and Queens, 34-year-old Suraj Patel, an entrepreneur and <a href="http://www.stern.nyu.edu/experience-stern/about/departments-centers-initiatives/academic-departments/business-society-program/faculty-staff/faculty/suraj-patel" target="_blank" rel="noopener">business ethics professor</a> at New York University, is attempting to unseat 25-year incumbent <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/Carolyn_Maloney" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Rep. Carolyn Maloney</a>.</p> <p>Patel has raised slightly over <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY12" target="_blank" rel="noopener">$1 million</a> for his bid, nearly matching Maloney’s $1.4 million war chest -- a rare development for a primary challenger to an incumbent. Maloney retained the money advantage, at least as of the March 31 filing, and has significant establishment support for her reelection.</p> <p><a href="https://www.surajpatel.nyc/about-suraj/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Patel</a> was born in Mississippi to Indian immigrant parents, and has worked in various capacities in Barack Obama’s orbit, including as a volunteer on his 2008 presidential campaign.</p> <p>“Our republic is broken,” Patel wrote on his <a href="https://www.surajpatel.nyc/issues/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a>. “Big money has corrupted the system, there are too many obstacles to voting, and undemocratic policies like partisan gerrymandering have made our House of Representatives unrepresentative of the American people.”</p> <p>The upstart and insurgent candidate challenging a well-established party representative is something Maloney has seen before. She last faced a serious primary challenge in 2010, when lawyer <a href="https://medium.com/girls-who-code/teach-girls-bravery-not-perfection-257691d13476" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reshma Saujani</a> raised upwards of $1.3 million in a bid to unseat the incumbent. Nevertheless, Maloney prevailed with 81% of the vote.</p> <p>Saujani endorsed Maloney in early March, according to the <a href="https://nypost.com/2018/03/06/maloney-has-backing-of-former-rival-in-re-election-bid/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">New York Post</a>, as have several advocacy groups and unions, including 32BJ SEIU, the largest union of property service workers in America.</p> <p>She is <a href="https://carolynmaloney.com/issues/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">running</a> on her consumer protection bona fides, experience “on the front lines in the fight for women’s rights,” and legislative work for paid parental leave, among other positions.</p> <p><strong>District 14</strong><br />In District 14, covering northwest Queens and the eastern Bronx, 28-year-old organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is offering 56-year-old Rep. Joe Crowley <a href="https://qns.com/story/2018/03/26/bronx-resident-will-queens-congressman-joe-crowleys-first-primary-challenger-14-years/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">his first contested primary</a> in his 14 years in office.</p> <p>Crowley has significant establishment ties: as <a href="https://crowley.house.gov/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the chair of the House Democratic Caucus</a>, he’s the fourth highest ranking official in the House Democratic leadership and is <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/in-the-shadow-of-nancy-pelosi-joseph-crowley-campaigns-without-a-target/2018/02/08/04694d92-0b95-11e8-8b0d-891602206fb7_story.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">frequently mentioned</a> as a possible successor to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Crowley runs the Queens County Democratic Party, with great influence over local elections, the courts, and government in Queens and beyond.</p> <p>Crowley touts his support for equal pay legislation, co-sponsorship of legislation mandating universal firearm background checks, and authorship of an act providing tax relief for poor renters.</p> <p>Ocasio-Cortez is challenging Crowley from his left as part of the slate of the <a href="https://www.justicedemocrats.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Justice Democrats</a>, a political action committee that supports progressive candidates who pledge to not accept corporate donations. She’s staked out her support for a federal jobs guarantee, the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and tuition-free public college.</p> <p>Both candidates tout their immigrant roots — Crowley’s family is Irish, Ocasio-Cortez’s is Puerto Rican — and their support for Medicare-for-All.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY14" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fundraising</a> gap between the two candidates is significant — with $2.78 million on hand compared to Ocasio-Cortez’s $116,000, Crowley’s outraised his opponent almost twenty-four times over.</p> <p>“It's a major David-vs-Goliath tale for the soul of the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/SandersForPresident/comments/6ftvhu/hey_reddit_i_am_alexandria_ocasiocortez_us/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a blog post</a> on Reddit. “We are going to have to choose whether we will continue down the path of corporate patronage or return to the Democratic spirit of our governance.”</p> <p><strong>Races Outside New York City: Districts 1, 19, 22, and 24</strong><br />The Cook Political Report carefully&nbsp;<a href="https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">designates</a>&nbsp;“competitive” House races and lists a few New York races outside the five boroughs.</p> <p>In Long Island’s 1st District, five Democrats are running for their party’s nomination. Perry Gershon, a former businessman who <a href="https://www.perrygershon.com/about/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">says</a> he was inspired by Trump’s election to “set out to personally fight for change,” has raised more <a href="https://www.opensecrets.org/races/summary?cycle=2018&amp;id=NY01" target="_blank" rel="noopener">money</a> than all his competitors combined. The winner of the contested primary will face off against two-term Republican incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin, who <a href="https://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/spin-cycle/emily-s-list-declares-rep-zeldin-on-notice-for-2016-1.10496400" target="_blank" rel="noopener">co-sponsored a ban on abortions</a> after 20 weeks and voted to defund Planned Parenthood.</p> <p>Voters in the 19th District, which comprises of much of the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, will choose from seven Democrats competing for a chance to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. John Faso in the general election.</p> <p>The district backed Barack Obama in 2012 but favored Donald Trump in 2016, and its past three representatives have been Republican. Most recently, Faso defeated Democrat Zephyr Teachout in <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/new-york-house-district-19-teachout-faso" target="_blank" rel="noopener">2016</a>.</p> <p>The Democratic candidates <a href="http://wamc.org/post/listen-ny-19-democratic-candidate-debate" target="_blank" rel="noopener">debated each other this past Thursday on WAMC</a>, a public radio network headquartered in Albany, for nearly two hours, regarding topics ranging from the environment to health care.</p> <p>In District 22, another vital district that the national Democratic Party is prioritizing, Assemblymember Anthony Brindisi is challenging Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney in what <a href="https://ballotpedia.org/New_York%27s_22nd_Congressional_District_election,_2018" target="_blank" rel="noopener">looks to be a tight race</a>.</p> <p>In District 24, which includes a chunk of central New York, Democrats <a href="https://electdanabalter.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Dana Balter</a> and <a href="https://voteforjuanita.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Juanita Perez Williams</a> are competing for the chance to challenge Republican Rep. John Katko in the general.</p> <p>Districts 22 and 24 are also on the Democratic Party’s “Red to Blue” list.</p> <p><strong>National</strong><br />The Democratic Party is hoping to gain control of the House of Representatives through November’s general elections. Currently, <a href="https://pressgallery.house.gov/member-data/party-breakdown" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the House</a> is composed of 235 Republicans and 193 Democrats with seven vacancies. Democrats see several recent elections results, in New York and elsewhere, as encouraging in their efforts to flip the House this year, including through a few New York wins.</p> <p>New York Governor Andrew Cuomo <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7434-2018-will-be-a-busy-contentious-election-year-in-new-york" target="_blank" rel="noopener">spoke at a rally last year</a> with House Minority Leader Pelosi, of California, and other Democratic leaders to announce a movement to flip six New York House seats from red to blue. Cuomo vowed to unseat New York Representatives Lee Zeldin (CD1), John Faso (CD19), Elise Stefanik (CD21), Claudia Tenney (CD22), and Tom Reed (CD23), and Chris Collins (CD27). The districts represented by Reps. Stefanik, Reed, and Collins are generally regarded as safely Republican.</p> <p><em>You can find your local polling station <a href="https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</em></p> <p>***<br />by Jordan Kimmel and Daniel Yadin</p> <p>

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by Jordan Kimmel, Gotham Gazette
@GothamGazette

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2018 Will Be a Busy, Contentious Election Year in New York 2018-01-22T05:00:00+00:00 2018-01-22T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7434-2018-will-be-a-busy-contentious-election-year-in-new-york Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/26473316189_c59edbb89b_z.jpg" alt="election polling place Brooklyn" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>a polling place (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>This year will be another busy, contentious election year for New Yorkers. While 2017 saw the majority of elections confined to local government, 2018 will see three election days and races for state-level offices, including five of six statewide positions and all of the state Legislature, as well as all of the state’s delegation to the House of Representatives.</p> <p>A fourth election day <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">will occur</a> in some districts after Governor Andrew Cuomo called special elections to fill 11 vacant state Senate and Assembly seats. <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">That election day is Tuesday April 24</a>. Cuomo could have called the special election weeks earlier, but waited to do so, leaving those 11 districts with less than full representation throughout budget negotiations in Albany.</p> <p>Aside from those special elections and depending on political party affiliation, New Yorkers will be able to vote in the federal primaries on Tuesday June 26; the state primaries in September (the date is likely being moved from Tuesday September 11 to Thursday September 13 because of Rosh Hashanah); and Election Day, Tuesday November 6. Only those registered with a party can vote in party primaries in New York, but the November general elections are open to all registered voters. So-called “independent” voters -- those registered to vote but not with a party -- cannot participate in party primaries, nor can those registered with parties wherein primaries are not being decided.</p> <p>In 2016 there was an unsuccessful push to combine the congressional and state primaries to a single date, which ensured four election days given it was a presidential year and that primary was in April. There is a good chance there will be a similar push this year to combine primary dates, but while Democrats have sought to move the state primaries to June, Republicans have suggested an August date, leaving the sides at an impasse.</p> <p>Along with all the 27 New York House seats, which are elected every two years, one of New York’s two United State Senate seats, elected every six years, is on the ballot this year -- the one currently held by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. At the state government level, the four statewide posts of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller are all on the ballot in their four-year cycle, as well as the every-two-year elections of all 150 seats in the state Assembly and all 63 seats in the state Senate.</p> <p>In New York, this year’s deadlines for candidates to file for federal office is April 12 and for state offices, July 12.</p> <p>Another macro issue to watch ahead of this year’s elections is voting reform in New York. There is an ongoing push to see early voting passed, among other reforms like same-day registration and no-excuse absentee voting. While Cuomo, a Democrat, and the Democrat-controlled Assembly support such reforms, Republicans who control the state Senate do not.</p> <p>[Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">11 Special Elections Set for April 24</a>]</p> <p><strong>2018 Federal Elections in New York</strong><br /> While Gillibrand is up for reelection this year, New York’s other U.S. Senator, Charles Schumer, won reelection in 2016 and won’t be on the ballot again until 2022. Gillibrand served in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009 before being appointed to the Senate in 2009, and winning a special election in 2010, to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant seat when she was appointed Secretary of State. Gillibrand went on to win the regularly-scheduled 2012 election for the seat as well and is now running for her second full term as a senator. She is rumored as a possible 2020 presidential candidate. It is unclear who Republicans will run against her this year in New York.</p> <p>In the House, New York and national Democrats are eyeing several seats to help flip control of the chamber through the 2018 elections. As of January 2018, the House is composed of 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats, with 4 vacancies.</p> <p>Given Republican President Donald Trump’s record unpopularity, which is especially acute in his home state of New York; recent Democratic electoral wins in New York and elsewhere; and historical trends whereby a new president’s party loses congressional seats in the midterm elections, many are expecting a Democratic wave in 2018, with the potential for flipping the House and possibly the Senate.</p> <p>Democrats’ “red to blue” campaign across the country will include multiple New York districts while local party activists may target others. Governor Cuomo, himself seeking a third term this year, has promised a campaign to flip six New York House seats after their officeholders have supported legislation Cuomo deems detrimental to New York. Cuomo joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats at a June 2017 rally in Manhattan to kick off a campaign to unseat Reps. Lee Zeldin (CD1), Chris Collins (CD27), John Faso (CD19), Elise Stefanik (CD21), Claudia Tenney (CD22), and Tom Reed (CD23).</p> <p>The national Democratic Party is currently <a href="https://redtoblue.dccc.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">prioritizing</a> two of those New York Congressional Districts, the 11th and the 22nd. Rep. Donovan currently represents the 11th, which includes all of Staten Island and some of Brooklyn. Max Rose is seen as the Democrats’ best chance to unseat Donovan in November, though Donovan also must first survivie a primary challenge by former Rep. Michael Grimm, who resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges. Rep. Tenney represents the 22nd, sitting just east of Syracuse and including Binghamton, Cortland, and Utica, and the Democratic Party is apparently behind Anthony Brindisi, a state Assembly member.</p> <p>New York’s 19th Congressional District, currently represented by Faso, is expected to be a toss up. Faso won a hotly contested 2016 race against Democrat Zephyr Teachout. The Hudson Valley seat is likely to again be home to a great deal of political spending.</p> <p>The 24th Congressional District may also be home to a strong challenge to a sitting Republican. Syracuse’s recently-former mayor Stephanie Miner, a Democrat, has hinted at potentially challenging current Rep. Katko. The Democratic Party’s “red to blue” campaign lists the district in its efforts as well but has not found a candidate to support yet.</p> <p>In the other direction, in early February 2017 the National Republican Congressional Committee released it’s Democratic targets for the 2018 elections. The list contained references to two New York Democrats: Tom Suozzi, who represents Congressional District 3 in the north and western portion of Nassau County, Long Island and Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents the 18th Congressional District containing Poughkeepsie, Woodbury, and Newburgh.</p> <p>Aside from the Grimm-Donovan primary, there may be a handful of other intraparty challenges to sitting representatives worth watching. Rep. Joe Crowley of Queens, for example, is being challenged from the left by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While Ocasio-Cortez faces very long odds, she may be able to at least make Crowley pay more attention to his home district than his larger ambitions and agenda.</p> <p><strong>State-Level Special Elections</strong><br /><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">11 Special Elections Set for April 24</a></p> <p><strong>2018 State-Level Elections in New York</strong><br /> As mentioned, 2018 is an election year for the four state-level statewide positions of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller. All four posts are held by Democrats expected to seek another term.</p> <p>Governor Cuomo was first elected to the position in 2010 and won reelection in 2014. While Bob Duffy was Cuomo’s first-term Lieutenant Governor, he declined to run for reelection in 2014 and Cuomo chose Kathy Hochul as his running mate. She has said she is running again. Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor can run as a slate, but they are elected separately in party primaries, then together in the general election. Cuomo and Hochul may have to each survive Democratic primary challengers before they can rejoin as a ticket for the general election.</p> <p>The Lieutenant Governor’s role is similar to the Vice President of the United States. The LG is President of the State Senate and acts as Governor in the Governor’s absence from the state, in the case of severe disability, death, impeachment, or resignation from office. Otherwise it is a largely ceremonial position often seen as a cheerleader for the governor and the administration’s policies. Hochul often represents the Cuomo administration at events across the state, and has taken the lead on certain issues, such as co-chairing a recent task force put together by Cuomo on women’s opportunity.</p> <p>It is unclear who Republicans will nominate for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, but GOP leadership has indicated it wants to avoid a primary. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has launched a gubernatorial campaign on the Republican side. Meanwhile, several minor parties will also put forward candidates. Democratic challengers to Cuomo and Hochul have begun to emerge, with former State Senator Terry Gibson aggressively testing the gubernatorial waters and New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams opening an exploratory committee to run for LG.</p> <p>New York State’s Attorney General is also up for election in 2018. Eric Schneiderman first won election to the office of Attorney General in 2010. He would go on to win reelection in 2014. The Attorney General will be running for his third term in 2018 should he seek reelection. Schneiderman has been in the news a lot lately for his frequent lawsuits on behalf of New York against the Trump Administration and its policies.</p> <p>Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is also expected to run for reelection this year. Dinapoli was first appointed to the position in 2007 after the resignation of Alan Hevesi. He would go on to win election to the Comptroller’s Office in 2010 and 2014. The Comptroller is tasked with managing the state’s enormous pension fund, auditing state agencies and local governments, and reviewing state and local budgets.</p> <p>All 63 seats in the state Senate will be on the ballot this fall. Unlike the Assembly, control of the Senate will be at stake, with several swing districts at play. There is currently a complicated and contentious breakdown of power in the Senate, where Republicans hold 31 seats, but have a majority because of nine Democrats -- Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder conferences with the GOP while the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference forms a ruling coalition with that Republican conference.</p> <p>Mainline and Independent Democrats reached a tentative deal in late 2017 to begin to work together in the State Senate, but only on a number of conditions, including winning the two special elections for currently vacant seats. The empty seat in the Bronx is all but a lock, while the empty Westchester seat will be closer to a toss-up. Felder’s status is not completely clear in terms of what he will do -- he has always maintained he’ll take the best deal for him and his constituents.</p> <p>Complicating things is grassroots anger at members of the IDC, whereby several if not all IDC members will be facing primary challenges. IDC Leader Jeff Klein of the Bronx (SD34), Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn (SD20), Jose Peralta of Queens (SD13), and Marisol Alcantara of Manhattan (SD31) are among those members already facing primary challenges.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there are somewhere around a half-dozen swing districts to watch outside New York City, and one potential swing district within the five boroughs -- the Brooklyn seat currently held by Senator Martin Golden. The expected Democratic wave could lead to several seats switching hands, though local races can turn on different issues and long-time incumbents like Golden can be very difficult to beat. Districts on Long Island and in the suburbs just north of New York City are often more likely to change hands, while New York City and other large cities around the state are overwhelmingly represented by Democrats and upstate areas outside of other major cities are heavily Republican.</p> <p>All 150 state Assembly seats are up for election in 2018. The chamber is heavily Democratic, with a current partisan split of 103 Democrats, 37 Republicans, one Independence Party member, and the nine vacancies.</p> <p>With all that is happening in other races, especially those for Governor and in key House and state Senate swing districts, there will likely be little attention paid to most Assembly races this year.</p> <p>There will be other local elections in 2018, including local school board and trial court judicial elections, among others.</p> <p>

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by Matthew Sweeney, Gotham Gazette

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</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/26473316189_c59edbb89b_z.jpg" alt="election polling place Brooklyn" width="600" height="400" /></p> <p>a polling place (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)</p> <hr /> <p>This year will be another busy, contentious election year for New Yorkers. While 2017 saw the majority of elections confined to local government, 2018 will see three election days and races for state-level offices, including five of six statewide positions and all of the state Legislature, as well as all of the state’s delegation to the House of Representatives.</p> <p>A fourth election day <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">will occur</a> in some districts after Governor Andrew Cuomo called special elections to fill 11 vacant state Senate and Assembly seats. <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">That election day is Tuesday April 24</a>. Cuomo could have called the special election weeks earlier, but waited to do so, leaving those 11 districts with less than full representation throughout budget negotiations in Albany.</p> <p>Aside from those special elections and depending on political party affiliation, New Yorkers will be able to vote in the federal primaries on Tuesday June 26; the state primaries in September (the date is likely being moved from Tuesday September 11 to Thursday September 13 because of Rosh Hashanah); and Election Day, Tuesday November 6. Only those registered with a party can vote in party primaries in New York, but the November general elections are open to all registered voters. So-called “independent” voters -- those registered to vote but not with a party -- cannot participate in party primaries, nor can those registered with parties wherein primaries are not being decided.</p> <p>In 2016 there was an unsuccessful push to combine the congressional and state primaries to a single date, which ensured four election days given it was a presidential year and that primary was in April. There is a good chance there will be a similar push this year to combine primary dates, but while Democrats have sought to move the state primaries to June, Republicans have suggested an August date, leaving the sides at an impasse.</p> <p>Along with all the 27 New York House seats, which are elected every two years, one of New York’s two United State Senate seats, elected every six years, is on the ballot this year -- the one currently held by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. At the state government level, the four statewide posts of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller are all on the ballot in their four-year cycle, as well as the every-two-year elections of all 150 seats in the state Assembly and all 63 seats in the state Senate.</p> <p>In New York, this year’s deadlines for candidates to file for federal office is April 12 and for state offices, July 12.</p> <p>Another macro issue to watch ahead of this year’s elections is voting reform in New York. There is an ongoing push to see early voting passed, among other reforms like same-day registration and no-excuse absentee voting. While Cuomo, a Democrat, and the Democrat-controlled Assembly support such reforms, Republicans who control the state Senate do not.</p> <p>[Read: <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">11 Special Elections Set for April 24</a>]</p> <p><strong>2018 Federal Elections in New York</strong><br /> While Gillibrand is up for reelection this year, New York’s other U.S. Senator, Charles Schumer, won reelection in 2016 and won’t be on the ballot again until 2022. Gillibrand served in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009 before being appointed to the Senate in 2009, and winning a special election in 2010, to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacant seat when she was appointed Secretary of State. Gillibrand went on to win the regularly-scheduled 2012 election for the seat as well and is now running for her second full term as a senator. She is rumored as a possible 2020 presidential candidate. It is unclear who Republicans will run against her this year in New York.</p> <p>In the House, New York and national Democrats are eyeing several seats to help flip control of the chamber through the 2018 elections. As of January 2018, the House is composed of 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats, with 4 vacancies.</p> <p>Given Republican President Donald Trump’s record unpopularity, which is especially acute in his home state of New York; recent Democratic electoral wins in New York and elsewhere; and historical trends whereby a new president’s party loses congressional seats in the midterm elections, many are expecting a Democratic wave in 2018, with the potential for flipping the House and possibly the Senate.</p> <p>Democrats’ “red to blue” campaign across the country will include multiple New York districts while local party activists may target others. Governor Cuomo, himself seeking a third term this year, has promised a campaign to flip six New York House seats after their officeholders have supported legislation Cuomo deems detrimental to New York. Cuomo joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats at a June 2017 rally in Manhattan to kick off a campaign to unseat Reps. Lee Zeldin (CD1), Chris Collins (CD27), John Faso (CD19), Elise Stefanik (CD21), Claudia Tenney (CD22), and Tom Reed (CD23).</p> <p>The national Democratic Party is currently <a href="https://redtoblue.dccc.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">prioritizing</a> two of those New York Congressional Districts, the 11th and the 22nd. Rep. Donovan currently represents the 11th, which includes all of Staten Island and some of Brooklyn. Max Rose is seen as the Democrats’ best chance to unseat Donovan in November, though Donovan also must first survivie a primary challenge by former Rep. Michael Grimm, who resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges. Rep. Tenney represents the 22nd, sitting just east of Syracuse and including Binghamton, Cortland, and Utica, and the Democratic Party is apparently behind Anthony Brindisi, a state Assembly member.</p> <p>New York’s 19th Congressional District, currently represented by Faso, is expected to be a toss up. Faso won a hotly contested 2016 race against Democrat Zephyr Teachout. The Hudson Valley seat is likely to again be home to a great deal of political spending.</p> <p>The 24th Congressional District may also be home to a strong challenge to a sitting Republican. Syracuse’s recently-former mayor Stephanie Miner, a Democrat, has hinted at potentially challenging current Rep. Katko. The Democratic Party’s “red to blue” campaign lists the district in its efforts as well but has not found a candidate to support yet.</p> <p>In the other direction, in early February 2017 the National Republican Congressional Committee released it’s Democratic targets for the 2018 elections. The list contained references to two New York Democrats: Tom Suozzi, who represents Congressional District 3 in the north and western portion of Nassau County, Long Island and Sean Patrick Maloney, who represents the 18th Congressional District containing Poughkeepsie, Woodbury, and Newburgh.</p> <p>Aside from the Grimm-Donovan primary, there may be a handful of other intraparty challenges to sitting representatives worth watching. Rep. Joe Crowley of Queens, for example, is being challenged from the left by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. While Ocasio-Cortez faces very long odds, she may be able to at least make Crowley pay more attention to his home district than his larger ambitions and agenda.</p> <p><strong>State-Level Special Elections</strong><br /><a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/7483-the-11-special-elections-set-for-april-24" target="_blank" rel="noopener">11 Special Elections Set for April 24</a></p> <p><strong>2018 State-Level Elections in New York</strong><br /> As mentioned, 2018 is an election year for the four state-level statewide positions of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller. All four posts are held by Democrats expected to seek another term.</p> <p>Governor Cuomo was first elected to the position in 2010 and won reelection in 2014. While Bob Duffy was Cuomo’s first-term Lieutenant Governor, he declined to run for reelection in 2014 and Cuomo chose Kathy Hochul as his running mate. She has said she is running again. Candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor can run as a slate, but they are elected separately in party primaries, then together in the general election. Cuomo and Hochul may have to each survive Democratic primary challengers before they can rejoin as a ticket for the general election.</p> <p>The Lieutenant Governor’s role is similar to the Vice President of the United States. The LG is President of the State Senate and acts as Governor in the Governor’s absence from the state, in the case of severe disability, death, impeachment, or resignation from office. Otherwise it is a largely ceremonial position often seen as a cheerleader for the governor and the administration’s policies. Hochul often represents the Cuomo administration at events across the state, and has taken the lead on certain issues, such as co-chairing a recent task force put together by Cuomo on women’s opportunity.</p> <p>It is unclear who Republicans will nominate for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, but GOP leadership has indicated it wants to avoid a primary. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb has launched a gubernatorial campaign on the Republican side. Meanwhile, several minor parties will also put forward candidates. Democratic challengers to Cuomo and Hochul have begun to emerge, with former State Senator Terry Gibson aggressively testing the gubernatorial waters and New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams opening an exploratory committee to run for LG.</p> <p>New York State’s Attorney General is also up for election in 2018. Eric Schneiderman first won election to the office of Attorney General in 2010. He would go on to win reelection in 2014. The Attorney General will be running for his third term in 2018 should he seek reelection. Schneiderman has been in the news a lot lately for his frequent lawsuits on behalf of New York against the Trump Administration and its policies.</p> <p>Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is also expected to run for reelection this year. Dinapoli was first appointed to the position in 2007 after the resignation of Alan Hevesi. He would go on to win election to the Comptroller’s Office in 2010 and 2014. The Comptroller is tasked with managing the state’s enormous pension fund, auditing state agencies and local governments, and reviewing state and local budgets.</p> <p>All 63 seats in the state Senate will be on the ballot this fall. Unlike the Assembly, control of the Senate will be at stake, with several swing districts at play. There is currently a complicated and contentious breakdown of power in the Senate, where Republicans hold 31 seats, but have a majority because of nine Democrats -- Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder conferences with the GOP while the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference forms a ruling coalition with that Republican conference.</p> <p>Mainline and Independent Democrats reached a tentative deal in late 2017 to begin to work together in the State Senate, but only on a number of conditions, including winning the two special elections for currently vacant seats. The empty seat in the Bronx is all but a lock, while the empty Westchester seat will be closer to a toss-up. Felder’s status is not completely clear in terms of what he will do -- he has always maintained he’ll take the best deal for him and his constituents.</p> <p>Complicating things is grassroots anger at members of the IDC, whereby several if not all IDC members will be facing primary challenges. IDC Leader Jeff Klein of the Bronx (SD34), Jesse Hamilton of Brooklyn (SD20), Jose Peralta of Queens (SD13), and Marisol Alcantara of Manhattan (SD31) are among those members already facing primary challenges.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there are somewhere around a half-dozen swing districts to watch outside New York City, and one potential swing district within the five boroughs -- the Brooklyn seat currently held by Senator Martin Golden. The expected Democratic wave could lead to several seats switching hands, though local races can turn on different issues and long-time incumbents like Golden can be very difficult to beat. Districts on Long Island and in the suburbs just north of New York City are often more likely to change hands, while New York City and other large cities around the state are overwhelmingly represented by Democrats and upstate areas outside of other major cities are heavily Republican.</p> <p>All 150 state Assembly seats are up for election in 2018. The chamber is heavily Democratic, with a current partisan split of 103 Democrats, 37 Republicans, one Independence Party member, and the nine vacancies.</p> <p>With all that is happening in other races, especially those for Governor and in key House and state Senate swing districts, there will likely be little attention paid to most Assembly races this year.</p> <p>There will be other local elections in 2018, including local school board and trial court judicial elections, among others.</p> <p>

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by Matthew Sweeney, Gotham Gazette

Read more by this writer.

</p>
For 2018, The Center Must Hold 2017-07-26T20:25:00+00:00 2017-07-26T20:25:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/130-opinion/7082-for-2018-the-center-must-hold Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/34296643464_13cfa1a028_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo NY Dems" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo rallying to flip NY House seats (photo: NY Democratic Party)</p> <hr /> <p>If the national Women’s March was any indication, we are in for a Democratic tidal wave come 2018. We’re only seven months into 2017, of course. But if such a wave does occur, then the Republican Party in Congress will only revert back to ideological extremes and obstructionism.</p> <p>Why? Because the seats up for grabs are largely the 50 seats held by moderate Tuesday Group caucus members. As their influence wanes, the influence of the Freedom Caucus and other extreme conservatives will only grow.</p> <p>While governing is about compromise, politics is about winning, and having worked on several campaigns in New York, I certainly cannot begrudge Democrats for trying to unseat some of our more moderate Congressional members, as they are the campaign equivalent of low-hanging fruit.</p> <p>However, in order to govern, the center must hold.</p> <p>America needs the Tuesday Group. America needs Democratic blue dogs. Congressional Republicans need moderate leaders like Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Charlie Dent, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers.</p> <p>Without them, the party in Congress will see a return to turmoil, the likes of which we only briefly glimpsed after John Boehner announced his resignation in September 2015.</p> <p>Ward Baker, former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, wrote a lengthy memo last year to GOP Senate campaigns after it became clear Donald Trump was on track to win the Republican nomination for President. The message of the memo: run your own race.</p> <p>Tuesday Group members, I cannot stress this enough.</p> <p>Do not feel beholden to a toxic and unpopular and unpredictable White House. Support the Speaker, cast your vote, but vote your constituents, vote your conscience – not the Saturday morning Twitter spasms of an irrational and unstable Commander-in-Chief.</p> <p>Reince Priebus and Howard Dean both proved that big tent strategy beats strict ideological adherence every time.</p> <p>Dean built a 50-state infrastructure that helped Democrats navigate their way to the majority in 2006. Meanwhile, Priebus wrangled FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, Ending Spending, and other conservative groups to do the same for Republicans in 2010 and 2014.</p> <p>That’s the reason why my party is now gifted with talented pols like Joni Ernst, Rob Portman, Cory Gardner, Elise Stefanik, John Katko, and Marco Rubio.</p> <p>In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has already declared “war” on Republican House members throughout the state, but based on his track record his bark is worse than his bite. Congressional Reps. John Faso and Claudia Tenney may face strong Democratic challenges, but Cuomo will be too busy padding his own reelection effort to take notice.</p> <p>Democrats, if they’re interested in winning, need to ditch – and quit praying at the altar of – a Vermont demagogue and remnant of the Old World communist left, who still refuses to even identify as a Democrat, and instead embrace such 21st Century party pragmatists as Cory Booker, Patty Murray, Tom Perez, and John Hickenlooper.</p> <p>If not, Democrats will only continue to flounder, and suffer more “close but no cigar” moments like Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania, Jason Kander in Missouri, Jon Ossoff in Georgia, and, quite obviously, that glass ceiling-shattering candidate who was supposed to win the White House in 2008 and 2016.</p> <p>Democrats, I may not be your friend, but I’m certainly not your enemy – Putin and ISIS are the enemy. Your party is in turmoil, you need to figure out what you stand for, and then bring your A-game.</p> <p>Show Americans you’ve got what it takes to provide jobs, provide roads and bridges, provide health care, education and equal justice, provide prosperity, liberty, safety, security, and the freedom of choice for all.</p> <p>However, if you can’t do that, if you can’t organize for something other than marching, if you can’t resolve your own petty internecine warfare between intransigent Bernie believers and mainstream party practicables then you deserve to live in the minority until you do.</p> <p>***<br />John&nbsp;William Schiffbauer was the Deputy Communications Director for the New York Republican State Committee 2014-16. Last fall, he served as campaign manager for Republican Melinda Crump’s State Senate campaign in New York’s 31st District. On Twitter <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/@jwschiffgop" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@jwschiffgop</a>.</p> <p>

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Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/34296643464_13cfa1a028_z.jpg" alt="Cuomo NY Dems" width="600" height="399" /></p> <p>Gov. Cuomo rallying to flip NY House seats (photo: NY Democratic Party)</p> <hr /> <p>If the national Women’s March was any indication, we are in for a Democratic tidal wave come 2018. We’re only seven months into 2017, of course. But if such a wave does occur, then the Republican Party in Congress will only revert back to ideological extremes and obstructionism.</p> <p>Why? Because the seats up for grabs are largely the 50 seats held by moderate Tuesday Group caucus members. As their influence wanes, the influence of the Freedom Caucus and other extreme conservatives will only grow.</p> <p>While governing is about compromise, politics is about winning, and having worked on several campaigns in New York, I certainly cannot begrudge Democrats for trying to unseat some of our more moderate Congressional members, as they are the campaign equivalent of low-hanging fruit.</p> <p>However, in order to govern, the center must hold.</p> <p>America needs the Tuesday Group. America needs Democratic blue dogs. Congressional Republicans need moderate leaders like Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Charlie Dent, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers.</p> <p>Without them, the party in Congress will see a return to turmoil, the likes of which we only briefly glimpsed after John Boehner announced his resignation in September 2015.</p> <p>Ward Baker, former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, wrote a lengthy memo last year to GOP Senate campaigns after it became clear Donald Trump was on track to win the Republican nomination for President. The message of the memo: run your own race.</p> <p>Tuesday Group members, I cannot stress this enough.</p> <p>Do not feel beholden to a toxic and unpopular and unpredictable White House. Support the Speaker, cast your vote, but vote your constituents, vote your conscience – not the Saturday morning Twitter spasms of an irrational and unstable Commander-in-Chief.</p> <p>Reince Priebus and Howard Dean both proved that big tent strategy beats strict ideological adherence every time.</p> <p>Dean built a 50-state infrastructure that helped Democrats navigate their way to the majority in 2006. Meanwhile, Priebus wrangled FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth, Ending Spending, and other conservative groups to do the same for Republicans in 2010 and 2014.</p> <p>That’s the reason why my party is now gifted with talented pols like Joni Ernst, Rob Portman, Cory Gardner, Elise Stefanik, John Katko, and Marco Rubio.</p> <p>In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has already declared “war” on Republican House members throughout the state, but based on his track record his bark is worse than his bite. Congressional Reps. John Faso and Claudia Tenney may face strong Democratic challenges, but Cuomo will be too busy padding his own reelection effort to take notice.</p> <p>Democrats, if they’re interested in winning, need to ditch – and quit praying at the altar of – a Vermont demagogue and remnant of the Old World communist left, who still refuses to even identify as a Democrat, and instead embrace such 21st Century party pragmatists as Cory Booker, Patty Murray, Tom Perez, and John Hickenlooper.</p> <p>If not, Democrats will only continue to flounder, and suffer more “close but no cigar” moments like Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania, Jason Kander in Missouri, Jon Ossoff in Georgia, and, quite obviously, that glass ceiling-shattering candidate who was supposed to win the White House in 2008 and 2016.</p> <p>Democrats, I may not be your friend, but I’m certainly not your enemy – Putin and ISIS are the enemy. Your party is in turmoil, you need to figure out what you stand for, and then bring your A-game.</p> <p>Show Americans you’ve got what it takes to provide jobs, provide roads and bridges, provide health care, education and equal justice, provide prosperity, liberty, safety, security, and the freedom of choice for all.</p> <p>However, if you can’t do that, if you can’t organize for something other than marching, if you can’t resolve your own petty internecine warfare between intransigent Bernie believers and mainstream party practicables then you deserve to live in the minority until you do.</p> <p>***<br />John&nbsp;William Schiffbauer was the Deputy Communications Director for the New York Republican State Committee 2014-16. Last fall, he served as campaign manager for Republican Melinda Crump’s State Senate campaign in New York’s 31st District. On Twitter <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/@jwschiffgop" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">@jwschiffgop</a>.</p> <p>

***
Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

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Trump's Speech, a Nightmare for Democrats 2017-03-01T05:00:00+00:00 2017-03-01T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/130-opinion/6783-trump-s-speech-a-nightmare-for-democrats Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/trump_military.jpg" alt="trump military" width="600" height="404" /></p> <p>President Donald Trump (photo: @POTUS)</p> <hr /> <p>In the weeks before Donald Trump’s address to Congress, the main topic of conversation among Democrats was not how to make the president look incompetent and unfit—it was how to best exploit the fact that he so clearly is.</p> <p>We underestimated him.</p> <p>In the biggest political rope-a-dope of all time, after setting the bar as low as he could during 40 days of tumultuous terribleness and a chaotic campaign, Trump delivered a well-crafted, coherent and populist-yet-serious speech on Tuesday night. His presidency re-started today, powered by its success.</p> <p>In other words, this is the Democrats’ worst nightmare.</p> <p>As unpopular a president as Trump is, a high percentage of American voters approve of his policies when they put aside their personal feelings about Trump himself. That means he may still be able to be a well-thought-of president—if he can just act, well, presidential.</p> <p>And that’s what he did last night.</p> <p>Trump will now undoubtedly get a bump up in polls. He may even get a bit of a honeymoon period here similar to what presidents normally receive when they are first elected. It’s even possible most of the country will temporarily forget just how badly he and his people bungled the beginning of his presidency.</p> <p>But the really scary thing for Democrats isn’t the speech; it’s what was in it. Though there were plenty of the same divisive ideas that are sure to enrage the liberal base, there was also plenty of bi-partisan policy and sentiment that is tough to argue with.</p> <p>Ironically, that was the same strategy as another Comeback Kid, who just happens to be the husband of the Democratic candidate Trump beat in November. Yes, in addition to the red meat he threw his base, President Trump attempted to triangulate his way out of trouble on Tuesday, using Bill Clinton’s method of marginalizing dissent by siding with the opposition party.</p> <p>A few examples of Trump tacking left include:</p> <p>--Immigration. The president seemed to indicate he would accept legal status for some undocumented immigrants, saying “I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible.”</p> <p>--Paid maternity leave. The president went way left on a favorite policy of liberals, declaring, “My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave.”</p> <p>--Lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Traditionally an issue for Democrats, Trump announced (for the umpteenth time) that he would “work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs.”</p> <p>Trump also made plenty of inarguable - and stereotypically presidential - statements in his speech. He decried hate crimes. He called for unity. He laid praise on the military. Sure, some of it sounded hollow and pandering. But he didn’t smirk or flub or appear indifferent. In fact, he delivered the lines believably.</p> <p>You’d have to remember that he has said racist things, divided Americans for his own benefit, and criticized a war hero for getting caught by the enemy to be offended by his duplicity. A lot of Americans won’t.</p> <p>And to be turned off by his false statements, of which there were plenty, you’d have to know they were false. For the record, these included the claims that Americans live in “lawless chaos” (American crime rates are near all-time lows), “Obamacare is collapsing” (20 million more Americans have health insurance now who didn’t before the health plan was passed), and our country is undergoing the “worst financial recovery in 65 years” (75 months of straight job creation and historically low unemployment).</p> <p>And, by God, it was great TV.</p> <p>Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Trump is the producer of a top-rated show. But maybe you would think that a Trump-produced address of Congress would be too over the top to be convincingly earnest. It wasn’t.</p> <p>The most memorable moment of the evening – or of any presidential address of Congress in recent memory – was the moving memorial for Senior Chief William Ryan Owens, a Navy SEAL killed in a counter-terror operation in Yemen. His wife, Carryn, appeared to be speaking skyward to her late husband as the chamber stood and applauded. The applause lasted for several minutes. Then, the president quoted the Bible in eulogy.</p> <p>Perhaps Trump’s communications team was thinking more about the effect that moment would have on its principal’s approval rating than the importance of it for the widow and the appreciation of the ultimate sacrifice of a soldier. Perhaps not. It doesn’t matter. It made the president look presidential.</p> <p>But the Democrats do have one thing going for them: this was just a speech. Today may be a brighter day for Republicans and the White House—but sunlight is the best disinfectant, and only progress on the president’s promises will allow him to maintain his momentum.</p> <p>Plus: Trump is Trump. If history is any guide, he does not have the discipline to stay on message for more than a short time.</p> <p>So chalk one up for Team Trump. And Democrats beware. But leading a divided nation, convincing a cantankerous Congress and advancing a bi-partisan agenda is a lot harder than reading off of a Teleprompter.</p> <p>***<br />Evan Thies is the co-founder of Pythia Public Affairs. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/EvanRThies" target="_blank">@EvanRThies</a>.</p> <p>

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Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/trump_military.jpg" alt="trump military" width="600" height="404" /></p> <p>President Donald Trump (photo: @POTUS)</p> <hr /> <p>In the weeks before Donald Trump’s address to Congress, the main topic of conversation among Democrats was not how to make the president look incompetent and unfit—it was how to best exploit the fact that he so clearly is.</p> <p>We underestimated him.</p> <p>In the biggest political rope-a-dope of all time, after setting the bar as low as he could during 40 days of tumultuous terribleness and a chaotic campaign, Trump delivered a well-crafted, coherent and populist-yet-serious speech on Tuesday night. His presidency re-started today, powered by its success.</p> <p>In other words, this is the Democrats’ worst nightmare.</p> <p>As unpopular a president as Trump is, a high percentage of American voters approve of his policies when they put aside their personal feelings about Trump himself. That means he may still be able to be a well-thought-of president—if he can just act, well, presidential.</p> <p>And that’s what he did last night.</p> <p>Trump will now undoubtedly get a bump up in polls. He may even get a bit of a honeymoon period here similar to what presidents normally receive when they are first elected. It’s even possible most of the country will temporarily forget just how badly he and his people bungled the beginning of his presidency.</p> <p>But the really scary thing for Democrats isn’t the speech; it’s what was in it. Though there were plenty of the same divisive ideas that are sure to enrage the liberal base, there was also plenty of bi-partisan policy and sentiment that is tough to argue with.</p> <p>Ironically, that was the same strategy as another Comeback Kid, who just happens to be the husband of the Democratic candidate Trump beat in November. Yes, in addition to the red meat he threw his base, President Trump attempted to triangulate his way out of trouble on Tuesday, using Bill Clinton’s method of marginalizing dissent by siding with the opposition party.</p> <p>A few examples of Trump tacking left include:</p> <p>--Immigration. The president seemed to indicate he would accept legal status for some undocumented immigrants, saying “I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible.”</p> <p>--Paid maternity leave. The president went way left on a favorite policy of liberals, declaring, “My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave.”</p> <p>--Lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Traditionally an issue for Democrats, Trump announced (for the umpteenth time) that he would “work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs.”</p> <p>Trump also made plenty of inarguable - and stereotypically presidential - statements in his speech. He decried hate crimes. He called for unity. He laid praise on the military. Sure, some of it sounded hollow and pandering. But he didn’t smirk or flub or appear indifferent. In fact, he delivered the lines believably.</p> <p>You’d have to remember that he has said racist things, divided Americans for his own benefit, and criticized a war hero for getting caught by the enemy to be offended by his duplicity. A lot of Americans won’t.</p> <p>And to be turned off by his false statements, of which there were plenty, you’d have to know they were false. For the record, these included the claims that Americans live in “lawless chaos” (American crime rates are near all-time lows), “Obamacare is collapsing” (20 million more Americans have health insurance now who didn’t before the health plan was passed), and our country is undergoing the “worst financial recovery in 65 years” (75 months of straight job creation and historically low unemployment).</p> <p>And, by God, it was great TV.</p> <p>Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, Trump is the producer of a top-rated show. But maybe you would think that a Trump-produced address of Congress would be too over the top to be convincingly earnest. It wasn’t.</p> <p>The most memorable moment of the evening – or of any presidential address of Congress in recent memory – was the moving memorial for Senior Chief William Ryan Owens, a Navy SEAL killed in a counter-terror operation in Yemen. His wife, Carryn, appeared to be speaking skyward to her late husband as the chamber stood and applauded. The applause lasted for several minutes. Then, the president quoted the Bible in eulogy.</p> <p>Perhaps Trump’s communications team was thinking more about the effect that moment would have on its principal’s approval rating than the importance of it for the widow and the appreciation of the ultimate sacrifice of a soldier. Perhaps not. It doesn’t matter. It made the president look presidential.</p> <p>But the Democrats do have one thing going for them: this was just a speech. Today may be a brighter day for Republicans and the White House—but sunlight is the best disinfectant, and only progress on the president’s promises will allow him to maintain his momentum.</p> <p>Plus: Trump is Trump. If history is any guide, he does not have the discipline to stay on message for more than a short time.</p> <p>So chalk one up for Team Trump. And Democrats beware. But leading a divided nation, convincing a cantankerous Congress and advancing a bi-partisan agenda is a lot harder than reading off of a Teleprompter.</p> <p>***<br />Evan Thies is the co-founder of Pythia Public Affairs. On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/EvanRThies" target="_blank">@EvanRThies</a>.</p> <p>

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Have an op-ed idea or submission for Gotham Gazette? Email opinion@gothamgazette.com

</p>
Donald Trump Elected President in Big Night for GOP 2016-11-08T05:00:00+00:00 2016-11-08T05:00:00+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/state/6615-donald-trump-elected-president-in-big-night-for-gop Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/Trump_election_night_2.png" alt="Trump election night 2" width="600" height="278" /></p> <p>President-Elect Donald Trump</p> <hr /> <p>On a huge Election Day for Republicans, Donald Trump won the presidential election, the GOP kept control of both houses of Congress, and, here in New York, Republicans have increased their margin in the state Senate, the party’s last stronghold of statewide power.</p> <p>With a stunning show of support across the country, Trump and his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence won more states than expected and Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Reports came in around 2:40 a.m. that Hillary Clinton had called Trump to concede, and soon after, Trump took the stage at the New York Hilton to declare victory.</p> <p>It was less than an hour after Clinton campaign chair John Podesta said that several states were “too close to call,” that the campaign was going to see every vote counted, and that it would have more to say on Wednesday.</p> <p>But as more votes came in, the Associated Press called the race for Trump and reports came in of Clinton’s call. Trump called for unity and promised to be a President for all Americans. He repeated campaign promises of investment in infrastructure and jobs for Americans.&nbsp;He did not mention several of his other promises from the campaign trail, like building a wall on the Mexican border and getting Mexico to pay for it, nor did he use disparaging nicknames for his opponent or lash out at critics, as he had throughout the primary and general elections. Trump did not threaten key pieces of the U.S. Constitution as he had over the course of his campaign.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/decision-2016/2016/11/8/donald-trump-presidential-victory-speech-2016.html" target="_blank">The President-elect spoke</a>&nbsp;calmly and graciously, thanking many members of his team for their work and support, and he thanked Hillary Clinton for her service to the country. There is a great deal of uncertainty about how he will handle the transition of power and the Presidency once inaugurated on January 20, 2017. He is the first person ever elected U.S. President with no government or military experience.</p> <p>The popular vote count is very close, and Clinton could very well win that but lose the Electoral College and thus the presidency. Trump pulled out a variety of swing states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina.</p> <p>Financial markets in the U.S. and around the world tumbled as Trump’s win became more apparent.</p> <p>In the U.S. Senate, where Republicans held a 54-46 advantage coming into the elections, during which 34 Senate seats were being voting on, Republicans appear to have lost just one seat, in Illinois. However, as of 3 a.m., there were two races still not called. It appears likely that the Senate split will be 53-47 or 52-48. New York Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat who won reelection easily, is on track to become Senate Minority Leader.</p> <p>Republicans will also maintain control of the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats were on the ballot and the GOP came into the elections with a 247-188 advantage. Democrats appear to be picking up a handful of seats to slightly narrow that gap.</p> <p>Here in New York, congressional races contributed to those House results. Despite several hotly contested races, mostly on Long Island and the Hudson Valley, the New York delegation to the House will remain the same in terms of party representation. In the most watched race in the state, if not the country, Republican John Faso defeated Democrat Zephyr Teachout to replace retiring GOP Rep. Chris Gibson.</p> <p>In the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, Democrat Tom Suozzi has defeated Republican Jack Martins. Other Congressional results include wins for Republicans Lee Zeldin, Peter King, Dan Donovan, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney, Thomas Reed, John Katko, and Chris Collins; and for Democrats Kathleen Rice, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Nydia Velazquez, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Adriano Espaillat, Joe Crowley, Jose Serrano, Eliot Engel, Sean Patrick Maloney, Paul Tonko, Louise Slaughter, and Brian Higgins.</p> <p>All of the seats in the New York State Legislature were also on the ballot this year: 63 Senate seats and 150 Assembly seats. Democrats will maintain a healthy majority in the Assembly. The Senate math is more complicated, but Republicans appear to have ensured they will have at least a bare majority of 32, including Senator Simcha Felder, a Democrat who caucuses with the GOP. As of 3 a.m. there were two races <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/election-results-2016/" target="_blank">too close to call</a>, though, which will influence the final margin and could give the GOP more cushion: Republican Sen. Michael Venditto and Democratic challenger John Brooks and Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino and Democratic challenger James Gaughran are locked in tight battles, both on Long Island.</p> <p>There is another key piece to the state Senate puzzle, of course: the soon-to-be seven-member Independent Democratic Conference and the GOP are likely to continue to align in a power-sharing coalition. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan indicated in an Election Night press statement that the GOP-IDC partnership would continue in 2017. It is not immediately clear what this means for the Albany <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6605-cuomo-and-de-blasio-outline-priorities-for-a-democratic-senate-with-a-lot-in-common" target="_blank">agendas laid out by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo</a> as they discussed what they hoped to see next year if Democrats took the chamber.</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Note: this story has been updated with additional information.</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2016/Trump_election_night_2.png" alt="Trump election night 2" width="600" height="278" /></p> <p>President-Elect Donald Trump</p> <hr /> <p>On a huge Election Day for Republicans, Donald Trump won the presidential election, the GOP kept control of both houses of Congress, and, here in New York, Republicans have increased their margin in the state Senate, the party’s last stronghold of statewide power.</p> <p>With a stunning show of support across the country, Trump and his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence won more states than expected and Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Reports came in around 2:40 a.m. that Hillary Clinton had called Trump to concede, and soon after, Trump took the stage at the New York Hilton to declare victory.</p> <p>It was less than an hour after Clinton campaign chair John Podesta said that several states were “too close to call,” that the campaign was going to see every vote counted, and that it would have more to say on Wednesday.</p> <p>But as more votes came in, the Associated Press called the race for Trump and reports came in of Clinton’s call. Trump called for unity and promised to be a President for all Americans. He repeated campaign promises of investment in infrastructure and jobs for Americans.&nbsp;He did not mention several of his other promises from the campaign trail, like building a wall on the Mexican border and getting Mexico to pay for it, nor did he use disparaging nicknames for his opponent or lash out at critics, as he had throughout the primary and general elections. Trump did not threaten key pieces of the U.S. Constitution as he had over the course of his campaign.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/decision-2016/2016/11/8/donald-trump-presidential-victory-speech-2016.html" target="_blank">The President-elect spoke</a>&nbsp;calmly and graciously, thanking many members of his team for their work and support, and he thanked Hillary Clinton for her service to the country. There is a great deal of uncertainty about how he will handle the transition of power and the Presidency once inaugurated on January 20, 2017. He is the first person ever elected U.S. President with no government or military experience.</p> <p>The popular vote count is very close, and Clinton could very well win that but lose the Electoral College and thus the presidency. Trump pulled out a variety of swing states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina.</p> <p>Financial markets in the U.S. and around the world tumbled as Trump’s win became more apparent.</p> <p>In the U.S. Senate, where Republicans held a 54-46 advantage coming into the elections, during which 34 Senate seats were being voting on, Republicans appear to have lost just one seat, in Illinois. However, as of 3 a.m., there were two races still not called. It appears likely that the Senate split will be 53-47 or 52-48. New York Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat who won reelection easily, is on track to become Senate Minority Leader.</p> <p>Republicans will also maintain control of the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats were on the ballot and the GOP came into the elections with a 247-188 advantage. Democrats appear to be picking up a handful of seats to slightly narrow that gap.</p> <p>Here in New York, congressional races contributed to those House results. Despite several hotly contested races, mostly on Long Island and the Hudson Valley, the New York delegation to the House will remain the same in terms of party representation. In the most watched race in the state, if not the country, Republican John Faso defeated Democrat Zephyr Teachout to replace retiring GOP Rep. Chris Gibson.</p> <p>In the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, Democrat Tom Suozzi has defeated Republican Jack Martins. Other Congressional results include wins for Republicans Lee Zeldin, Peter King, Dan Donovan, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney, Thomas Reed, John Katko, and Chris Collins; and for Democrats Kathleen Rice, Gregory Meeks, Grace Meng, Nydia Velazquez, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Adriano Espaillat, Joe Crowley, Jose Serrano, Eliot Engel, Sean Patrick Maloney, Paul Tonko, Louise Slaughter, and Brian Higgins.</p> <p>All of the seats in the New York State Legislature were also on the ballot this year: 63 Senate seats and 150 Assembly seats. Democrats will maintain a healthy majority in the Assembly. The Senate math is more complicated, but Republicans appear to have ensured they will have at least a bare majority of 32, including Senator Simcha Felder, a Democrat who caucuses with the GOP. As of 3 a.m. there were two races <a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/election-results-2016/" target="_blank">too close to call</a>, though, which will influence the final margin and could give the GOP more cushion: Republican Sen. Michael Venditto and Democratic challenger John Brooks and Republican Sen. Carl Marcellino and Democratic challenger James Gaughran are locked in tight battles, both on Long Island.</p> <p>There is another key piece to the state Senate puzzle, of course: the soon-to-be seven-member Independent Democratic Conference and the GOP are likely to continue to align in a power-sharing coalition. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan indicated in an Election Night press statement that the GOP-IDC partnership would continue in 2017. It is not immediately clear what this means for the Albany <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/state/6605-cuomo-and-de-blasio-outline-priorities-for-a-democratic-senate-with-a-lot-in-common" target="_blank">agendas laid out by Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo</a> as they discussed what they hoped to see next year if Democrats took the chamber.</p> <p>

***
by Ben Max, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p> <p>Note: this story has been updated with additional information.</p>