Gotham Gazette

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Contested State Senate Seats

These are the State Senate districts that will have primaries on Tuesday, Sept. 12. (Incumbents’ names are in boldface)


District 10 (Jamaica): Democratic primary

• Shirley Huntley
• Ada Smith

Smith, a nine-term incumbent, has long been criticized for erratic behavior, with the latest incident coming earlier this year when an aide accused Smith of throwing hot coffee at her. A court fined Smith $250 and ordered her to take anger management classes.

But it looks like she will not have to leave office. One possible rival– Alan Jennings, a former City Council member with his own history of unusual conduct – was knocked off the ballot. Although the Board of Elections lists Shirley Huntley as a candidate in the Democratic primary, there is little evidence of her campaign.

District 13 (Corona, Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst): Democratic primary

• Hiram Monserrate
• John Sabini

This is a rare case where an incumbent – Sabini – is facing a strong well-financed challenge, in this case from City Councilmember Moneserrate. For more on this race, go to Bringing the Money Back from Albany or to a transcript of a debatebetween the candidates.


District 18 (Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Red Hook, parts of Park Slope, Carroll Gardens) Democratic primary:

• Tracy Boyland
• Velmanette Montgomery

Montgomery, a onetime teacher, was elected to the State Senate in 1984. But her incumbency has not stopped a challenge from Boyland, a member of the famed Brooklyn political family and a member of City Council until January. Most observersbelieve Bruce Ratner, the developer of Atlantic Yards, has put up Boyland to challenge Montgomery, an opponent of the proposed Brooklyn Nets arena and housing complex. That makes this an unusual head-to-head contest between two candidates with differing views on the mega project.

District 20 (Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Prospect Heights) Democratic primary:

• Eric Adams
•Anthony Alexis
•Guillermo Philpotts

Three Democrats are hoping to replace Carl Andrews, who is leaving the post to run for Congress. Adams, a former police captain, founded the group 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, while Alexis has been a political aide and Democratic Party activist. Guillermo Philpotts is a frequent candidate for various offices.

For more information, read Debating Health, Education, Reform and, Yes, Atlantic Yards, in Central Brooklyn

District 21 (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Borough Park, part of Flatbush): Democratc primary

• Noach Dear
• Kevin Parker

Parker was first elected to the State Senate in 2002, and this is the third time he has faced Dear, a former City Council member. In 2002, Dear ran as a Republican and lost. In 2004, Dear tried his luck as a Democrat and lost, although by less than 10 percent. Now he is trying again, hoping that Parker’s alleged punching of a traffic cop and the large Orthodox Jewish community can put him over the top. Parker has picked up an array of endorsements from such groups as Citizens Union and Lambda Independent Democrats.

Staten Island

District 24 (Staten Island): Republican primary

• Robert Helbock
• Anthony Lanza

There’s been little election action in this Senate district for decades, since Republican John Marchi has held the seat for 49 years. Now Marchi, 85, is retiring, opening the way for a contested race. The Republican primary in this district, traditionally friendly territory for Republicans, pits Helbock, Marchi’s counsel, against the City Council member for the area, Andrew Lanza.

For more on the contest – the only Republican State Senate primary this year-- see Democrats Move in on Staten Island's Republican South Shore.


District 25 (Lower Manhattan, part of Brooklyn Heights): Democratic primary

• Martin Connor
• Ken Diamondstone

The candidates here seem to be spending more time in hearing rooms and courts than on the campaign trail. Incumbent Connor, himself an election law specialist and reportedly somewhat of an expert on ballot challenges, has tried to keep Diamondstone off the ballot, charging that his opponent does not really live in the district. Diamondstone has beaten back his efforts.

Connor has served in the Senate since 1978, was Senate minority leader and has been described by the New York Times as “something of an Albany institution.” But Diamondstone has picked up some endorsements, including the Times, the Working Families Party and Democracy for New York City. Diamondstone also reportedly is better funded, pouring his own funds into the race. (For more, see the Downtown Express.)


District 36 (north central Bronx): Democratic primary

• Ruth Thompson
• Crystal Wade

Thompson, a former member of the Mount Vernon City Council who was first elected to the State Senate in 2000, is facing a challenge from Wade, who lives in the New York City part of the district.  




























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