CU Disses Legislative Incumbents, Elevates Lazio
Citizens Union today released its list of preferred legislative candidates for the upcoming Sept. 14 primaries, giving its nod to just six incumbents in the 24 races it evaluated and backing seven challengers.
The good government group also gave its support to Rick Lazio for the upcoming GOP gubernatorial primary, but that’s mainly because his challenger, Carl Paladino, neither met with CU’s board nor filled out its questionnaire.
The organization backed four candidates running for open seats and issued “no preference” ratings in six races, “because the challengers were not credible or strong enough in their efforts to oust incumbents whose reelection we could not support.”
The legislative endorsement details appear in full after the jump. However, there are a few races of note:
- CU backed Gustavo Rivera over Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr., saying the Bronx lawmaker has “has become a symbol for hubris, corruption and wrongdoing in the state legislature due to ongoing investigations by the attorney general and federal authorities and his leadership in bringing Senate business to a month-long halt last summer.”
- Charlie Ramos got CU’s backing in his “uphill” primary fight against Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., largely due to the incumbent’s opposition to legislative redistricting reform.
- CU picked challenger Lynn Nunes over Queens Sen. Shirley Huntley, again citing redistricting as a motivating factor.
CU decided to back Lazio because he “demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the major issues facing the state, and provided a series of comprehensive strategies to reform Albany and address the state’s fiscal woes.”
The group says “justifiable concerns exist” about the “tenor” of Lazio’s comments on the mosque/Islamic center proposed for construction near Ground Zero, but did not bring up the issue with him during the review process.
Of the six incumbent legislators Citizens Union supports, three are current state senators: Toby Ann Stavisky over Isaac Sasson and John Messer (Queens 16), Jose Serrano over Mark Escofferey-Bey (Bronx/ Manhattan 28) and Bill Perkins over Basil Smikle (Manhattan 30). The other three are members of the Assembly: Andrew Hevesi over Joe Fox (Queens 28), Jonathan Bing over Gregg Lundahl (Manhattan 73), and Peter Rivera over Luis Sepulveda (Bronx 76).
Of the six challengers Citizens Union is supporting, four are running for the state senate: Gustavo Rivera over Pedro Espada (Bronx 33), Lynn Nunes over Shirley Huntley (Queens 10), Carlos “Charlie” Rivera over Ruben Diaz Sr. (Bronx 32), and Mark Pollard over Velmanette Montgomery (Brooklyn 18). The two challengers Citizens Union prefers in the Assembly are Sergio Villaverde (Bronx 78) over Jose Rivera, and Anthony Miranda over Jeffrion Aubrey (Queens 35).
The candidates it supports in each of the four open seats for Assembly are John Duane (Queens 26), Francisco Moya (Queens 39), Robert Rodriguez (Manhattan 68), and Guillermo Linares (Manhattan 72). In the open seat in the Senate, Citizens Union backs current Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat (Manhattan/Bronx 31).
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on August 26, 2010 at 2:35 pm, and is filed under Albany, Assembly, Reform, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|