Making The Case For A Cuomo Endorsement
I have written several posts now about the Senate Republicans’ use of their close working relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo – and his suggestion that he might cross party lines to endorse majority members this fall – as a key plank in their strategy to retain control of the majority.
That has left the Senate Democrats in a somewhat awkward position of either trying to convince voters that they have more in common with a fellow Democrat than the Republicans do – even if Cuomo himself won’t come out and say it – or sniping at Cuomo from the sidelines by questioning his Democratic bona fides (a la Sen. Tony Avella, who has become something of an expert at this).
The Democratic Senate candidates who are challenging incumbent Republicans are in an even worse fix, especially if they happen to be unfortunate enough as to be running against one of the three GOP members who crossed party lines at Cuomo’s request last summer to vote “yes” on same-sex marriage.
That’s the position in which Terry Gipson, a member of the Rhinebeck Village Board of Trustees, who is running against Republican Sen. Steve Saland, who, along with Sens. Mark Grisanti and Roy McDonald, is running for re-election after angering the right, but endearing himself to the left (especially the deep-pocketed LGBT donor types) by voting in support of Cuomo’s gay marriage bill.
Gipson, who has been running since April 2010, but is not one of the Democrats’ top tier candidates, decided late last week to take matters into his own hands via a press release with the subject line: “Cuomo and I support same key issues.”
“Everything I’m hearing from the Governor’s office indicates that he remains committed to raising the minimum wage, campaign finance reform, and shutting down Indian Point, replacing it with safer alternatives,” said Gipson. “These issues are very important to my constituents and I am the only candidate in my Senate race that supports them. If elected, I look forward to working with the Governor to get these things done.”
“While Senator Saland gives the Governor credit for a successful session and changing the tone in Albany, he hasn’t supported him on many important issues. And, he supported Cuomo’s Tea Party opponent, Carl Paladino, in his campaign for Governor in 2010.”
“Last year, Senator Saland blocked the Governor’s bid for an independent redistricting process, helped block important woman’s health legislation, and forced the Governor to create Health Care Exchanges in preparation for the Affordable Care Act through an Executive Order. And, Saland opposes action on the three issues I mentioned earlier.”
“The Governor has stated that his official endorsement for State Senate candidates will be on a race-by-race basis, but I’m certain he also wants to make sure that his agenda has the best chance for passage. If he believes as strongly in those issues as I do, then I look forward to his support. After all, I am the only Senate candidate in my district who supported him in his race for Governor two years ago.”
This is an interesting tactic, but I would be surprised if Cuomo actively supports a challenger to Saland. And I would also be surprised if he gets engaged in Senate races – to the extent he engages at all – until well into the fall.
Saland, for the record, also has a GOP primary challenger: Neil DiCarlo, a Putnam County Republican who ran a failed primary campaign against now-Rep. Nan Hayworth in 2010.
DiCarlo has been endorsed by Paladino, (perhaps as a “thank you” for his 2010 support?), but with $12,336 on hand ($2,000 of which he loaned his own campaign), he is vastly underfunded in comparison to Saland, who had $651,286 on hand as of mid-July, thanks in part to contributions from gay-marriage donors.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on August 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Democrats, Republicans, Same-sex Marriage, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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