Primary Aftermath: Same-Sex Marriage
Why did Sen. Mark Grisanti do so well and Sens. Stephen Saland and Roy McDonald fare so poorly?
The races are being viewed through the prism of the same-sex marriage law and their votes. Rightly so — especially since their opponents opposed it publicly, even if they wanted to reframe the race as a debate on the economy. While New York is a liberal state with a moderate Republican Party, it does have a conservative contingent in certain geographic pockets.
McDonald’s case is a bit complicated. He is down more than 200 votes right now against Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione. There are 1,706 asentee ballots sent out and 1,137 that have been returned so far.
McDonald, who is running for a third term in the area once represented by Joe Bruno, may have damaged himself a bit with a surprisingly negative TV ad aimed at Marchione. Going negative is not part of the McDonald happy-warrior, blue-collar brand he’s cultivated for himself.
He also stumbled a bit in a debate on the eve of the primary, becoming emotional and defensive at times.
Indeed, McDonald wasn’t even mentioned in a statement released by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos late Thursday night.
Regardless, McDonald will keep the Indepedence Party line this fall. The question is whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo becomes involved in a potentially three-way race north of Albany.
Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy certainly seemed sympathetic to the potential losses, saying this morning their votes for the marriage law were the right move. He lamented that social conservatives sought to unseat them because of that one vote and that it sends a poor message to other public officals.
I think anyone who believes in something, especially if it’s about a right, a civil right or an issue and you believe strongly in that, you should vote your beliefs. And quite frankly if you vote your beliefs and people decide to vote you out then I think you do win. I think the sad thing about politics today is you have some very good public servants on both sides of the aisle whether it be the marriage equality issue or others and get involved in a very controversial topic and those that oppose it go out of their way to drive them out of office. In essence they’re creating an environment where quite frankly the courage level of elected officials goes down dramatically.
The Empire State Pride Agenda, meanhile, released a statement saying that it will continue to back candidates friendly to their cause (all three lawmakers running for re-election have benefitted from wealthy backers of same-sex marriage).
“The primary results were the beginning of what is sure to be a spirited and engaging campaign season leading up to the November general elections. The LGBT community will continue to work across party lines and throughout the state to ensure that our elected officials will protect and advance issues of concern to our community.
The Saland race, in which he is fighting to keep the Republican line versus Neil DiCarlo in an extremely close GOP primary, is most assuredly the conservative backlash from his same-sex marriage vote.
Saland, a Poughkeepsie lawmaker, had never faced a strong primary challenge in years. In DiCarlo, he was up against a poorly funded, but deeply conservative opponent who was supported by 2010 gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino.
Unlike the other three GOP senators to vote for the same-sex marriage law, Saland was involved in the crafting of the measure itself, negotiating an amendment that carved out religious protections (one could argue that the protections weren’t really needed in a realistic aspect, but it gave some protection to the GOP conference in allowing a vote to begin with).
Saland was one of two GOP lawmakers to speak that night, giving a legalistic reasoning for what he was voting “yes.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on September 14, 2012 at 11:34 am, and is filed under Same-sex Marriage. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|