WFP Throws Wrench In 60th SD Race
ICYMI…from my morning memo:
Unlike two his fellow same-sex marriage “yes” voters, who struggled – and in one case, failed – to keep the GOP ballot line on primary day, Sen. Mark Grisanti easily defeated his challenger, attorney Kevin Stocker, on Sept. 13 and retained Row B.
But Grisanti’s win didn’t improve his general election outlook all that much at the time.
He still faced three opponents: Former Erie County Legislator Chuck Swanick, a Democrat running on the Conservative Party line; Mike Amodeo, who defeated Swanick for the right to run on Row A; and Gregory Davis on the Working Families Party line.
Yesterday, things became even more complicated for Grisanti.
The Working Families Party pulled one of its trademarked switcheroos, with WNY party leaders voting to swap out Davis in favor of Amodeo on Row D.
Assuming the legal paperwork is all in order, that is.
There are only three ways to get off the ballot at this late date: Move out of state, die or get nominated for a judgeship. Davis is an attorney, which qualifies him to run for the bench.
The labor-backed Working Families Party is generally very careful to make sure all its placeholder primary candidates – those running with the understanding that they’re likely to be dumped in favor of whoever wins the Democratic line – are attorneys.
Davis won’t be the first WFP placeholder booted from Row D to benefit a Democratic challenger this year.
The party did the same thing in NY-18, bumping Larry Weissmann in favor of former Spitzer/Paterson administration aide Sean Patrick Maloney, who won the June Democratic primary and is facing off against Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth in November.
That move could prove crucial to Maloney.
Weissmann was receiving 10 percent of the vote in a Siena poll conducted before the WFP officially endorsed Maloney, who was trailing Hayworth 46-33 among likely voters.
Without Maloney in the picture, his campaign claims the race is now at 46-43.
That strains credulity, since it seems highly unlikely every single person who supported Weissmann will now automatically switch their allegiance to Maloney. But a two-way race is undoubtedly closer than a three-way.
Hopefully, the Davis-for-Amodeo switch in the 60th SD is taking place early enough for Siena to account for the change before it crunches its poll numbers.
The move will certainly improve Amodeo’s chances, giving him two lines – Democratic and WFP – to Grisanti’s two – GOP and Independence – and Swanick’s one (Conservative).
A three-way race is closer than a four-way.
And with the Democratic enrollment edge in this district, even despite the Senate GOP’s best gerrymandering efforts during the redistricting process, it certainly didn’t help Amodeo to be splitting the left-of-center vote with Davis.
Now Grisanti is left in the unenviable position of having to split the right-of-center vote with Swanick.
But remember: This is Western New York we’re talking about. Party affiliation is fuzzy out there, and the traditional political rules don’t always apply.
It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Gov. Andrew Cuomo decides to do in this race.
It’s pretty clear the WFP has decided to roll the dice and try to re-instate a Democrat-controlled state Senate, despite the dysfunctional mess that caused the last time around.
Perhaps the liberal party has decided it has a better chance of boxing the fiscally conservative governor on its agenda if both legislative chambers are in Democratic hands.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a WFP ally, has already said as much.
Cuomo no doubt does not approve.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on October 4, 2012 at 9:16 am, and is filed under Democrats, Republicans, State Senate, Upstate NY, Working Families Party. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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