Miner Gives Early Nod to Valesky (Updated)
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner today issued the following statement announcing her support of IDC member Dave Valesky’s re-election bid.
“Senator Valesky makes the right decisions for this community every day and he has my unequivocal support. Dave knows what is important and he has worked hard demonstrate his commitment to the people of this City. Dave has been an extremely effective Senator and has regularly delivered for the people of Syracuse. As Mayor of the City of Syracuse, and as a constituent, I am proud to stand with him.”
This is interesting on a number of levels.
First off, Miner just recently relinquished her post as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hand-picked state Democratic Party chair. (Her co-chair, Assemblyman Keith Wright, followed suit, and now former Gov. David Paterson is the sole chairman). The governor, as you’ll recall, pledged in return for the Working Families Party endorsement to support his fellow Democrats in taking back the state Senate majority, which requires the re-unification of the IDC and so-called “regular” Democrats.
Miner made no mention of the IDC or the effort to get its leader, Sen. Jeff Klein, to either go back to the Democratic fold or (more realistically) cut the same power-sharing deal that he currently has with the Senate Republicans with his erstwhile colleagues in the Democratic conference.
As a rationale for her support of Valesky, Miner’s release notes the two have collaborated on a wide range of important projects affecting the City of Syracuse – including the recent announcement of $350,000 in funds the senator secured to repair and reopen the Meachem Ice Rink in the Valley neighborhood.
Also, Miner’s announcement comes on the heels of our Morning Memo, which reported that the labor-progressive coalition formed following the WFP convention to help the DSCC take back the majority is actively seeking candidates willing to primary Valesky if Klein et al don’t agree to go home – and this is despite recent comments from the Onondaga County Democratic chairman rejecting reports that someone might challenge the Syracuse-area senator, and a failed effort by the left to seek a challenger earlier this year.
Among the potential candidates the coalition is vetting are Syracuse Common Councilor-at-Large Jean Kessner, and Colgate Prof. Joan Mandle.
Kessner, a former WSYR-TV reporter, is now PR director for AIDS Community Resources. She was first elected in 2009, and was the top vote-getter that year. Last year, she failed to receive re-election support from the Syracuse Democratic Party and Miner. She petitioned her way onto the ballot, and won anyway.
Mandle runs Democracy Matters, a national student group that works on issues related to money and politics. The organization was started by 13-year veteran NBA player and Colgate alum Adonal Foyle, who is Mandle’s adopted son. Mandle is also on the board of Public Campaign, a national group working on campaign finance reform.
Mandle confirmed her interest in running in an email Sunday night, saying: “I am seriously considering running a primary campaign against Senator Valesky. My doing so is a response to his membership in the IDC.”
Independely considering a primary challenge to Valesky is former Syracuse City Councilor Pat Hogan, served eight years on the Council until being term limited out of office. He ran an unsuccessful Democratic primary last year against Miner, winning 28 percent of the vote. Miner received about 54 percent and Alfonso Davis, 17 percent.
UPDATE: Hogan said earlier today that he will NOT run against Valesky.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 9, 2014 at 11:49 am, and is filed under Democrats, IDC, Labor, State Senate, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|