Sprint to the Finish
Some New Yorkers will be headed to the polls tomorrow to cast their votes in congressional primaries taking place in 10 different districts.
Because this is a closed primary state, only voters who are registered in the parties whose ballot lines are up for grabs will be eligible to vote.
We here at CapTon will be keeping an eye on several contests, including:
- NY-13. Actually, this one is drawing national attention. Veteran Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel is seeking his 23rd – and likely last – two-year term in Congress.
Rangel is facing two main opponents: Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who tried unsuccessfully to unseat the congressman two years ago, is the top-tier challenger; followed by the Rev. Michael Walrond.
The congressman is headed into the election with a strong 47-34 lead over Espaillat, according to a recent NY1/Siena poll. But even Rangel insiders say the race is likely to be considerably closer than that.
Over the weekend, Rangel picked up the endorsement (via statement) of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He also got the Daily News’ nod – an about-face for the paper, which did not support him in 2012.
In a blow to Rangel, President Obama is staying out of the race.
Thanks to the fact that the Legislature hasn’t agreed on moving the state primary date to coincide with the court-ordered congressional primaries, Assembly members and senators running for House slots tomorrow have the option of dropping back to seek re-election to their current seats.
That’s what Espaillat did in 2012, though if he tries that again this time around, he’ll likely face a primary from one or more fellow Democrats – including, most notably, former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson.
- NY-21. Another intra-party battle – this time among Republicans – that has drawn some national attention, and considerable cash from outside interests.
The fight is for the seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens, who surprised the North Country political establishment with his announcement earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek re-election.
Until Owens won a special election for the seat in 2009, it had been held by the GOP for over a century, and the party would very much like to have it back.
Elise Stefanik, a former Bush White House aide who also worked with Rep. Paul Ryan when he ran for vice president in 2012, is the newcomer in this race, though she has the backing of the local GOP chairs.
Matt Doheny, a businessman, is making his third attempt at this seat. He failed in a head-to-head match-up against Owens two years ago, and was a late add to this race, entering only after the congressman announced he would not be running.
Doheny has the Independence Party endorsement, and Stefanik has the Conservative Party nod.
Neither has so far said s/he will drop out of the race if unsuccessful tomorrow, which means the Democrat – newcomer Aaron Woolf – will have a good shot in November if the vote on the right is split.
- NY-1. State Sen. Lee Zeldin is fighting attorney George Demos for the GOP line. The winner will take on Rep. Tim Bishop, a veteran Long Island Democrat and one of the NRCC’s top targets for several election cycles running.
This fight has gotten a bit nasty. Zeldin is backed by the local GOP and Conservative leaders. He also recently picked up the support of developer/TV star Donald Trump.
Demos, meanwhile, has the backing of his former boss, ex-Gov. George Pataki, and ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
He also has a lot of cash at his disposal, which Zeldin and his allies say all comes from his wealthy father-in-law, who is a supporter of liberal Democrats. Demos, meanwhile, has been attacking – and distorting – Zeldin’s voting record in Albany, accusing him of voting to support both tax hikes and Obamacare.
- NY-22. Rep. Richard Hanna is trying to fend off a GOP primary challenge from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who says the moderate Republican has drifted too far to the left to adequately represent the district.
Hanna has far more resources than Tenney, and more name recognition. He also is backing by the local GOP leaders, the NRA and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Tenney is supported by several local and national Tea Party groups, and state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long (she failed to collect enough signatures to land Row C on the ballot).
Tenney has not ruled out seeking re-election to her current seat if she fails to oust Hanna tomorrow. The Democrats are not fielding a candidate, so if Hanna wins, he’s all but assured re-election in November. He also has the Independence Party line.
- NY-4. Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice is facing off against Nassau Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams in a Democratic primary for the Long Island seat being vacated by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.
Rice, who lost a bid for state AG four years ago, has far more establishment support from labor unions, party leaders (though not local Democratic Party chairman, Jay Jacobs, who didn’t choose sides). She also has far more campaign cash, and the Working Families Party line in November.
There’s also a GOP battle in this district between former Nassau County Legislator and one-time US Senate candidate Bruce Blakeman and attorney Frank Scaturro.
Blakeman has the backing of local GOP leaders. Scaturro twice tried unsuccessfully to get onto the GOP line to run against McCarthy, losing both in 2010 and 2012 to County Legislator Francis Becker. He won the Conservative Party nomination in 2012, drawing 15,603 votes in the general election.
There’s a Conservative primary in NY-4 tomorrow, also. Voters can select Blakeman or a write-in candidate.
- NY-18. This is a bit of a wild card, and will likely have the lowest turnout of any primary race tomorrow. But it’s an interesting fight worth watching.
The Independence Party granted Wilson Pakulas to both Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and his GOP challenger, former Rep. Nan Hayworth, letting them battle it out to see who gets Row E in November.
This will be the first test of strength between Maloney and the woman he ousted two years ago.
There has been some speculation that the congressman’s marriage this past weekend to his longtime partner, Randy Florke, will hurt him with ultra-Orthodox voters – many of whom are registered members of the Independence Party.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on June 23, 2014 at 11:22 am, and is filed under 2014. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|