Clinton Pitches Candidacy To State Lawmakers
As she campaigns ahead of New York’s April 19 primary, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is turning to state lawmakers to get her message out to constituents.
“There is so much energy here in New York for her, people who understand what she’s done, who she is, and she just want to make sure people are motivated and understand what needs to be said: That Hillary Clinton is the next president,” said Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Clinton spoke to Democratic state lawmakers from the Senate and Assembly for about 20 minutes at a hotel across the street from the state Capitol building in Albany. She spent even more time taking photos. Topics included her support for gun control and praise for last week’s agreement to increase New York’s minimum wage.
“She is primed to be president and just take her over the top in a really big way and keep it moving so she gets to win in November,” Stewart-Cousins said.
But Clinton is facing a stronger-than-anticipated challenge in New York from her rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who said he will run a competitive campaign for the state’s primary.
A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed Sanders trailing Clinton by 12 percentage, a smaller gap than the one recorded in earlier surveys by Siena College.
With the fight for delegates now stretching in April, New York’s late-season primary suddenly has more significance than in prior cycles.
“One of the first political lessons you learn is all politics is local and I think it’s really smart of her to make sure her base comes out strong for her,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
And not all state lawmakers are on board, with a handful of state lawmakers endorsing Sanders. But Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein said the disinction between Clinton and Sanders is clear.
“I think Hillary is what we need to have a strong Democratic ticket,” said Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference. “It’s very easy to be Bernie Sanders and talk about the same things for 30 years and not get anything done.”
And then there’s the effect some Democratic lawmakers hope Clinton will have on the down-ballot races in New York, where the GOP narrowly controls the state Senate.
“She’s our hometown candidates so I think the enthusiasm in New York is going to be tremendous for her,” said Queens Sen. Michael Gianaris. “For the Republicans, one is crazier than the next so I think the contrast is going to be really stark and generate a great vote for us.”
And Clinton told Democratic lawmakers she hoped the party took control of the Senate this year. The Senate picture could become more clear this month with a hotly contetested special election on Long Island to replaced disgraced former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. That election i scheduled for the same day as the primary.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on April 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm, and is filed under 2016. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|