NY-3: Israel Endorses Stern

Democratic Rep. Steve Israel on Monday endorsed Steve Stern to replace him in Congress ahead of the June party primary.

Stern, a Suffolk County legislator, won the endorsement of Israel over his fellow Democrats in the race, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and Jon Kaiman, who coordinated Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Israel, a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is retiring from the Nassau County House seat later this year.

“While I admire all of the Democratic candidates, I believe that Steve Stern is best able to continue and build on my four priorities in Congress: consistently supporting women’s rights, standing up for US-Israel relations, and demonstrating leadership on the environment and veterans,” Israel said.

Stern was previously endorsed by a range of Long Island officials, including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

“I am honored to receive Rep. Israel’s support and humbled by the confidence he’s placed in me,” Stern said. “This endorsement is particularly meaningful for me because Rep. Israel and I share so many of the same priorities. We both believe in fighting to make sure women get paid what they deserve for equal work, in protecting our environment and in making sure that middle-class values are at the top of the agenda. Rep. Steve Israel has been a true leader in our community for so many years, and I pledge to continue his important work in Congress.”

Teachout, Plumb And Slaughter Endorsed By NYSUT

The New York State United Teachers union this week doled out a round of early endorsements for two Democratic congressional hopefuls and one incumbent.

NYSUT endorsed Zephyr Teachout, a candidate running in the 19th congressional district and John Plumb, who is running in the 23rd district. The umbrella group also endorsed Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter in the Rochester area’s 25th congressional district.

“These candidates have each demonstrated a commitment to the issues important to NYSUT, its members and the professions we practice,” said NYSUT President Karen Magee.

The endorsements for Teachout and Slaughter carry over into the general election as well as the primary campaign.

“NYSUT members go all out for candidates in whom they believe and trust,” Pallotta said. “Louise Slaughter, Zephyr Teachout and John Plumb are outstanding public servants who we are proud to support.”

Tenney Endorsed By NYers For Constitutional Freedoms

Republican congressional candidate Claudia Tenney was endorsed Tuesday by the socially conservative New Yorkers For Constitutional Freedoms political action committee.

The PAC’s endorsement comes as Tenney faces a Republican primary for the central New York congressional seat that is being vacated by Republican Rep. Richard Hanna.

“I am honored to accept the endorsement of NYCF, a leader in fighting to preserve personal and religious liberty, the sanctity of life and constitutional government,” Tenney said in a statement. “During my time in the New York State Assembly, I have worked alongside NYCF to advocate for commonsense conservative solutions to the failed big government policies and social experiments of New York City liberals. I look forward to working with Rev. Jason McGuire and NYCF to advance those same policies in Congress.”

Tenney last challenged Hanna for the congressional seat in 2014, though she lost the nomination to him that year. This year, Hanna chose to not run for re-election after Tenney launched a second bid for the district.

In a statement, the Rev. Jason McGuire, the executive director of the PAC, cited Tenney’s opposition to the SAFE Act and expanded abortion provisions.

“During her tenure in the New York State Assembly, Tenney has taken principled stands by voting against the SAFE Act, late-term abortion expansion and taxpayer funding of campaigns; she has also demonstrated conservative leadership by sponsoring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, along with a bill to repeal the SAFE Act,” McGuire said. “The Assemblywoman has also spoken out against casino expansion and in favor of additional protections for victims of human trafficking and religious liberty.”

Reed Becomes Second New York House Member To Endorse Trump

Rep. Tom Reed became the second member of the state’s House delegation on Wednesday to endorse Republican Donald Trump for president.

Reed in a statement released by his campaign said Republican voters “favor Donald Trump than any other candidate” in the GOP primary.

“The United States simply cannot have someone in the White House that will continue the failed foreign policy and economic agenda of Barack Obama,” said Reed, who represents a Southern Tier-area congressional district in upstate New York.

Reed called for Republicans to unify behind a Trump candidacy, but at the same time called for a broader and more civil conversation in the campaign.

“Now is the time to unite behind the candidate who I believe will be our nominee, Donald Trump,” Reed continued. “We must move beyond the bombastic rhetoric to positive discussion about creating jobs and improving the lives of all Americans – We all care about improving people’s lives – that should always be our focus. I will use my voice to influence all Republican candidates at all levels to focus on issues and positive solutions for all Americans.”

Earlier this month, Rep. Chris Collins of western New York endorsed Trump for president.

Rep. Collins On CNN Responds To Violence At Trump Rallies

As has been a pretty regular occurrence since he became the first sitting Congressman to endorse Donald Trump, Western New York Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, made another appearance on the cable news networks Tuesday morning.  This time Collins appeared for an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN’s New Day.

“Obviously today is going to be a very important day with Florida and Ohio. So as this day comes to an end, if Donald Trump wins both Florida and Ohio, we will have our presumptive nominee,” Collins said.

Cuomo questioned Collins about recent violence at Donald Trump rallies, asking if Trump “should calm down his rhetoric.” Collins said Democrats are paying protesters to disrupt the rallies.

“Is the right response to say punch them in the face and other threatening comments? Do you think that’s what you would do if it was your rally?” Cuomo asked.

“It comes down to, one thing you know about Donald Trump, if you punch him he is going to punch back,” Collins answered.

Collins said Trump has shifted his rhetoric in the last few days. He said nobody likes to see what’s going on but said Democrats need to take responsibility for their role in it.

Cuomo pushed further asking Collins if he could prove the protesters are paid. The CNN host noted some of the same groups have been at Hillary Clinton rallies.

Cuomo asked if Clinton was paying protesters to disrupt her own events too.

“Who knows what Hillary Clinton is going to do. We know from her playbook she’ll do anything she can to be the President of the United States,” Collins said.


Perez Endorses Governor Cuomo’s Paid Family Leave Proposal

Governor Cuomo’s  paid family leave proposal got a pretty powerful endorsement from the U.S. Labor Secretary in Buffalo, Tuesday.

“I’d prefer to get it done once and for all in Washington and we will. Mark my words. I have no doubt about that. But in the meantime your action is indespensable,” Secretary Thomas Perez said.

For about a year Perez has been on the Lead On Leave tour, calling on businesses, states and local governments to address paid family leave, even as Congress fails to do so. Perez said he doesn’t understand why Republicans won’t pass legislation even as they complain about people leaving the workforce.

“Well the number one thing we could do at a federal level to lift labor force participation is to pass, at a federal level, paid leave. there’s no doubt in my mind so those who want to criticize need to put their money where there mouth is,” Perez said.

The labor secretary believes if New York passes a 12-week paid leave plan, that would be the most generous in the country, other states will follow.

“As someone who has traveled the country, people are watching. People are taking notice. People will emulate and then there will be this very healthy competition,” he said.

Democratic Challenger For NY 27th Congressional District

Democrat Diana Kastenbaum plans to challenge Republican Rep. Chris Collins this fall for New York’s 27th Congressional District. Kastenbaum is the Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle Manufacturing Company Inc. in Batavia.

“As a small business owner from Batavia, I am well-aware of the realities that face middle class families. Using my years of experience as a businesswoman, I will bring new ideas and solutions to the problems we face in Western NY,” she said. “We need a member of Congress that will fight for Western NY on the issues that matter most; good paying jobs, ending income inequality, making college more affordable, and providing access to affordable healthcare. Where Congress has failed us, I will lead.”

Kastenbaum’s family has owned the zinc and aluminum die casting manufacturing company, Pinnacle, since 1972.

The 27th district has a Republican enrollment advantage. Collins defeated now-Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul in a close race in 2012 and was easily reelected in 2014.

“We are excited that a small business owner and leader of such extraordinary caliber is running in the 27th District. There couldn’t be a more stark contrast between an incumbent, who just yesterday endorsed the extremism and divisiveness of Donald Trump, and a challenger whose goal is to build our economy and protect the rights and freedoms of every New Yorker. Diana Kastenbaum is a strong candidate for this district and for the people of Erie County,” Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner said.

Paladino on Collins Endorsement Of Trump: ‘Give Him A Big Hug’

For Western New York Congressman Chris Collins, R-Clarence, it was just a matter of time.

“I’ve actually been a Trump supporter of sorts behind the scenes for the last few weeks,” he said.

Collins publicly supported former Florida Governor Jeb Bush early on in the presidential process. As primaries have come and gone, he said it was clear Bush was not going to be the Republican candidate but he didn’t want to abandon his endorsement either.

When Bush dropped out over the weekend it paved the way for Collins to jump on the “Trump Bus.” He said he was out of the country for the past few days but took the opportunity as soon as he got back to Washington.

Collins endorsement of Trump is intriguing for a few reasons. First of all, he became the first sitting congressman to endorse Trump.

Carl Paladino, who’s been leading the Trump movement in Western New York could barely contain his excitement.

“Chris is an awesome leader and for him to come out as the first in Congress… I just think… I think you should give him a big hug and I’ll give him one too for the community,” Paladino said.

Collins also broke the narrative that as the perceived “mainstream candidates” dropped out of the race, their supporters would rally around other perceived establishment candidates. The former Erie County Executive said Bush and Trump have more in common than people think.

“My initial support was with Jeb Bush who also as a chief executive of a large state to me had the experience to run the country and that was before Donald Trump was in the race.”

Paladino said Collins “broke the ice” and he believes more and more members of Congress, as well as other high-profile politicians. Collins isn’t as sure.

“Those who are more of the status quo political types may move towards one of the other two, Rubio or Cruz but based on executive experience, I’m going to go with the executive every time.”



Martins Named To Young Guns Program

Republican congressional candidate Jack Martins was named on Friday to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns program.

Martins is among the 11 candidates who have filed for the Long Island congressional district that is being vacated Democratic Rep. Steve Israel.

“I filed for Congress just over a month ago. Since then, the support throughout the district in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens has been terrific and recent public polls show this race can be won. At each turn the campaign has picked up momentum,” said Martins, a state senator first elected in 2010. “Being named to the NRCC’s Young Gun program so quickly in this race continues this momentum. I appreciate the confidence from Chairman Walden, his team and the confidence the voters throughout the district have shown since I announced I was running for Congress.”

On the GOP side, there are five candidates alone seeking the nomination in the 3rd congressional district.

NY-24: Independence Party Endorses Katko

The state Independence Party on Thursday endorsed freshman Republican Rep. John Katko for re-election in central New York’s 24th congressional district.

“We in the Independence Party of New York believe government can only do its best for the people of this country by reaching across party lines to accomplish the work needed,” said Chairman Frank MacKay. “Congressman Katko has had this as his core principle since he first went to Washington. We are proud to once again endorse him.”

The Independence Party is a separate ballot with a politically nebulous agenda. The party has been accused of essentially being a shell organization for patronage and confusing to voters who believe they are registering as independent or “blank” — i.e., not in a political party.

But the ballot line could be key for a district that has been a swing seat for the last several election cycles. Katko unseated Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei in 2014, who in turn had unseated the woman he last to in 2012, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle.

“I am honored and thankful for the continued support of the New York State Independence Party,” Katko said.

“I’m proud to be an independent and responsive voice for Central New York in Congress, focusing on the issues that matter most to families and individuals in our community and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common ground. I will continue to advance bipartisan solutions on the issues that matter most to Central New York, including addressing the devastating rate of poverty, growing our local economy, combating the heroin epidemic, and working to strengthen our national security.”