Aug 19th - 5:07 pm
Republican congressional candidate Jack Martins on Friday afternoon urged the Democrat in the race to also back a Dec. 6 general election after submitting a court filing today arguing for the move in the 3rd district.
Martins’s stated reasoning for the Dec. 6 general election is to have the election line up with the MOVE Act, which governs timely access to absentee ballots to military and overseas voters. A court ruling this week set a primary between Martins and Republican Philip Pidot to Oct. 6 following a lengthy and unusual court challenge. Martins is challenging that decision.
Moving the date to December could potentially help Martins over Democrat Tom Suozzi, considering the presidential election in November will likely drive more Democratic voters to the polls in a district where Donald Trump is deeply unpopular.
“I call on Tom Suozzi to join me in asking the judge to protect the rights of the Military, senior citizens and others whose right to vote in the general election is jeopardized by an October Primary,” Martins said in a statement. “The October primary election date leaves 32 days for a general election, disenfranchising the military voters and even potentially the permanent absentee voters. The military voters and all other voters in New York’s 3rd Congressional District deserve the same consideration of 50 days or more in the general election, just as the judge provided for the primary voters.”
New York’s state and local primaries are not in compliance with the MOVE Act. After state lawmakers in 2012 failed to reach an agreement on a primary date, a federal judge moved congressional primaries to June. With no agreement in Albany, local-level primaries continue to be held in September.
Aug 18th - 6:22 pm
House Speaker Paul Ryan is taking to the fundraising circuit in western New York, holding events later this month with Republican Reps. Chris Collins and Tom Reed.
The planned events scheduled for Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 were first reported by The Buffalo and confirmed by our colleagues at Time Warner Cable News in Buffalo.
Along with Collins, Ryan will appear at a Buffalo at the Hotel @Lafayette. The event is planned as a fundraising effort for Team Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican’s campaign committee, a PAC called Prosperity Action and the National Republican Campaign Committee.
Tickets range from $1,000 for the reception and dinner to $10,000 for a VIP photo reception.
The Reed event is planned the next day as a breakfast gathering at the Oak Hill Country Club outside of Rochester.
Aug 18th - 11:19 am
A poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released on Thursday found former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi leading state Sen. Jack Martins in the third congressional district contest by 16 percentage points.
The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group, found the Democrat Suozzi leading Martins 52 percent to 36 percent in the House district that comprises parts of Queens and Nassau County.
“There is no way to spin it – State Senator Jack Martins faces a difficult uphill climb this November,” said Bryan Lesswing at the DCCC. “Given Jack Martins’ past defense of Dean Skelos and continued support for Donald Trump despite his dangerous ideas, it is clear that voters in New York’s 3rd congressional district won’t let Martins get away with putting Trump and his own party before country.”
The poll found Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump in the district, 51 percent to 35 percent.
A wrinkle for the battleground House race has been the campaign of Republican Philip Pidot, who a federal court on Wednesday ruled will compete against Martins in an October primary following a lengthy ballot challenge. The poll released by the DCCC did not consider Pidot’s impact on the race.
The district is considered a swing seat as Democratic Rep. Steve Israel is due to retire this year.
Aug 17th - 4:12 pm
After a protracted court battle and myriad legal motions, Republican congressional candidate Philip Pidot secured an Oct. 6 primary against state Sen. Jack Martins for a Long Island House seat.
The court ruling is an unusual one, given that it places the primary a month after state-level primaries are being held and more than three months after the June congressional primaries.
Pidot had been initially challenged for the June ballot status, with drop outs and legal decisions seemingly clearing the way for Martins to directly take on the Democratic challenger, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi.
But a federal court on Wednesday landed on the side of Pidot, setting the Oct. 6 primary date.
“The Long Island political machine has been rolling over outsiders since I was a boy, and it had to stop; someone had to stand up to the bully,” Pidot said in a statement.
“For the next month I will spending every waking hour asking Republicans on Long Island and in Queens to stand with me on October 6 to bring reform not only to the Island, but to Congress itself. If you want term limits in Washington, lower taxes, and less federal interference in your life and in your healthcare, I’m your candidate.”
In a statement, Martins campaign advisor OB Murray indicated they were focused on the November election.
“We are confident we will win in November because of the overwhelming support Jack Martins has continued received across the district and in his previous elections,” he said. “Jack’s record of fighting for lower taxes, a stronger economy and the families he represents is a message the voters support overwhelmingly.”
The district is being vacated this year by Democratic Rep. Steve Israel.
Aug 4th - 4:46 pm
Bernie Sanders campaign organizers in Western New York are turning their focus toward New York’s congressional races. Thursday, Buffalo for Bernie announced the kickoff of a new initiative called Brand New Congress Buffalo.
The organization announced its support for three Democrats running in New York’s 19th, 23rd and 27th districts: Zephyr Teachout, John Plumb and Diana Kastenbaum. Buffalo for Bernie is urging Sanders supporters to donate to the congressional campaigns and plans to have volunteers help get out the vote in the fall.
They hope that’s just the beginning.
“What we’re looking to do is extend the group of people we have from working on the Sanders campaign into a permanent organization that’s working inside and outside of the Democratic party,” organizer Brian Nowak said.
Nowak said there’s a name change in the works and Buffalo for Bernie plans to file for not-for-profit status soon. By time the 2018 cycle comes around, it plans to be drafting, endorsing and fundraising for candidates as a political action organization.
“Everything that a candidate needs that’s running for office that helps that person win, we want to be able to do all of those things,” Nowak said.
He said Bernie campaign teams across New York are organizing similar groups, although each will have their own flare. The move falls in line with the message Sanders had for his supporters in a June address, when he urged them to continue the “political revolution.”
Jul 12th - 11:19 am
Republican congressional candidate Jack Martins on Tuesday backed a proposal to bar those who are on then “no fly” list from purchasing a firearm.
Martins, a state senator running for the seat being vacated on Long Island by Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, did not endorse a specific bill that’s before Congress (Republicans and Democrats have proposed differing legislation with the same goal).
But as he runs in a tossup swing district race, Martins indicated he’s open to backing any of those measures.
“There are several different bills aimed at keeping suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from buying guns,” he said. “Any of them is better than the status quo. Congress needs to work together, come to an agreement and pass legislation to strengthen our national security.”
And, in a statement, Martins seemingly sought to strike a different tone than his party’s presumptive nominee, Donald Trump.
“We need to work together to build bridges to solutions, not build walls,” he said.
Martins was among a handful of Republican state senators who backed the SAFE Act, a controversial package of gun control measures sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo himself has pushed for a ban on gun purchases for those on the no-fly list.
Democrats in Congress this month held a sit-in protest on the floor of the House chamber to demonstrate against the lack of action on gun control legislation.
Jul 12th - 6:30 am
From the Morning Memo:
Early indications are we could have a competitive race in New York’s 23rd Congressional District – at least the House Majority PAC, a Democrat independent expenditure account, seems to believe so.
Late Monday, the PAC announced media buys in seven new markets, including Buffalo and Elmira. It is spending more than $240,000 to reserve TV advertising slots for the final weeks of the election cycle in Republican Rep. Tom Reed’s district.
“From his out-of-touch record in Congress to his full-throated support for Donald Trump, Congressman Reed has every reason to be worried. NY-23 is very much within reach for Democrats this November,” PAC spokesperson Jeb Fain said.
Reed is being challenged by Democrat John Plumb, a naval reserve commander. During the last presidential election cycle, Reed won by only a few percentage points over then-opponent Nate Shinagawa, a former Tompkins County legislator.
Two years ago though, the congressman shellacked another Democratic opponent, Martha Robertson, another Tompkins County legislator. Reed spokesperson Amy Hasenberg pointed out Robertson was well-supported by the “D.C. establishment” in that race.
She said Reed is seeing even stronger support from his constituents this year. The congressman’s campaign doesn’t seem to be taking this race for granted though, attacking Plumb Monday for repeatedly failing to vote in elections.
“It’s no surprise that Nancy Pelosi’s PAC is trying to save DC John Plumb’s failing campaign. Voters will see through Washington trying to tell them what to think and do,” Hasenberg said.
Plumb’s campaign sees things differently. It believe the candidate is getting outside support because the campaign has momentum.
“They know Commander Plumb has what it takes to protect jobs here in New York while making sure America remains safe from terrorists at home and abroad – unlike Congressman Tom Reed who’s become part of the broken system in Washington that’s left our towns and small communities behind,” campaign manager Jason Robert Henry said.
Republican analyst Vic Martucci said right now the Reed seat has a target on it, but that could change if it becomes clear Donald Trump is doing well in Upstate New York. He said, by the fall, the district could look significantly less winnable for Democrats.
“Keep in mind that it’s early. Priorities can and do change and it’s possible this PAC will cancel the buy and shift resources where they think they have the best chance to win,” GOP analyst Vic Martucci said.
Jul 8th - 4:15 pm
Democratic congressional candidate Anna Throne-Holst on Friday in a statement declared victory in her closely waged primary battle with Dave Calone.
The former Southampton supervisor narrowly led Calone on the night of the state’s federal primaries, throwing the contest to paper.
“I am deeply grateful to all who placed their trust and support in me, and I am truly humbled by the privilege it has been to get to know, share the concerns, and my message with so many,” she said in a statement. I want to congratulate Dave Calone on a spirited race, and I share in the respect and support he garnered in the district, as demonstrated by the very close margin and the strength of his candidacy.”
Throne-Holst now faces Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin for the eastern Long Island congressional district in what is expected to be among a handful of key House races in New York this November.
Zeldin, a freshman GOP lawmaker, won the seat two years again by defeating incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop.
“I look forward to working together with Democrats across the district to take back this important seat,” she said. “Lee Zeldin has shown in every way how out of step and wrong he is not only for Long Island, but for the country.”
Jul 7th - 1:48 pm
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a national ad campaign linking House Republicans to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, with upstate New York’s 24th district among the targeted regions.
The central New York-area seat, held by freshman Rep. John Katko, is especially fertile ground for Democrats given the seat has reliably traded hands between both parties over the last several election cycles since the 2012 round of redistricting.
Incumbent Rep. John Katko unseated freshman Democrat Dan Maffei last year.
This year, Katko faces Democrat Colleen Deacon, a former aide to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the winner of a three-person primary last month.
The DCCC is launching two ads — one called “Standards” and another “Sidekick” which is targeted at women specifically by linking congressional Republicans to Trump’s bombastic and unorthodox presidential campaign.
“Whether House Republicans stand with Donald Trump or refuse to stand up to him, the point is the same: they are putting their party over our country and have betrayed the values and standards that Americans hold dear. House Republicans have allowed a man who freely attacks people and intentionally divides our nation to be their standard-bearer without lifting a finger to stop him,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Lujan. “As general election voters tune in with distress about the Republican party’s nominee, this ad campaign makes clear how unacceptable it is for these Republicans to fall in line with Donald Trump.”
The Trump targeting isn’t unusual: On Wednesday, the DCCC released statements linking Katko, Rep. Elise Stefanik and Republican candidate John Faso in the 19th congressional district to the businessman’s controversial statements crediting Saddam Hussein with killing terrorists.
None of those Republicans are close to being considered “Trump Republicans” in either tone or ideology. Indeed, one House Republican running as a Trump supporter — Rep. Chris Collins — is not facing a difficult re-election fight this year.
Jul 5th - 12:33 pm
Republican congressional candidate Claudia Tenney was one of the first GOP House candidates in New York to blast the recommendation by the FBI to not pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email serve.
While critical of Clinton’s usage of multiple servers during her time as secretary of state, in which emails containing confidential and top secret information were transmitted, FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday said a recommendation for criminal charges was not going to happen.
The announcement, while good for Clinton’s presidential campaign, is also providing fuel for her opponents on the right.
In a statement, Tenney said the announcement suggests there is a “double standard” within the criminal justice system.
“It conveys a clear message to the American people: there is one set of rules for the political elite and one for everyone else. This is exactly the type of double standard that destroys public trust in government officials, and reinforces the fact that politicians in both parties are out for themselves, not us. This type of insider cronyism is exactly what I have been fighting in Albany,” Tenney said.
“Anyone else would have been prosecuted under laws design to punish gross negligence in the handling of classified information. There are people that have been prosecuted under these statues, but they weren’t running for President.”
Tenney is seeking the central New York congressional seat held by Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican who is retiring at the end of the year.
An Assembly lawmaker since 2010, Tenney faces Democrat Kim Myers after winning last week’s congressional primary.