As we wait for the votes to be counted in the Queens DA race, there has already been chatter about primaries in the Assembly next year. A new wave of progressive voters have already made a difference in State Senate races in 2018, knocking out 6 IDC members in last year’s legislative primaries. Members of the IDC, or Independent Democratic Conference, were a group of 8 Democratic Senators who formed a governing alliance with Senate Republicans. An arrangement that lasted for 6 years.

So, will that generational shift occur in the Assembly in the 2020 elections the way it did in the State Senate in 2018? It remains to be seen, but it will certainly not happen without a fight.

According to the campaign filing, set to be made public next week, The Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee, or DACC will have a record balance for an off year cycle with $2.1 Million cash on hand. Over the last filing period, extending from January to July, DACC also raised a record amount of money with $1.6 Million.

You have to go back to 2001 for the previous record for money in the bank during a non-election year. In 2001, DACC had $1.25 Million in cash, having raised $1.25 Million from January to July of that year.

The most the Assembly Majority has ever raised in a non-campaign year July filing was $1.3 Million from January to July in 2003.

The difference this time around is that the Assembly Majority made this haul without taking any real estate or landlord money, proving that Albany’s traditional best benefactor isn’t necessarily needed to stay competitive.

Finally, the Speaker Heastie PAC took in $250,000 over the first 6 months of 2019, and currently has $100,000 cash on hand. Not a ton, but additional money nonetheless. The Heastie PAC often doles out campaign cash to other candidates including Melinda Katz during the Queens DA race. Heastie was a big Katz supporter.

2020 is going to be a banner year. There is certainly a new awareness within the Democratic party in the age of Trump, and that is being reflected everywhere. From the victory of Alexandria Ocosio-Cortez in Queens, to the ouster of IDC members in individual Senate Districts across the State. Cynthia Nixon’s candidacy was also fueled by this new energy, but the progressive wave voters don’t have anywhere near the numbers they need to win Statewide, at least not yet.

It’s also worth noting that next year there will be A LOT of races. There are primaries against Democrats in Congress, and there will certainly be primaries against sitting members of the Assembly. Particular targets in the Assembly are expected to be members who have served for a very long time. But the dynamic has changed. The Democratic Clubs no longer have the power to tell would-be challengers to stand down and “wait your turn.” Primaries are going to go forward, and frankly they should. It’s healthy for the party and ultimately for democracy as a whole. However, the progressive wave could also get diluted if they pick too many races to target. And what is very clear from this filing from the Democratic Assembly is that DACC will have the resources to push back and defend their incumbents where necessary.