NY-17: Westchester County Clerk Endorses Buchwald

Democratic congressional candidate David Buchwald on Thursday received the first countywide endorsement in the crowded party primary for the 17th House district.

Westchester County Clerk Tim Odoni backed Buchwald’s bid for the seat being vacated by Rep. Nita Lowey.

“I am excited to endorse David Buchwald as he runs for Congress,” Idoni said. “Throughout his career, David has worked hard to build relationships across the community and has been a leader we could count on at the state level to fight to hold Trump accountable, to protect women’s healthcare, to pass laws to reduce gun violence, and to promote ethics in government. He’s the advocate we need in Congress.”

Buchwald, a member of the state Assembly, is part of a field of more than a half-dozen candidates seeking the Democratic nod for the district.

“I am proud to have County Clerk Idoni’s support. He has devoted his life to serving Westchester County, and he has been a conscientious and effective leader for us,” Buchwald said.

“Together, we have worked to promote electronic recordkeeping that saves taxpayers millions of dollars. I am running for Congress to fight for an end to gun violence, protect women’s reproductive rights, restore the SALT deduction, and advocate for our Democratic values.”

NYSUT Endorses Mannion For Senate

The New York State United Teachers union on Monday formally endorsed Democrat John Mannion in his second bid for a central New York Senate district.

“John’s intimate knowledge of public education and the issues facing our students and staff would be a huge boon to the Senate,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said.

“NYSUT supports candidates who share our values and strong belief in the power of organized labor, and in John, we know we have a true friend and advocate who will put Central New York’s students and working families first.”

Mannion, a biology teacher and president of the West Genesee District Teachers Association, is running again for the seat that’s being vacated by Republican Bob Antonacci at the end of the year. Antonacci defeated Mannion last year for the district, formerly held by Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican.

It’s not year clear when or if a special election would be called to fill the seat, though Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month indicated he would consider doing so.

NY-17: Carlucci Receives IBEW Nod

House candidate David Carlucci on Monday was endorsed by the IBEW Local Union 363 in the crowded Democratic primary field for the 17th district.

Carlucci, a state senator, is running for the seat held by retiring Rep. Nita Lowey.

“With the labor movement and middle class under attack in Washington, D.C., we need a Congressman like David Carlucci who has a proven track record of delivering results and protecting middle class workers,” business manager Sam Fratto said in a statement.

“He has improved conditions for working families in New York by passing a $15 minimum wage law, 12 weeks of paid family leave, deductibility of union-dues, and policies to protect union members following the Janus decision. Working men and women need a champion like Carlucci who knows what middle class issues are and will bring those concerns to the national table.”

The union founded in Rockland County represents Hudson Valley workers in the electrical construction, voice, data and telecommunications industries.

“It’s an honor to receive the support of the hardworking men and women of IBEW Local Union 363,” Carlucci said. “As our next member of Congress, I will fight to protect workers’ rights to bargain, organize, and receive fair wages and benefits. The labor movement was founded in New York, and I plan to stand shoulder to shoulder with our union members against anyone on the federal level who puts their rights in jeopardy.”

Zemskys To Hold Fundraiser For Ryan’s Senate Bid

EKj3OHtWwAUSFvYFrom the Morning Memo:

Howard and Leslie Zemsky are getting behind the state Senate bid of Democrat Sean Ryan.

The couple will hold a fundraiser next week for Ryan, a state assemblyman seeking the Senate seat held by Republican Chris Jacobs, who himself is running for the House district vacated this year by GOP former Rep. Chris Collins.

Contributions to attend the Dec. 10 event at the Larkin Filling Station range from $250 to $1,000.

Howard Zemsky is a former top economic development advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Democrats view the race as a potential pickup opportunity in western New York for the conference, which won the majority a year ago for the first time in a decade.

NY House Delegation Backs WFP

From the Morning Memo:

Members of New York’s House delegation on Thursday tweeted their support for the Working Families Party as the organization is fighting potentially for its future.

A commission determining the specifics of how publicly financed campaigns will work in state elections is also considering changes to how minor parties can retain their ballot status — a move that could threaten the WFP’s status, and others, of remaining on the ballot.

Under the plan floated by commission member and state Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, parties would have to achieve a certain threshold number of votes every two years.

The current requirement for keeping ballot status is to reach 50,000 votes every four years for a line’s gubernatorial candidate. That threshold number of votes could also be increased.

Jacobs has defended the idea of stiffening the requirements, arguing legitimate political parties should not have trouble meeting the new threshold.

But the WFP is concerned the change is part of a broader effort to weaken the organization after it supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Democratic primary challenger Cynthia Nixon in 2018. Jacobs is a Cuomo ally.

“JUST SAY NO!” Rep. Anthony Brindisi posted on Twitter. “The plan to end the @NYWFP line pushed by the Public Financing Commission will disenfranchise thousands of voters across the state and hurt representatives that are fighting for working families.”

Added Rep. Grace Meng, a Queens Democrat and a vice chair for the DNC: “The Public Financing Commission’s plan to end the
@NYWFP line is unprecedented. Thanks to the WFP, Dems have won key victories in Congress and across NY. This plan helps conservatives and hurts Democrats and progressive policies.”

Rep. Antonio Delgado posted that an end to the WFP line “would tip the scales for special interests.”

“The Public Financing Commission should reconsider the current plan,” he tweeted.

Both Brindisi and Delgado ran on the WFP line and are Democrats representing potential battleground seats next year.

The commission is expected to release its final report next week. Lawmakers can either return to Albany for a special session before the end of the year to change it or the panel’s recommendations become law.

On Long Island, Dems Hope For Labor Boost With Ahearn

From the Morning Memo:

Democratic state Senate candidate Laura Ahearn, running for the seat held by longtime Republican Sen. Kenneth LaValle, is racking up a series of labor union endorsements in her bid.

Ahearn’s campaign on Friday is set to announce her backing from the Nassau-Suffolk Building Trades Council, a nod that has dovetailed with the backing of other unions, including the Steamfitters Local 638 and IBEW Local 25.

“The Building & Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties are pleased to inform you that we have endorsed your candidacy for State Senate in the 1st district,” said Nassau-Suffolk Building Trades Council President Matthew Aracich in the endorsement announcement. “Members of the Executive Board had extensive discussion, and when put to a vote, not a single voice raised opposition.”

The early days of Ahearn’s bid has seen some fundraising success. She has raised $70,886 so far a month into the campaign.

“I’m excited and humbled by the early support our campaign has received from individuals, unions and organizations who want me to go to Albany to fight for Suffolk County families,” she said in a statement.

“I’ve dedicated my life to protecting and fighting for our most vulnerable through my non-profit, The Crime Victims Center, Parents for Megan’s Law, my law practice where I represent victims of violent crime, or the work I’ve done supporting and drafting local, state and federal legislation to strengthen community and victim’s rights and give law enforcement and prosecution the tools they need to succeed. I’m excited to take my experience to Albany to continue fighting for families and ensuring Suffolk County gets its fair share from Albany.”

Katz Names Transition Team For Queens DA

From the Morning Memo:

Melinda Katz on Friday is set to unveil her 31-member transition team as she is set to become the new Queens district attorney in January.

Katz has named Randall Eng, the former presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department to serve as co-chairman of the effort. Christopher Renfroe, a former president of the Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association, will serve as co-chair as well.

Sharon Lee has been appointed the transition team’s executive director, serving on a volunteer basis.

The committee will create smaller working groups to focus on divisions and bureaus within the DA’s office ahead of the change in administration.

“I am proud and ready to lead a new dawn of justice in Queens,” Katz said in a statement.

“I am grateful to the co-chairs and the members of my transition team for their dedication to the people and families of our home borough. Justice has been denied as other counties in our state and across the country were at the forefront of reforming our criminal justice system. We will prove definitively in Queens that you can enhance safety and equality at the same time, in a way that is collaborative and benefits all of us.”

Katz won a closely watched and hard-fought Democratic primary against Tiffany Cabán, a former public defender who had the backing of progressive organizations and advocates.

The full list of the transition committee is after the jump. More >

Monserrate Files To Run For Assembly

Former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate, who was removed from office after a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, has filed to run for the state Assembly.

A Democrat, Monserrate is running for the seat held by Queens Democratic Assemblyman Jeff Aubry.

He had previously sought an Assembly seat in 2010 following his expulsion and lost. Monserrate in 2017 ran for a seat on the New York City Council and lost. He is now a Queens Democratic district leader.

Monserrate was a key figure in the 2009 state Senate leadership coup, joining with Sen. Pedro Espada of the Bronx to hand control of the chamber to Republicans. Monserrate later returned to the Democratic fold, creating a 31-31 tie, and Espada later rejoined in July of that year.

In 2010, Monserrate was removed from the Senate in a rare expulsion vote after he was convicted of a misdemeanor charge related to an incident in which he was accused of slashing his girlfriend’s face with a broken glass and dragging her down a flight of stairs.

He served 21 months in federal prison after he was found guilty in 2012 in a federal corruption case stemming from siphoning funds from a city discretionary fund.

NY-17: Buchwald Nets Dozens Of Local Endorsements

Democratic congressional candidate David Buchwald over the weekend received the endorsements of 41 local-level officials in his bid to replace outgoing Rep. Nita Lowey in the House of Representatives.

Buchwald’s endorsements come amid an increasingly crowded field for the Democratic nomination in the suburban 17th congressional district. The nods came from officials in Westchester and Rockland counties, including mayors and twon supervisors.

“I fully support David Buchwald as he runs for Congress,” said Mount Kisco Deputy Mayor Jean Farber. “Throughout his years serving our community, he has fought for our values and stood for greater government transparency and accountability. When it comes to gun violence and climate change, we need leaders who will take action – that’s David.”

Buchwald, a member of the state Assembly, is facing Sen. David Carlucci, former NARAL Pro-Choice America Chairwoman Allison Fine, former Obama administration official Mondaire Jones, and just today Evelyn Farkas, a former Department of Defense official.

“I am proud to have the support of such an overwhelming group of respected leaders across the district as I run for Congress,” Buchwald said.

“I believe that working together is critical to making change happen, and I’ve worked hard throughout my career to build relationships across Westchester and Rockland. From climate change solutions to healthcare access to lowering our taxes by fighting to reinstate our SALT deductions, I am committed to delivering for our communities in Congress.”

NY-17: Fine Introduces Herself In New Video

From the Morning Memo:

The nascent congressional campaign of Democrat Allison Fine on Monday is releasing a video highlighting her candidacy and biography.

Fine is a former national chairwoman of NARAL Pro-Choice America, but she acknowledges in the video voters may have not heard of her until now.

So she’s inviting them to a “living room conservation” about issues she’s focusing on, like climate change, job security and health care for women.

Fine in the video highlights her work in the community, such as being the president of her synagogue, and her time spent living in the suburban Westchester County district.

“As someone who’s fought to protect and expand women’s rights through local activism and as the immediate past national board chair of NARAL Pro-Choice America, I take the responsibility of being the only woman running to build on the legacy of trailblazer Nita Lowey very seriously,” Fine said in a statement.

“But for me, this race is really about a mom who lives and raised her three children in this district and wants to fight for the things that matter most to our community, like affordable health care, investments in green energy to address the climate crisis, and using my tech industry experience to push for strong online protections, especially for children. The work of rebuilding our country begins right here at home. And this is my home.”

Fine is running for the district being vacated by retiring Rep. Nita Lowey and her campaign is being overseen by Metropolitan Public Strategies.

In addition to Fine, Sen. David Carlucci, Assemblyman David Buchwald and former Justice Department official Mondaire Jones are seeking the Democratic nomination.