NY-13: Espaillat Wants Next State Police Leader To Back Ammo Database

Democratic state Sen. Adriano Espaillat on Thursday called on the next State Police superintendent to make the creation of a stalled ammunition database a priority.

In a letter (sent on official Senate letterhead) released by his congressional campaign, Espaillat called on members of a Gov. Andrew Cuomo-appointed committee searching for the next superintendent to make “getting the ammunition database up and running as soon as possible.”

The creation of the database was a component of the broader SAFE Act package of gun control laws that was approved in 2013.

Last year, Cuomo’s administration and Senate Republicans signed a memorandum of understanding the database’s creation would not be implemented or funded. Cuomo has insisted the database would come online as soon as the technology was there to create it.

Republican lawmakers claimed the MOU as a victory in scaling back an aspect of the SAFE Act, which is deeply despised by gun control opponents.

Espaillat is among the crowded field of Democrats running for the 13th congressional district in New York City, a seat that is being vacated by Rep. Charlie Rangel.

Adriano Espaillat Letter on SAFE Act Ammunition Database by Tyrone Stevens

NYSUT Endorses Wright For Congress

The New York State United Teachers union on Thursday endorsed Democratic Assemblyman Keith Wright for Congress in the 13th district in New York City.

Wright, along with 10 other candidates, are vying to replace outgoing Rep. Charlie Rangel in a primary next month.

NYSUT announced its endorsement of Wright in a release that also touted early nods for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (who faces Republican Wendy Long) as well as Reps. Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Nita Lowey.

“These candidates stood shoulder to shoulder with educators and listened, and then used their voice to speak out strongly for what public schools and colleges – and students – needed,” said NYSUT President Karen Magee. “Now it’s our turn to stand strongly with them and to use NYSUT’s political clout to support their campaigns.”

NY-13: School Administrators Back Espaillat

The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators on Thursday announced they had endorsed Sen. Adriano Espaillat is in his Democratic primary bid for the 13th congressional district.

“To build a strong foundation for our future, we need a public education system that taps the potential of every child. That’s why I’m honored to have the support of an organization that is so dedicated to making our schools run effectively for all of our students,” Espaillat said in a statement. “As Congressman, I will be in their corner every step of the way to ensure our schools have the resources they need to thrive, and kids from all backgrounds have the support they need to succeed.”

The group is a labor union that represents principals, assistant principals and education administrators.

Espaillat is among the 10 or so candidates vying for the nomination to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel, a longtime fixture in Harlem and New York City politics as well as the House of Representatives itself.

Espaillat’s chief rival for the nomination is likely Assemblyman Keith Wright, a fellow Albany state lawmaker. This is Espaillat’s third bid for the congressional seat, which includes parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.

Given the overwhelming Democratic enrollment in the district, a win in next month’s primary virtually guarantees the seat for the victor.

NY-13: Miner Endorses Wright

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is endorsing the campaign of her former state Democratic co-chair, Assemblyman Keith Wright.

Miner and Wright served jointly as an upstate-downstate duo leading the state Democratic committee. Miner left the job in 2014 after vocally disagreeing with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over local government and pension policy.

Wright later on was succeeded by former Gov. David Paterson to chair the party. Paterson, who announced he would leave the chairmanship post last year, is yet to be replaced.

“Keith Wright’s leadership in Congress will be felt all over New York State — He’ll help New York City, he’ll help Syracuse, and he’ll help the country with his legislative experience,” Miner said in a statement.

Wright is taking on a crowded Democratic field to replace retiring Rep. Charlie Rangel in Congress. Chief among his rivals is state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who is making a third run for the congressional seat, which includes parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.

NY-13: Espaillat Endorsed By TWU

As rival Democrat Keith Wright is endorsed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the campaign to replace Rep. Charlie Rangel, Adriano Espaillat was given the nod for the seat by the Transportation Workers Union Local 100.

The union has backed Espaillat’s previous bids for the 13th congressional district in 2012 and in 2014, both which came up short against Rangel, who is retiring at the end of the year.

“Adriano Espaillat has always stood with working New Yorkers, and for a better transportation network for our city,” said TWU President John Samuelsen. “From helping secure funds to rehab train stations right here in Upper Manhattan to fighting to stop funding cuts to the Second Avenue Subway, Senator Espaillat has proven to be true champion we can count on and I am proud to endorse him for Congress. We need Senator Espaillat in Washington to help build the transportation infrastructure our city needs for the next 100 years.”

Espaillat, a state senator, faces Wright and five other Democrats for the nomination contest in June.

Wright, a state assemblyman and former chairman of the Manhattan Democratic Committee, has been bolstered with a series of endorsements from elected officials, including Gillibrand and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

On Wednesday, Wright released an email to supporters touting the Gillibrand endorsement.

“Keith’s proven that he will fight for our neighborhoods and make sure that hard-working New Yorkers have a fair shot,” the email said. “His record of success and strong leadership has earned the support of many fellow New Yorkers – from the Bronx Democratic County Committee, to leaders from the Upper West Side, to labor organizations, to tenant leaders, and more, New York is uniting behind Keith.”

NY-13: O’Donnell Raises For Wright

Democratic Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell is fundraising for the congressional campaign of his Albany colleague, Assemblyman Keith Wright.

O’Donnell in a fundraising email sent Monday praised Wright’s time in the chamber, pointing to his support for women’s rights and economic justice concerns.

“I know that social and economic justice are Keith’s priorities. He stands with Planned Parenthood and fights to ensure that women can make their own healthcare choices,” he wrote in the email. “Together we advocated for affordable health coverage. Keith’s work ensures New York continues to protect and create affordable housing and give tenants the power to advocate for themselves. We need Keith to be a voice for our community’s values in Congress.”

O’Donnell did not enter the race to replace retiring Rep. Charlie Rangel last year in the 13th congressional district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Manhattan.

Wright is competing for the seat alongside seven other Democratic candidates, including Sen. Adriano Espaillat. Sen. Bill Perkins dropped his bid for the seat earlier this year.

In the email, O’Donnell pointed to the support Wright has received from elected officials ranging from Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and the praise from former President Bill Clinton.

Congressional Fundraising Roundup

With New York’s presidential primary behind us, we’re now looking forward to this year’s Congressional primary in June.

We’re watching eight different races from Long Island to the Finger Lakes that are either competitive this year or have been in past election cycles.

The most recent fundraising deadline was at the end of March, and filings started trickling in late last week. We have compiled the latest numbers so you don’t have to, including how much each candidate has raised overall this election cycle and how much they raised in the first quarter of this year. We have also included how much cash each candidate has on hand as of the latest filing.

Candidates are listed below in order from most-money-raised to least. Remember to click the ‘Read More’ button for the full list.

You can find more on each of these races in our Race for Congress section.

3rd Congressional District

Steve Stern (D)
Total Raised: $500,633
Total Raised First Quarter: $500,633
Cash on Hand: $444,530

Tom Suozzi (D)
Total Raised: $451,306
Total Raised First Quarter: $451,306
Cash on Hand: $374,345

Anna Kaplan (D)
Total Raised: $445,160
Total Raised First Quarter:  $445,160
Cash on Hand: $344,659

Jack Martins (R)
Total Raised: $283,598
Total Raised First Quarter: $283,598
Cash on Hand: $242,223

Jon Kaiman (D)
Total Raised: $242,379
Total Raised First Quarter: $242,379
Cash on Hand: $189,305

Philip Pidot (R)
Total Raised: $106,796
Total Raised First Quarter: $106,796
Cash on Hand: $83,696

Chad Lupinacci (R)
Total Raised: $27,720
Total Raised First Quarter: $27,720
Cash on Hand: $25,262

Jonathan Clarke (D), Dan Serota (R), and Robert Trotta (R) have not submitted a filing for the first quarter.

More >

NY-13: Heastie Endorses Wright For Congress

Democrat Keith Wright picked up a key endorsement in his for the congressional seat held by retiring Rep. Charlie Rangel: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

“From my first day as a member of the Assembly, Keith has been someone I look up to as a leader,” Heastie said in a statement. “He has been a champion for the working class; a person who, through his various leadership roles in the Assembly and the Democratic Party, has shown his immense capacity for compassion, service and achievement.”

Heastie was chairman of the Bronx Democratic committee until last year, when he stepped aside to succeed disgraced former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver as speaker.

But Heastie’s clout in the Bronx remains considerable, and turnout in the northern reaches of the 13th congressional district could help Wright in a Democratic primary.

Wright was briefly a candidate for Assembly speaker himself after Silver announced he would step aside, but quickly yielded to Heastie.

In the endorsement, Heastie pointed to Wright’s positions on housing affordability and criminal justice reform measures, as well as backing an increase to the minimum wage.

“I am grateful to have the support of Speaker Heastie,” Wright said. “Together we will continue to fight to protect affordable housing, against gun violence, for better schools, to protect our seniors, for higher wages and more jobs, and for economic and social justice for everyone.”

UPDATED: Wright Has Strong Fundraising Lead in NY13

Assemblyman Keith Wright has more than $80,000 as his closest opponent in the race for the 13th Congressional District, his latest filing with the FEC shows.

Wright, a Manhattan Democrat, posted fundraising totals of more than $155,000 in the latest quarter, bringing his campaign account to just below $270,000.

UPDATE: His closest opponent – Clyde Williams –  raised $251,829 in the same quarter, but with spending remains below Wright with $189,309 on hand.

His second closest opponent – State Senator Adriano Espaillat – raised $104,630 in the last quarter. That’s nothing to frown at, but it still leaves Espaillat down more than $167,000 from Assemblyman Wright. Espaillat has slightly more than $102,000 in cash on hand moving forward.

Some of Espaillat’s trouble comes from a crowded field of primary opponents. Six other Democrats – besides Wright and Espaillat – have registered to run for the seat that’s being vacated by retiring Congressman Charlie Rangel. Four of those six have posted fundraising totals, though none come close to what Williams or Wright have raked in.

State Senator Bill Perkins has slightly more than $18,000 to boast in his campaign account. But ahead of him are Democrats Suzan “Sujay” Johnson Cook and Adam Clayton Powell. Cook has just below $70,000 on hand and Powell has $77,000.

Both Powell and Espaillat have been in this boat before. Both lawmakers have tried to take the seat from Rangel two separate times. Espaillat came close in 2014 but lost to Rangel in a primary by less than five percent.

Democrats outnumber Republicans 17 to 1 in the Harlem-based district, so the race will most likely be decided following primary results in June.

Espaillat Concedes to Rangel; Will Run for Re-election in Senate (Updated)

In a statement sent out this afternoon, Sen. Adriano Espaillat conceded the primary for the 13th congressional district to incumbent Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel. He also declared his candidacy for re-election to the state Senate.

Espaillat had held off on conceding to Rangel, saying he’d wait until “every single vote” was counted before admitting defeat. This comes after the senator’s last attempt to knock off Rangel in 2012 ended in an extremely tight race. As affadavit and absentee ballots continued to be counted in that election, the race grew tighter, eventually ending in a victory for Rangel of less than 1,000 votes.

But it seems Espaillat’s camp realized the vote deficit was too much to overcome this time around. Earlier today, the senator called Rangel to congratulate him on his victory and his long career in the House of Representatives.

Because of quirks in the scheduling of federal and statewide elections, this concession allows Espaillat to move on to a re-election bid. He has represented the 31st Senate District in Manhattan since 2011 after serving more than a decade in the state Assembly.

Espaillat’s concession statement:

“I want to express my deepest appreciation for all of the efforts of my supporters and volunteers on my campaign for Congress. My sincerest thanks goes out to the unwavering endorsements provided to me from all of the labor unions, newspapers, advocacy groups, elected officials, and community leaders.”

“Even though I will not be representing the 13th District in Congress, I will continue to fight for Opportunity for All. While much has been written about the politics of race and ethnicity within this District, there is no question that our campaign focused on bringing the community together around our shared needs and struggles.”

“Today, I am announcing my re-election campaign for the New York Senate from where I will continue to work to find new ways to bring jobs, affordable housing and immigration reform to our community, so that middle and working class families can thrive here.”

UPDATE: Espaillat’s decision to seek re-election comes on the same day former NYC Councilman Robert Jackson formally launched his campaign for the seat the senator would be vacating had he succeeded in his second attempt at ousting Rangel. So, it appears Espaillat has a primary battle on his hands this September.

Also, the DN notes that Espaillat told its editorial board back in June that he did not intend to try to hang on to his seat in the Senate chamber, saying: “This is not my plan right now, to go back to Albany I want to go to Washington, I want to make a difference, I want to bring about change to the district.”

Espaillat also switched gears and sought re-election back in 2012 after his first primary loss to Rangel. That was the first year that the state and federal primaries did not fall on the same day, thanks to the inability of legislative leaders to agree on a date.