Three New York Democrats–Congressmen Dan Maffei, Sean Patrick Maloney and Hakeem Jeffries–held a press event this morning to declare their support for publicly funded systems for federal and state elections modeled on the one that governs city elections.
Former Comptroller Bill Thompson’s mayoral campaign got its most significant boost to date this evening with an endorsement from the city’s powerful teachers’ union.
The endorsement, which was officially announced just before 6 p.m. following a vote by the union’s 3,400-member Delegate Assembly, will provide Mr. Thompson with the organizational muscle of the United Federation of Teachers, which boasts a sophisticated voter outreach operation, approximately 170,000 members across the five boroughs and millions of dollars to spend.
Although most of the attention last night was rightfully placed on the presidential race, a number of important state legislative campaigns were also waged, which, depending on how they turn out, could potentially have a significant impact on the legislation and policies that emerge out of Albany in the coming years. Notably, control of the New York State Senate hangs in the balance, and if Democrats win there, the party would control the trifecta of the state government as they already have an overwhelmingly majority in the State Assembly and a similarly aligned governor.
With one temporary exception, the senate has been continuously controlled by the GOP in recent years. Despite a large fundraising edge and an aggressive gerrymander which appeared to have locked in a Republican majority for the immediate future, a number of surprisingly strong Democratic victories pushed back against the conventional wisdom that they had no chance at reversing their fortunes this year,
With Election Day only a week away, President Barack Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, can’t afford to slow down much in terms of campaigning, but over the past 24 hours, their campaigns have both taken the time to ask for contributions to something that isn’t their own war chests. For example, as Mr. Obama was boarding a plane to do some politicking in Orlando this evening, his campaign’s deputy press secretary, Jen Psaki, made sure to note the president was also focused on the potential victims of Hurricane Sandy.
“We urge everyone to take appropriate safety precautions and to follow the guidance of emergency management and public safety officials, and we will continue to monitor the storm to ensure the safety of our supporters, volunteers and staff,” she said, according to a recent pool report. “On Facebook, Twitter, and BarackObama.com, supporters are being invited to donate to the Red Cross to support the relief effort.”
With candidates for Congress reaching their first quarter filing deadline last night, and the races for their respective seats heating up, some candidates did significantly better than others and placed themselves in a much stronger position to win their primary and/or general elections.
We thought it would be worth taking a look at some of the most notable highlights from around New York State:
the grey lady
John Mancuso, an owner of a Staten Island catering business active in Democratic politics, will kick off his race against freshman GOP Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis tomorrow evening, his campaign announced. City & State had originally reported Mr. Mancuso was eyeing the race, but tomorrow marks the official firing off point for what will be one of the few competitive assembly races in New York City this year.
“I’m a fourth generation Staten Islander,” Mr. Mancuso told The Politicker this evening, professing his love for Staten Island and Brooklyn. “Right now the 60th Assembly District is not getting what it deserves.”
At a Brooklyn Young Republicans Club meeting yesterday afternoon, David Storobin, the Republican candidate in the special election to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate, took issue with the New York Times reporting unknown political analysts see his Democratic opponent, Councilman Lew Fidler, “as the overwhelming favorite in the district.”
Describing the issue as “lazy journalism” in response to The Politicker asking about the report, Mr. Storobin gave the pitch for his electoral strength.