State Senator Adriano Espaillat declared victory against his challenger Guillermo Linares tonight, fending off spirited campaign that a reignited rivalries both old and new. The officially reported numbers currently have Mr. Espaillat ahead by a 2-1 margin with many outstanding precincts, indicating that his internal numbers are likely accurate as to who the ultimate victor will be.
Last week, State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s campaign circulated a tough mailer against his primary opponent, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, in which they accused Mr. Linares of “betraying” the community by backing Rep. Charlie Rangel over Mr. Espaillat’s bid to become the country’s first Dominican-American congressman earlier this year and for taking campaign contributions from special interests.
Mr. Rangel, a backer of Mr. Linares’ bid, is angry about the mailer. Really angry. So angry, he says, that he was motivated, in the spirit of the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, to condemn the controversial campaign literature in question. To that end, Mr. Rangel held a press conference where he gave a ten minute speech expressing his outrage.
It’s Election Day in New York next Thursday! But instead of a titanic battle between ideologies–your Mitt Romneys vs. Barack Obamas, if you will–the options on the ballot will be little-noticed state legislative contests between candidates of the same party, often with few policy differences.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some exciting races happening. From “Who Gets Arrested for Raping a Grandmother?” to “Assemblywoman Caught Up in Sex Scandal with Two Young Men,” there’s been no shortage of nasty drama and mud slinging as voters head to the polls.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s running and why it might matter who wins. The list below focuses on Democratic races because the few Republican primaries in this staunchly blue city tend to have clear favorites or are taking place in such Democratic territory that the victor is reasonably likely to be irrelevant.
showdown in wahi
Despite the long rivalry between the two men, it’s been a fairly quiet campaign between State Senator Adriano Espaillat and his challenger, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares thus far. However, two days before voters head to the polls, both candidates are finally delivering the exciting race political reporters had hoped for all along. In a debate on Inside City Hall last night, the atmosphere remained subdued through the first half, but after both candidates got a chance to question one another, the rhetoric became more charged with accusations flying back-and-forth.
Governor Andrew Cuomo took an unusual step this afternoon and endorsed a member of the Senate Democratic conference, Adriano Espaillat, for reelection. Mr. Cuomo has had a fairly frosty relationship with the Senate Democrats, usually preferring to side with the Republican majority on contentious issues like redistricting, pension reform and the like, so his first endorsement of a Democratic candidate for the State Senate is notable.
To illustrate the point, Mr. Cuomo declined to go out of his way to endorse Democrat Lew Fidler in his infamously close special election for the State Senate earlier this year, despite the fact that he endorsed in a Democrat vs. Democrat special election in the State Assembly that occurred on the same day. Mr. Fidler went on to lose to his Republican opponent by 13 votes. Later, Mr. Cuomo would directly decline to say if he would support Democratic candidates for that legislative chamber, creating much speculation about his ultimate intentions.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who announced his intention to seek reelection after narrowly losing a congressional primary against Rep. Charlie Rangel earlier this year, continues to scoop up endorsements that were unfamiliar to him in his last race as he now faces off against the Rangel-backed candidacy of Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.
The latest endorsement came this morning from the Jim Owles Democratic Club, a relatively influential LGBT backing made even more so by Mr. Espaillat’s new district being contorted all the way down to W. 25th Street, a good 45 blocks further south than his Washington Heights-based district stretched in the last electoral cycle.
While State Senator Adriano Espaillat was contesting his ultimately unsuccessful primary challenge to Congressman Charlie Rangel, he certainly wasn’t slouching in gearing up his backup plan of running for reelection to the State Legislature. Collecting signatures solely after Election Day on June 26th, Mr. Espaillat’s campaign submitted 4,238 signatures to get onto the ballot yesterday, far above the threshold needed for the run.
“In just two weeks, our campaign collected more than four times the number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot – a fact that demonstrates the strength of Senator Espaillat’s candidacy and the enthusiasm of our many volunteers and supporters,” Mr. Espaillat’s spokesman, Ibrahim Khan, said in a statement last night.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat officially moved on to a new race at a meeting of the Northern Manhattan Democrats for Change and the Friends of Adriano Espaillat in Fort George Presbyterian Church tonight, but he still had a lot to say about the close and controversial congressional campaign he just lost to longtime incumbent Charlie Rangel. Mr. Espaillat, who conceded to Mr. Rangel on Monday announced his intention to run for re-election to the State Senate, something he repeatedly said he didn’t plan to do “at this time” during his congressional race.
“Do you want me to run for the Senate? Do you want me to run for the Senate? Do you want me to run for the Senate?” Mr. Espaillat shouted to the cheering crowd in the church before switching languages to officially announce his re-election bid.
“The fire has not been put out. The hope you had has to persist,” Mr. Espaillat said in Spanish. “The unity has to always survive.”
State Senator Adriano Espaillat is expected to run for reelection after failing to defeat Congressman Charlie Rangel this year, and Mr. Rangel made it clear this morning that he’s backing another candidate, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, for Mr. Espaillat’s seat. To explain his support for Mr. Linares, Mr. Rangel repeatedly said that it was due to Mr. Espaillat insisting his sole focus was his congressional bid in the campaign.
“The senator had indicated during the heat of the campaign that he would not run for his old seat if he lost, he said that several times,” Mr. Rangel said on Good Day New York. “What makes that a problem, is because people believed he wasn’t running, Guillermo Linares … said he would run and file petitions to run for that so-called vacant seat, and so that does cause a problem.”
Last night, shortly before 9 p.m., Ronnie Sykes, the spokeswoman for Congressman Charlie Rangel’s re-election campaign sent out a press release announcing Assemblyman Guillermo Linares’ endorsement of Mr. Rangel. The release identified Mr. Linares as the “first Dominican elected official in the U.S.” Less than two hours later, Ms. Sykes sent out a modified press release calling Mr. Linares “the first Dominican elected to a major political office in the United States.” Ms. Sykes confirmed to The Politicker that the press release was corrected because Mr. Linares is, in fact, not the first Dominican elected official.