deja vu all over again
Is the third time the charm?
John Messer, an attorney and business owner, may try yet again to unseat Queens State Senator Toby Stavisky, he told Politicker this afternoon. He previously ran unsuccessful challenges against Ms. Stavisky in 2010 and 2012.
A number of other candidates have won tough races tonight. As the results come trickling in, here are some notable ones:
Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., currently facing federal charges that he solicited bribes to pay his legal bills in an unrelated federal corruption case, won against a slew of challengers. Six opponents split the anti-Boyland vote, allowing him to skate by with a weak plurality.
State Senator Shirley Huntley, indicted a couple weeks ago on charges that she helped deliver member items to a sham non-profit, lost to Councilman James Sanders, who waged an aggressive campaign and managed to turn out his base in a seat made less favorable to Ms. Huntley in redistricting.
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.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has maintained warm relations with the Republican Majority in the State Senate, seems to be on an aggressive path to repair some last-minute bridges with their Democratic counterparts before state legislators face competitive primary elections this Thursday. Over the last few days, Mr. Cuomo has endorsed Senators Adriano Espaillat and Neil Breslin, leading him to a complete hat trick when he endorsed Senator Toby Ann Stavisky for reelection earlier this morning.
“I am proud to support my good friend Toby Stavisky because she has been a fierce advocate for her community in the State Senate,” Mr. Cuomo declared in a statement. “As a former public school teacher, Toby has worked to make quality higher education accessible to all New Yorkers. I know that whether it is raising the minimum wage, enacting new laws to curb gun violence, or passing historic ethics reforms, her constituents can count on Toby Stavisky to represent them with distinction.”
taking on toby
Back in March of this year, Democratic State Senate candidate John Messer, an attorney and businessman, pledged to invest half of a million dollars into his own campaign. Of course, lots of candidates pledge to spend large amounts, and, as can be seen in the case of Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’ campaign for the U.S. Senate, even money loaned to an electoral effort can be retracted. Mr. Messer, however, appears like he’s fully on track to meet his promise as he seeks to unseat incumbent Queens Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.
A D.J. played fast dance beats as attorney John Messer took the stage at the Flushing Mall this afternoon to formally announce his campaign against State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky in this year’s Democratic primary. Introducing and endorsing Mr. Messer first was Isaac Sasson, who ran against both Mr. Messer and Ms. Stavisky in 2010. This election, Mr. Messer pointed out, will be a more direct, one-on-one battle.
“The reason why she won is that we had three people in that election,” he explained at the start of his speech. “Everybody knows that when you bring more people into a race and you divide the vote, it gives an opportunity for an incumbent to win even though they don’t have a majority of the votes.”
“So the reason why we’re really excited in this election, guess how many people are going to be on the ballot?” he continued. “Two!”
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who recently announced she’s moving into, and campaigning for, a newly created Asian-majority district (that still contains most of her pre-redistricting electoral territory), has consolidated the backing of every Asian-American elected official in New York City.
Councilman Peter Koo, Comptroller John Liu, and Assemblywoman Grace Meng all endorsed Ms. Stavisky at her endorsement event last week and the lone straggler, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, joined the crowd today, according to an announcement from Ms. Stavisky’s campaign.
Last Friday, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky announced she would move into a neighboring, Asian-majority State Senate district and seek reelection there rather than face a primary battle against her colleague Tony Avella. Notably headlining the event were two of the area’s Asian-American elected officials: Councilman Peter Koo and Assemblywoman — and congressional candidate — Grace Meng. Asked if she had any reservations endorsing Ms. Stavisky instead of an Asian candidate, Ms. Meng stressed Ms. Stavisky’s work on behalf of the community.
“Right now, we’re focusing on the congressional race obviously,” she said yesterday after an endorsement event from the Alliance of South Asian Labor where she had stressed the importance of adding to the diversity of Congress. “I mean, Toby happens to be someone that I have worked with extensively on issues relating to diversity and issues in our local community.”
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, who was drawn into the same district as her colleague Tony Avella, shall forgo the potentially contentious incumbent-on-incumbent primary and instead will seek reelection in a new Asian-majority district created in Queens, according to an announcement email sent to her supporters earlier this evening.
Ms. Stavisky had previously indicated she was unsure of her plans, and while she said she was definitely running for reelection, the possibility of a messy primary against Mr. Avella was a looming problem for the Senate Democrats after the Republicans controlling the chamber released the new district boundaries. Since most of her old district is in the new Asian-majority seat, however, her announcement isn’t exactly shocking.