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,
State Senator Adriano Espaillat certainly can’t be be accused of sitting down after his reported loss to veteran Rep. Charlie Rangel in last Tuesday’s Democratic primary. As Mr. Rangel’s lead whittled down to just 802 votes over the weekend, the Espaillat campaign hired election law guru Marty Connor and promoted a hotline available for voters to register complaints about Election Day shenanigans. A State Supreme Court will hear an injunction request from Mr. Espaillat today and the Board of Elections will start counting more than 2,000 affidavit ballots Thursday morning.
“As the New York State Supreme Court considers the serious voting-access and counting issues in the 13th Congressional District election, we are pleased to welcome Marty Connor to lead our legal team,” Mr. Espaillat’s spokesman, Ibrahim Khan, said in a press release. “Our campaign will continue to push for every vote to be counted in a transparent and democratic process.”
A Siena College Research Institute poll of registered voters released today showed Rick Santorum will have his work cut out for him when he and Mitt Romney go head to head in New York State’s Republican presidential primary on April 24th.
“Given their favorability ratings among Republicans, it’s not surprising that Romney has opened a wide lead in New York’s Republican presidential primary,” Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said in a statement. “He is supported by 38 percent of Republicans, with Santorum being supported by 23 percent, Gingrich 13 percent and Paul 11 percent.”