800 Lb. Gorillas
Scandal-scarred former Congressman Anthony Weiner may be splashed across news sites and television screens across the city, but his new opponents were reluctant to weigh in on Mr. Weiner’s mayoral bid Wednesday morning–hours after he officially jumped into the mayor’s race with a video posted on a re-vamped website.
He’s in. After weeks of speculation, disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner has officially thrown his hat into the mayor’s race, announcing he’s running with a new video posted on his revamped campaign website at midnight on Wednesday.
“Look, I made some big mistakes. And I know I let a lot of people down. But I’ve also learned some tough lessons,” he says in the video, which opens with a family scene of the former councilman and his wife, Huma Abedin, having breakfast in their kitchen with their young son.
“I’m running for mayor ’cause I’ve been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance to work for you,” he says into the camera in the 2-minute, slickly-shot reel.
Battle of Brooklyn
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez does not forget. And she does not forgive.
Accordingly, Ms. Velázquez is now hoping to unseat Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, who endorsed Ms. Velázquez’s primary challenger last year. And she’s given the maximum contribution to Ms. Gonzalez’s opponent, Carlos Menchaca, part of an overall haul of $40,000 overall in just two weeks.
“I am impressed by how much Carlos has achieved in such a short period of time,” Ms. Velázquez said in a statement this morning.
After Election Day earlier this month, Republicans who supported New York’s same sex marriage legislation received mixed results against their anti-gay marriage rivals. One GOP senator, Buffalo’s Mark Grisanti, cruised to a comfortable victory, while two other senators, Roy McDonald and Steve Saland faced tough challenges, the result of which was determined by the absentee ballots counted this week. Mr. Saland looks like he ultimately edged out his opponent and declared victory yesterday, but Mr. McDonald appears to have gone down in defeat.
And, asked about these Republicans’ respective electoral situations earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was more than pleased despite being a Democrat.
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.
Voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide the Democratic and Republican nominees in key federal races across the state, and for those races in heavily Democratic districts, tomorrow’s election will effectively be coronations. For hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, our next congressional representatives will be determined Tuesday night.
My colleague David Freedlander has already weighed in with some thoughts, which you are more than encouraged to do as well by emailing him at dfreedlander [@] observer.com.
Here’s some of what I’m watching:
your two cents
Tomorrow is Election Day! For Congress and the U.S. Senate primaries at least. So at long last we all get to find out if all of these months of breathlessly following FEC filings and endorsement press releases amount to anything, or if those of us who follow politics are really as wrapped in our myopia as we imagine ourselves to be (we are guessing that regardless of the outcome, the answer to that question is yes.)
Anyway, what will you be looking for tomorrow when the results come trickling in? Is there a certain candidate that needs to clear a threshold in order to remain legitimate? A challenger that will show herself to be a rising star if she does well? Will endorsements matter? Incumbency? The economy?
Let us know what you will be looking for by shooting an email at dfreedlander [@] observer.com. If you promise to refrain from excessive spin, anonymous and semi-anonymous submissions are welcome.
Here are some of our thoughts:
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.”
Mitt Romney bested Rick Santorum in a pair Republican presidential primaries tonight–a widely expected win in Arizona and a close, crucial victory in Michigan. With his wins tonight, Mr. Romney built on his delegate lead and stopped the momentum Mr. Santorum was beginning to enjoy after a trio of victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado earlier this month.
There’s currently some scuffle in Albany over the election date for the state legislature’s primaries. A judge recently set the Congressional and U.S. Senate primaries to June 26th, earlier than the originally scheduled September 11th date, to comply with federal law. Assembly Democrats have introduced a bill to bring the State Senate and Assembly primaries to this June 26th date, but the leader of the Senate Republicans, Dean Skelos told Liz Benjamin last night he really didn’t like the plan, and directly said the Assembly bill was a non-starter.
“The problem we face with a June primary date … is that you’re going to have members of the Assembly, in particular, from New York City, where most of the primaries are, … they’re going be looking for union endorsements [and] they’re going to be campaigning through the budget and end of session,” Mr. Skelos said. “If you want to bring dysfunction back to Albany, that’s what a June primary would do.”