exiting stage right
Former Governor David Paterson, who took the state’s top executive post after Eliot Spitzer suddenly resigned amid a prostitution scandal, says he might not be done with politics just yet.
“I love public service. I love the people who do it,” Mr. Paterson answered this morning when asked whether he’d run for veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel’s seat if the incumbent retired. “I would listen to people.”
Councilman Dan Halloran, who has been charged with helping quarterback a bribery scheme to rig the mayoral race, will not seek another term in office, he announced this afternoon.
“Regrettably, I must now focus my attention on clearing my name and restoring my reputation, while I continue to discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council,” he said in a statement. “After much thought, I have concluded that it is impossible for me to properly do these things and take on the enormous demands of a political campaign, so I will not to pursue another term in the Council.”
Octogenarian Congressman Charlie Rangel staved off a vigorous primary challenge from State Sen. Adriano Espaillat last year, but he has yet to gear up his operations for what could be another tough re-election fight. According to his latest filings, Mr. Rangel spent more than he raised and has negative $4,800 cash on hand and $36,000 in debts and obligations.
As expected, Councilman Dan Garodnick, who had been firmly campaigning for comptroller until today, formally dropped out of the race and endorsed Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for the position. Mr. Stringer, of course, had previously been campaigning for mayor until he dropped down to the comptroller’s race himself.
“When I announced my candidacy for NYC Comptroller, I promised that New Yorkers wouldn’t get any drama with me,” Mr. Garodnick wrote in an email to his supporters.
exiting stage right
A number of key New York congressional seats were at stake election day last week. When all the votes were counted, though there were over a half-dozen competitive races only three districts changed partisan hands. One of those belonged to Hudson Valley Rep. Nan Hayworth, a freshman Republican who came in on the Tea Party wave two years ago and narrowly lost her seat this time around to Democratic attorney Sean Patrick Maloney. On Friday, Ms. Hayworth went on Richard French Live to look back on her unsuccessful election, as well as the broader national race.
“Look, Hurricane Sandy did have an effect on the public discourse,” she contended. “There are issues of momentum that affected races like mine. The President had a substantial percentage margin over Governor Romney and we had known if there were a really large margin for the president, above say 5 points, that that would be very hard for us to overcome structurally in the new district that I was running in.”
GOP State Senator Owen Johnson, who had previously vowed to seek reelection amid rumors that he might not seek reelection, surprisingly confirmed those rumors after submitting petitions to be on the ballot again, Newsday reported this morning. The octogenarian senator was first elected in 1972.
The move will allow Mr. Johnson to select a Republican replacement of his choosing to face off against Democratic county legislator Ricardo Montano.
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.
Retiring Congressman Ed Towns did not submit petitions to be on the ballot last night, closing the door on his ability to anoint an ally to run in his stead, according to one knowledgeable tipster. This sets up a direct head-to-head match between Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilman Charles Barron in the June 26th Democratic primary.
Congressman Ed Towns is not seeking reelection, Politico reported in an email tonight, citing “a source familiar with his decision.” This news was subsequently confirmed by the New York Daily News‘ Alison Gendar, who reported that Mr. Towns is making calls to supporters saying he’s not seeking reelection.
Mr. Towns’ reported exit is both surprising and unsurprising. He had no reelection campaign to speak of, but had also recently hired Hank Sheinkopf to handle his communications and was ramping up his fundraising as recently as March.
There’s no chance you’ll be seeing Democratic Assemblyman Rory Lancman, a candidate for Congress in Queens, in Albany next year (unless he’s just visiting).
At a campaign event yesterday, Mr. Lancman definitively said he won’t take advantage of a loophole created by this year’s diverging primary dates that theoretically allows a candidate to lose a Congressional primary election and still compete in a state legislative primary occurring months later.