Cyril Josh Barker and Stephon Johnson
Amsterdam News Staff
New York’s Tea Party darling, Carl Paladino, may have done the Democratic Party a huge favor.
In what many have considered a shocking turn of events, the Buffalo businessman captured the Republican nomination for governor of New York State after defeating Rick Lazio by a margin of 62 to 38 percent with 98 percent of the precincts reporting. Paladino, surrounded by enthusiastic supporters in Buffalo, spoke of reforming Albany for those who are “mad as hell” with the “status quo.”
“Tonight, the ruling class knows,” said Paladino. “They’ve seen it, now. There’s a people’s revolution. I want everyone who opposed me in the Republican Party to know this: you’re welcomed to join the people’s crusade. Come aboard. You’re both welcomed and needed. If we unite, we’ll win. We’ll rebuild New York.”
Paladino made news earlier this year by forwarding emails to his friends that contained racist and pornographic images. He also expressed his belief that welfare recipients should be sent to prison dormitories so they can be taught proper hygiene. He spoke of cutting spending and services in Albany while loosening the reins of government for businesses.
“I’ll cut taxes by 10 percent in the first six months of my administration,” said Paladino. “I’ll cut spending by 20 percent and cut the size of government by 20 percent. I’ll cut Medicaid by $20 billion my first year and after that first year we’ll keep cutting. “
“To create jobs, I’ll slash business regulations and cut business taxes and end bureaucratic harassment of the private sector,” said Paladino. Paladino then called out Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo to a series of debates. “I have so many questions I want to ask you,” he said.
Lazio acknowledged defeat, and also pledged support for Paladino. “Many of the issues that Paladino is running on, I embrace,” he said. He did, however, win the Conservative Party ticket, defeating Ralph Lorigo 60 percent to 40 percent with 98 percent of precincts reporting, and planned to move forward with his political aspirations.
In a close race, Eric Schneiderman was named the winner in the highly contested race for the Democratic nominee for Attorney General taking 34 percent of the votes.
Backed heavily by labor unions and liberals, and aggressively courting African-American and Latino support, the Upper Manhattan senator narrowly beat his leading opponent in the five-way race: Nassau County district attorney Kathleen Rice who received 31 percent of the votes.
During his victory speech Schneiderman vowed to not only clean up corruption in Albany but also committed to improving social issues like taking guns off of the streets and strengthening the Rockefeller Drug Law, which he was the chief sponsor.
“I’m going to ensure that every New Yorker, no matter who you are, what community you come from or how much money you have, has equal justice under the law and full protection by your government,” he said.
Conceding in the early morning hours at her election gathering in Nassau County, Rice, who believed to be favored by Andrew Cuomo, congratulated Schniederman in a statement, and said she looks forward to helping keep the Attorney General job in the hands of Democrats.
Schneiderman will face Staten Island District Attorney Republican Dan Donovan in the general election in November.
While New York Senator Chuck Schumer ran unopposed, his colleague, Kirsten Gillibrand handily defeated Gail Goode 76 percent to 24 percent with 95 percent of the precincts reporting. But Schumer and Gillibrand will face GOP of challenges from Jay Townsend and Joseph DioGuardi respectively. Townsend beat out Gary Berntsen 56 percent to 44 percent with 95 percent of precinct reporting. Townsend took to the podium to address Schumer and New York State citizens after declaring victory.
“If you think we can do better, Jay Townsend is your choice,” he said. “If you believe it’s ok that NY has the highest property tax burden in the nation, Chuck Schumer is your man.” Townsend also said that if elected he would help repeal health care reform and called the planned construction of the Cordoba House near ground zero “tasteless” and “offensive.”
DioGuardi, father of American Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi, defeated David Malpass and Bruce Blakeman for the right to face Gillibrand in November under the GOP ticket. DioGuardi, who garnered 42 percent of the vote, believes that he has what it takes to put a scare into the current Senator. “We brought together the conservative and Republican lines,” he said. “You realize what that means? Senator Gillibrand’s worst nightmare has happened tonight.”
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney will likely keep her seat representing the 14th Congressional District after taking out her opponent hedge fund lawyer Reshma Saujani who received only 19 percent of the votes. The win puts Maloney a step closer to her 10th term in Congress after taking 80 percent of the primary votes.
The campaign was noted because of the negative campaign Saujani ran going as far to call Maloney a “liar” at their one and only debate earlier in the month. Hot issues in the district included the need for more jobs, the drama of the Second Avenue subway line on Manhattan’s East Side and resources for the lower income Queensbridge public housing project.
“I am honored and humbled by the overwhelming show of support from voters from every corner of the district,” she said. “This was truly a grassroots effort and this victory belongs to the hundreds of volunteers who worked with me over the course of the campaign.”
In a statement Saujani said she wants to continue her involvement in the community. Reports indicate that she has vowed to run again.
She said, “I appreciate the support from everyone who was involved with our campaign. I look forward to continuing the conversation with the community.”
In yet another failed attempt to get into public office, perpetual candidate Kevin Powell again lost to Congressman Ed Towns in the 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn. Towns took almost 70 percent of the votes giving him his 15th term.
“I am very pleased with the results,” Towns said. “The numbers indicate my continued support, my efforts to bring jobs and opportunity to the 10th District. I can now go back to Washington with renewed vigor to continue to fight for jobs, housing, education as well as to promote President Barack Obama’s agenda to create equal opportunity for all Americans.”
Powell said that he ran an “amazing race” and that his campaign provided services, resources and information for people in Brooklyn and across the country. He has plans to start a new organization.
“I will take a short break to regroup and then I am going to launch a new organization to be a progressive and multicultural voice for Americans who know we can do better with our leadership and in our communities.” he said. “Now is the time to understand the leadership we are waiting for is us.”
In the 33rd District, covering the Bellrose, Cambria Heights, Hollis and St. Albans neighborhoods, AmNews endorsed candidate Barbara Clark emerged victorious in her race with Clyde Vanel in the Democratic primary. Clark, who has served her community 22 years in the State Assembly, defeated Vanel by a 67 percent to 33 percent margin with 4,771 voters turning out to the polls to voice their opinion.
In the 35th district, Jeffrion Aubry, who represents his East Elmhurst, Lefrak City neighborhoods (along with parts of Corona, Woodside, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst) won his Democratic primary against Anthony Miranda by a 63 percent to 37 percent margin with 3,644 people turning out to vote. Aubry currently, chairs the Standing Committee on Correction and is a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the State Assembly.
In the 71st Assembly District in Upper Manhattan, Herman “Denny” Farrell took 75 percent of the votes taking out his opponent Ariel Ferreira. In East Harlem, Robert Rodriguez won 36 percent of the votes in a race that had seven candidates. John Ruiz trailed behind Rodriguez getting 30 percent of the votes. Inez Barron keeps her seat representing Brooklyn’s 40th Assembly District getting 75 percent of votes.