Tuesday NY Primaries: A Taste of the Midterms

MANHATTAN (CN) — Voters in New York’s 27 congressional districts will cast primary ballots Tuesday in this year’s closely watched midterm elections. The Empire State is the only one in the country with separate federal and state primaries, the latter of which will be held in September.

Democrats hold 17 of New York’s 27 congressional seats.

The 19th District, in the Hudson Valley and Catskills, went for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but Donald Trump took it by 7 percentage points in 2016. Incumbent Republican Congressman John Faso is running unopposed.

Democrats have seven candidates to choose from: Jeff Beals, David Clegg, EMILY’s List-endorsed Erin Collier, attorney Antonio Delgado, entrepreneur Brian Flynn, Gov. Andrew Cuomo aide Gareth Rhodes, and businessman Pat Ryan.

Delgado, Flynn and Ryan are the leading candidates, according Ballotpedia, a nonpartisan online political encyclopedia.

In the 22nd District, west of the Catskills in the central state, first-term Republican incumbent Claudia Tenney is running unopposed in her party.

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi also is unopposed.

Tenney says on her website she is “fighting for New York’s middle class, conservative Republican values and standing up to the Washington elite.” She served three terms in the Assembly.

Brindisi says he wants to improve public education and reform campaign finance laws. He says he’s pro-Second Amendment but supports common-sense gun reform.

The 11th District, which includes all of Staten Island and part of South Brooklyn, is the most politically conservative district in New York City. It went for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016 and could be competitive in November.

Republican incumbent Daniel Donovan faces former Congressman Michael Grimm, whom he replaced in a 2015 special election after Grimm pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

Grimm wants his seat back, and the race is ugly.

Donovan calls Grimm “the convict congressman,” and Grimm returns the favor by calling Donovan “Desperate Dan.” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has endorsed Donovan.

Six Democrats will duke it out: military veterans Michael DeVito Jr. and Max Rose, bond trader Zach Emig, community leader Radhakrishna Mohan, 25-year-old real estate agent Paul Sperling, and union advocate Omar Vaid. Rose has the biggest war chest — $262,000 in cash on hand, according to Ballotpedia — and is the “candidate national Democrats are watching,” according to radio station WNYC.

In the 14th District, eastern Bronx and north-central Queens, seven-term Democratic incumbent Joseph Crowley faces an opponent for the first time in a decade. Political newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is emphasizing her working-class background in a grassroots campaign.

Six Democrats are running the 21st District, upstate, trying to flip the seat of incumbent Republican Elise Stefanik. Democratic debates have bandied existential questions about the soul and purpose of their party.

Stefanik, a former aide to President George W. Bush, Stefanik is running unopposed. Stefanik, 33, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Also on the ballot are one Libertarian, one Green Party member and one independent.

In the 24th District, which includes Syracuse, Republican incumbent John Katko is running unopposed. Syracuse University professor Dana Balter, endorsed by all of the district’s Democratic county committees, Juanita Perez Williams, who is endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Williams, a Navy veteran, did not enter the race until April. Both Democratic candidates are women.

Ballotpedia calls the 24th District a pivotal race, as it went twice for Obama and then for Trump. In the past five general elections, the district has gone Republican three times and Democratic twice.

The death of 16-term Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in March left the Rochester-based constituents of the 25th District without a representative. Slaughter died after a fall at her home.

Democrats Rachel Barnhart, Robin Wilt, Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden and Assemblyman Joseph Morelle will vie for the blue ticket Tuesday. Republican James Maxwell is unopposed.

In the September state primaries, the most closely watched races will be for governor and attorney general. Two-term incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo has been challenged from the left by actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, who does not have nearly his $30 million campaign war chest.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in May after being accused of physically abusing several romantic partners. His seat was filled by former New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, who is not seeking election. Four Democratic candidates have announced bids. No Republicans have announced a run.

In the November general election Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has no Democratic challenger. She is rumored to be considering a 2020 presidential run. Gillibrand will face Republican Chele Farley in November and is expected to win easily.

%d bloggers like this: