Yesterday’s primary results are in, and Andrew Cuomo will be the Democrat on the ballot for Governor in November. He beat Cynthia Nixon by a 2:1 ratio, which is frankly a great showing for political newcomer Nixon. She was consistently predicted to garner a much lower percentage of votes, so getting one-third of voting Democrats to back her state-wide is a success and shows how much discontent there is with Cuomo among NY Democrats.
Cuomo’s “running mates” on the ballot also won their contests. Kathy Hochul narrowly beat Jumaine Williams for the Lieutenant Governor nomination, again showing how much discontent there was among the Democratics vis-a-vis the status quo.
And Letitia James beat local favorites Zephyr Teachout and Sean Patrick Maloney for the Attorney General nomination on her way to making history. If elected in November, she would be the first African American to hold the position, and the first woman elected to the position, as current AG Barbara Underwood was appointed, not elected. Teachout came in second despite a much lower budget than Maloney and without the endorsement of Cuomo. It looks like Maloney split off a lot of voters that might otherwise have gone for Teachout, especially upstate and in Westchester, so it’s not unreasonable to conclude that his entry into the race cost her the nomination. Maloney’s run also weakened his chance to remain NY-18’s congressman, but some speculate that he got into the race to block Teachout as a favor to Cuomo, and will be rewarded by greater support between now and November. Regardless, Letita James is on the verge of making history.
>>>The best news of the evening came from the State Senate races, where the eight “IDC” incumbents (the “independent Democratic conference” that sided and voted the Republicans) all faced primary challengers. Six of the eight IDC candidates LOST, including leader Jeff Klein, which means that the progressive logjam in the State Senate has likely been broken. If the six can win in November, truly progressive legislation would be able to pass both houses and go to the governor, forcing Cuomo to either pass a liberal, progressive agenda or go against his party. This is a huge win for the progressive agenda in New York State.
Other good news on the local front: Juan Figueroa crushed faux Democrat (and Trump fan) Paul VanBlarcum–a truly noxious character–for the Ulster County Sheriff nomination.
Another HUGE dimension of this election was turnout. In the ’14 Democratic primary there were 574k votes cast for Governor. In yesterday’s primary there were over 1.49 million votes cast, almost three times as many. That’s an energized Democratic base! It’s not difficult to feel a Blue Wave building. The numbers are far from ideal, as 1.49 million represents roughly 25% of registered Democrats in New York State, but the trend is rapidly growing in the right direction. We just need to continue working to Fire Feckless Faso and elect Antonio Delgado…