Election season 2010 looks like it is about to test the adage about too many cooks in the kitchen spoiling the meal. This year it seems that anyone who has ever thought about running for office, has declared themselves to be a candidate. Both Democrats, and Republicans have put forth a record number of candidates this year. What both of these major parties didn’t count on however, has been the strength of the Tea Party candidates. Now whether these folks are just plain fed up with taxes and big government or they just want to swallow up the Republican party remains to be seen, but for now, both Democrats and Republicans had best realize that this mosquito that’s been buzzing about for the past year, isn’t about to be swatted away.
By the time the parties convened last month, leaders of both Westchester County parties had anointed the chosen people who they deemed the most “fit” to represent “us”. One must also wonder if it were the actual delegates who nominated the candidates from Westchester County or had Doug Colety and Reginald Lafayette brokered most of the candidates who were deemed to further the party chair the most. …And doesn’t it just blow your mind that these two Westchester Party bosses work in the same Board of Elections building. Do they communicate with each other at the office or is there an imaginary line drawn down the middle of that building? What we the voters were left with was a scorecard that was more difficult to follow than a World Cup post group play schedule. As a public service announcement (PSA), we here at at the county office building will try to break this post group play card into a more user friendly voting guide.
For Governor and Lt. Governor on the Democratic side, there is Andrew Cuomo and his running mate Bob Duffy. Cuomo’s got a lot of money and great name recognition thanks in part to his dad, Mario. There is that nagging little problem of subprime predatory mortgages that follows him around though. Perhaps that is why he chose Bob Duffy as his running mate. Duffy is the former Rochester Police Chief who will advise Andrew not to overstep the parameters of the law.
On the Republican side you have former congressman Rick Lazio and his running mate Greg Edwards from Chautauqua County. Lazio has the endorsement from Doug Colety but not from Ed Cox, the state party chair. Hmmmm, bold move on Colety’s part; making Ed Cox’s choice of Steve Levy look like Ed Cox never visited an OTB window to place a bet. I’m betting that Colety is riding the “Astorino effect” with Lazio. He’s endorsing a guy, who like Rob Astorino is undoubtedly the nicest guy you could ever meet in politics. This strategy worked once for Colety with Astorino but I am not so sure its going to work for Lazio. At this point in the game Lazio is short on money and that equals short on votes come November.
All of this brings us to Carl Paladino the new god of the Tea Party. Though a conservative Republican, Paladino has generated a lot of excitement among the tax weary residents of New York State. He’s even self funding $10 million of his own money toward the campaign. Carl Paladino claims he will run the state like a business to balance our budget. So if the voters don’t develop amnesia between now and November, Paladino will end up being Andrew Cuomo’s worst nightmare.
The race for Comptroller is between incumbent Tom DiNapoli and Harry Wilson, the 38 year old retired Hedge Fund manager who rose to fame helping to broker the auto bailout last year. Wilson will win by default but in all honesty, retired at 38! There is something about that statement alone that makes one wary about him and taxpayer dollars.
Everybody wants to be Attorney General including Democrat Assemblyman Richard Brodsky from Greenburgh. Its not going to happen for him though, he cannot run fast enough to catch up with Nassau DA Kathleen Rice. On the other hand, Gary Bertsen the retired CIA agent and Republican candidate could possibly out Chuck Schumer if they vote out the incumbent and sentiment picks up speed. As for Jay Townsend, the other Republican running for that slot; his PF Flyers won’t help him in this race.
Kirsten Gillibrand has former Congressman Joe DioGuardi and economics whiz David Malpass both vying for her seat. Gillibrand has a whole lot of money to burn, DioGuardi is showing his age and Malpass is virtually unknown so it looks like Gillibrand will make it back into office.
Congressional races are always about kissing the fannies of their constituents and nobody does that better than Nita Lowey in District 18. She spams my email and her slick weekly fliers arriving in the mail weekly. That indicates she also has a whole lot of cash at her disposal. Her Republican challenger is Paul Wasserman from Briarcliff who up to his actual announcement was a Democrat. Wasserman did indeed get the nod from Colety but seems to act as if he wants to go to Washington on a field trip. Although Nita’s shelf life has expired and we need new blood to represent us, unless Wasserman steps up to the plate and communicates to his would be constituents, a trip to Washington will forever be a vacation prospect for him, and nothing more..
The 19th District race also has six candidates in the running but the only two who are making some noise are the incumbent Democrat and his top challenger Opthamologist Nan Hayworth. You would think that the Republicans and Conservatives would be rushing into Hayworth’s arms but instead they are fixated on her husband’s medical practice and on whether he performs abortions. Oh well, I guess they don’t approve of medical D&C’s. For heaven sakes, he runs an OB-GYN practice not a low income abortion clinic. Hall is going to have a tough go of it though with Hayworth, abortion or not . Hall is part of what’s broken in Congress; he has no real ideas on how to repair it.
The state senate races are rather dull this year. Republican Bob Cohen from Scarsdale should easily beat Suzi Oppenheimer this year. It’s a perfect storm for Cohen who not only has John Rogers managing his campaign but Suzi’s party affiliation , and age working against her. And one has almost got to feel sorry for Liam McLau
ghlin from Yonkers. He’s running against the Andrea Stewart-Cousins machine for her state senate seat. Liam, the Nick Spano bus has left the state capital and has taken the cash with it. Everyone knows you wanted to get out of Yonkers but this route is not the detour map you had hoped to be provided.
The race for Assembly seats is also so crowded you could trip on a candidate. The 89th has Bob Castelli (and Doug Colety) hoping to recreate the magic of February’s Special Election. He is running against Tom Roach who is trying to escape the White Plains Common Council. The 90th has community activist William Gouldman running against Sandy Galef who has been in office since 1992. Galef’s longevity and party affiliation will probably harm her this year. The 91st has Bill Reed running against George Latimer and is believedto be an easy win for Latimer. The 92nd will be super interesting with Republican Tea Partier Tom Bock running against County Legislator Tom Abinanti. This one will be super interesting since Bock is getting a whole lotta love from the Tea party and not so much love from Doug Colety. Abinanti has served the county for 18 years and knows how government works. Bock is a volunteer fireman who ran unsuccessfully for County Legislator last year. Bock always seems to have a chip on his shoulders though which is what I think makes him so attractive to the ever angry Tea Party gang. However, Bock better learn that this sort of constant vitriol is exactly what constituents are not looking for. Still Bock may have a shot at this seat since many people in Westchester see Tom Abinanti as part of the long term inflated government that plagues Westchester County. Mike Raimondelli is challenging Mike Spano in the 93rd. If I were Spano, I’d change my last name. Put a fork in them, the Spanos are done in this county. And we would be remiss not to mention veterinarian Steve Katz running in the 99th. His campaign has been plagued with a revolving door of campaign managers and workers who haven’t run their press releases through the anti-plagarism machine.
Minor races have Doug Martino running for County Court Judge against Barry Warhit who has both Democrat, Conservative and Independence lines. Martino may have an office in Mt. Vernon but lacks the street creds that come from spending time in Mt. Vernon. Judge Bill Edwards, also of Mt. Vernon is running for family court judge. Judge Edwards, by all accounts appears to be a fair and just judge but his wife’s blog on the corruption within the Democratic Party will be his downfall. However, I’d take Judge Edwards over a censured Judge like Nilda Morales Horowitz any day of the week.
It is petition collection season and we shall see how many of these candidates actually end up on a line. We also have the July financial filings coming up as well. How much money one has on hand will also determine whether or not they will stick to the wall.