I generally save the winners and losers column for New Year’s Eve but this past primary had a bunch of ins and outs and they are all kind of interrelated so it’s better to address them in this context than individually.
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin: Won a write in for only the second time in the chamber’s history. He soundly defeated Democrat Phil Malone, a member of the East Greenbush Town Board, who got the Independence Party’s endorsement. McLaughlin not only won but he won by a nearly two-to-one margin in Rensselaer and Columbia counties. It’s not clear what happened in Washington County. McLaughlin has been the loudest and most consistent critic of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and that is probably the reason he didn’t get the Independence Party endorsement. He won anyway.
Zephyr Teachout: The Democrat did lose the primary to Cuomo (who will be mentioned below) but she had a hell of a showing in upstate and in particular the Capital Region (also mentioned below) where she trounced the incumbent governor.
Keith Gorman: The attorney running without support from the Democratic Party proper is 34 votes ahead of Corporation Counsel Ian Silverman in their bid to become a Troy City Court judge. I’ve heard he worked his tail off and I’ve also heard kudos goes to his campaign manager, Kathleen Campbell. Absentee ballots will determine who will take the second Democratic Party slot in November.
Chris Maier: He handily won the three-way primary against the two gentlemen mentioned above and that’s without a whole bunch of party support either. He and his wife, Family Court Judge Beth Walsh, just seem to go about their own thing and keep getting elected.
Jill Kehn: The Republican candidate for the judgeship mentioned above will have the Republican, Conservative, Independence, Green and Working Families Party lines come November. And yes, it’s another nod to Crist. There are two open seats on the bench and three candidates on the ballot in November, if the primary results do not change after the paper is counted and the election deemed official.
Rebecca Sweeney: She beat both Democratic Party heavyweights – Chairman Tom Wade and Council President Rodney Wiltshire – in the Rensselaer County Democratic Party Committee primary in Election District No. 8. What’s funny is that she was Wade’s running mate and one of the only reasons she was on the ballot is because she is the daughter to Mary Sweeney – a longtime Board of Elections employee.
Rodney Wiltsire and company: The faction of Democrats who, for the time being, got their city court judge candidate (Gorman) on the ballot and who tied Wade in Election District 8 in a race for the Rensselaer County Democratic Party Committee in the Election District the latter held for decades.
Tom Wade and Company: For holding onto the county committee by winning a number of races against candidates put up by Rodney Wiltshire and company. And, even though Wade tied in his own committee race against Wiltshire, he will likely get appointed to the county committee anyway.
Joel Abelove: The candidate for District Attorney is down by three votes in the Independence Primary against Carmello Laquidara but I’m hearing has an edge with the 212 absentee ballots. Laquidara will not be mentioned below with the losers, however, since the race was and still is pretty tight and I expect the same in the general election.
Rich Crist: The GOP operative had a major role in the Abelove and McLaughlin Independence Party campaigns.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: Yes, he handily won the Democratic Party primary but he took a beating in the Capital Region. In Rensselaer, Albany, Saratoga and Schenectady County Teachout won by a nearly two-to-one margin. Pundits jumped at the potential reasons and they include the governor’s treatment of labor unions, his unwillingness to decide on fracking and his “my way or the highway,” bullying personality. I happen to think the SAFE ACT has something to do with it but either way, the Guv got trounced around here.
The Capital Region: Since Cuomo is known as an easy going, live and let live, let bygones be bygones kind of guy, I’m sure he won’t withhold any state funding or direct potential funding that could come here anywhere else. For example, maybe, just maybe, the new casino that could go to East Greenbush or the City of Rensselaer will be a shorter ride than Turning Stone – like Howe Caves.
Tom Wade and company: Their city court candidate (Silverman) is likely off the ballot, their DA candidate (Laquiadara) stands a good chance of losing the Independence Party line and Wiltshire tied Wade in the race for committee in the Election District the latter held for decades.
Rodney Wiltshire and company: They may have done well in other races but they didn’t make too much of a dent in their bid to take over the Rensselaer County Democratic Party Committee.
Phil Malone: The candidate for Assembly got trounced in the Independence Party primary by incumbent Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin. And, the East Greenbush Town Board member had the party’s endorsement so his name appeared on the ballot. McLaughlin beat him in a write in.
Ian Silverman: If the primary results remain the same, the corporation counsel will not be on the ballot in November after losing the Democratic Party primary and primaries for all the minor lines.