Good Morning from Buffalo…
Ecclesiastes says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).” That may or may not apply to New York’s second Primary Day this year. Nonetheless, voters had a second bite at the apple this week and the voters who turned out made important decisions for New York’s future.
The Washington Post argued that moderates were the big winner of Tuesday’s primary in New York but in reality, incumbents won. All state Senate incumbents won their party primary, many of whom faced challenges from the Center, not the Left. One of the most watched races was in the Bronx.
Senate Health Chair Gustavo Rivera successfully defended his seat against a more moderate challenger in Miguelina Camilo who had the support of the Bronx Democratic Party. OD&A has worked closely with Senator Rivera to protect safety-net healthcare providers and we were proud to support his campaign.
Senator Jabari Brisport, a self-described Democratic Socialist, won his primary against Mayor Eric Adams’ preferred candidate, Pastor Conrad Tillard. Another progressive incumbent, Senator Robert Jackson, won his primary in a newly-drawn district that includes Washington Heights and other parts of northern Manhattan over the Chief of Staff to former Senator Marisol Alcantara, whom Robert Jackson beat in 2018, Angel Vazquez. Senate Energy Chair Kevin Parker easily won his primary in Brooklyn as did Senator Anna Kaplan in Nassau County. State Senator and friend of the firm Andrew Gounardes defeated former New York City Councilmember David Yassky in the newly-drawn 26th district, just about doubling Yassky’s vote total.
There were also special elections to fill vacant congressional seats:
In the four special elections across the country since the Supreme Court released the Dobbs decision, Democrats have outperformed Biden’s 2020 margins in all of them. Following the two special elections in New York on Tuesday, the Cook Political Report scaled back their prediction of massive GOP gains in November. The report’s editor and election guru Dave Wasserman tweeted that the possibility of Democrats holding the House was “not out of the question.” Republicans, who were once projected to flip 20-30 seats, only need to net five seats in November to gain the majority and there are a number of Democrats defending seats in districts Trump won soundly in 2020. Voter turnout among Republicans and Independents is sure to be higher in November and a lot can change politically between now and then but the picture for Democrats looks far more hopeful than it did two months ago.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sounds increasingly bearish on his party’s chances of taking back the Senate. The longtime Kentucky Senator said, “I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate. Senate races are just different — they’re statewide, candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.” Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose campaign in Pennsylvania is floundering, insisted McConnell was not talking about him despite being down heavily in the polls against Lt. Governor John Fetterman. Republican JD Vance is getting a run for his money from Representative Tim Ryan in Ohio where Ryan has been relentless in portraying Vance as an “out of state, out of touch millionaire.” According to the polls, it’s working. In Georgia, Herschel Walker offered “[Biden and Warnock] try to fool you like they’re helping you out, but they’re not. They’re not helping you out, because a lot of the money is going into trees. You know that, don’t you? It’s going into trees. We’ve got enough trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?” It remains to be seen how the anti-arborist position will play with the voters.
And finally, the University of South Carolina is looking for a name for its new, live rooster mascot. The presently nameless bird was formerly known as “Sir Big Spur”, but a trademark dispute between current and former owners means a new name is needed. The early leader in the clubhouse? Cock Commander.
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