Some Races Get Ugly Before Thursday Primary
Although it hasn't gotten a lot of attention, there is a primary tomorrow in New York State. A handful of Senate and Assembly incumbents are being challenged, while others are running to fill open seats. With turnout expected to be low, the tone has turned very nasty in some races, where candidates are hoping to motivate voters with incendiary charges. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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Voters in the Republican primary for the State Senate's 15th district recently received a direct mail piece accusing City Councilman and now-Senate candidate Eric Ulrich of supporting gay marriage. It then asks "who knew Eric went both ways?"
That brought swift condemnation from former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who endorsed Ulrich over his opponent, Juan Reyes, even though Reyes once worked for Giuliani.
"After seeing what his campaign has done, which is disgusting, Juan doesn't belong in politics," Giuliani said.
Reyes said that wasn't the point.
"The only thing about the piece that I had was, really the point was, that he flip flopped and that's it," he said.
In several state races in the city, the tone has taken a nasty turn. In northern Manhattan, Assemblyman Guillermo Linares is hoping to replace Adriano Espaillat, who ran a close but ultimately unsuccessful race against Charles Rangel for Congress.
"He decided to run for Congress. He did say that that was what he was focusing on doing. That's when I put in my application," Linares said. "He fell short but now he wants to get back in."
Linares campaigned with his daughter, Mayra, who is trying to win her father's Assembly seat. Espaillat, who recently accused Linares of betraying the Latino community by supporting Rangel, received the endorsement of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"No, you know, I ran for Congress," Espaillat said. "It was a contested race. The numbers were very tight. Subsequently, after that, I presented my candidacy to the community for State Senate and they accepted it."
Also in Queens, incumbent Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky is facing a challenge in a newly-drawn district that is more Asian American.
"This district is changing and we have to move with the changes," she said. "This used to be the the Queensborough Hill Jewish Center. I was here many times when it was a synagogue."
There are also open seats with races, like Assemblywoman Grace Meng's. She is running for Congress. There is also a seat being vacated by Hakeem Jeffries, who is also running for Congress.
Voter turnout is not generally that high to begin with in state primaries. But with the federal primary no longer matching up and the primary date having been moved this week from Tuesday to Thursday, turnout could be extremely low.