Many Incumbents Earn Easy Primary Day Victories
Incumbent state lawmakers fared well in Thursday’s primary contests, and in the city, the only ones who seemed to run into any trouble were those under investigation. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
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It’s sometimes said that Albany lawmakers are more likely to die or go to jail than to lose re-election. Even jail, it turns out, doesn’t always hurt your electoral chances.
Take state Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., for example. Arrested last year on federal bribery charges shortly after being acquitted in a separate bribery case, he beat back six challengers to win his Democratic primary.
Two others with legal troubles were not so fortunate. Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, under investigation for misusing public funds, lost a four-way primary. Senator Shirley Huntley, indicted last month on felony corruption charges, lost to City Councilman James Sanders.
“We pledge clean government, a respectful government. This is not our money, this is the people’s money,” Sanders said on Thursday.
Generally, though, it was a night to celebrate for incumbents, including State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who unsuccessfully challenged Congressman Charles Rangel earlier this summer, but defended his own seat against Assemblyman Guillermo Linares.
It was a double victory, with Espaillat ally Gabriela Rosa beating out Linares’ daughter, Mayra, for the State Assembly seat he was vacating.
Altogether, of Albany lawmakers facing primaries in the city Thursday, 20 out of 22 won their contests. In most cases, it wasn’t even close. In fact, the average margin of victory was 38 percentage points.
Other state senators who survived challenges were Toby Ann Stavisky in Queens, Martin Dilan of Brooklyn and Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx.
State Senator Joe Addabbo of Queens, meanwhile, had no primary but faces a tough match-up in November. City Councilman Eric Ulrich, who had some high-profile backers, won his Republican primary Thursday and is now taking aim at Addabbo.
“I think we have an excellent shot. I think this is a swing district. People are ready for new ideas, for fresh ideas,” said Ulrich.
It figures to be one of the most competitive, and most closely-watched races of the fall.