What’s at stake in next Tuesday’s election is huge for New York: a new governor, for sure, and possibly a radical shift in the balance of power in Albany.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, won’t lose his prestigious title but his clout in the capital could be severely curbed if his current veto-proof majority falls by the wayside, as some predict it will.
For Democrats in the State Senate it’s even bleaker. Right now they hold control by a two-vote margin. Republican Minority Leader Dean Skelos, Long Island’s own, had two brief runs as majority leader himself before the Democrats took over in 2008 and again in June 2009 when he pulled off a coup by temporarily getting Democrats Hiram Monserrate of Queens and Pedro Espada, Jr., of the Bronx to support him. Skelos’ stunning move made Espada the Senate president, putting him in line to be acting governor whenever Gov. David Paterson left the state. (Paterson wisely stayed put.) Both turncoats are gone for good: Espada, under federal investigation for corruption, lost a primary in September; and Monserrate, who was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, was expelled from the Senate in February. He is now facing federal corruption charges, too.
But Skelos won’t need guys like them to take over the State Senate, if things go his way next week. Some political insiders predict the Rockville Centre Republican could end up with 35 senators on his side. One Democrat reportedly fighting for his political life is Sen. Brian Foley of Suffolk; in Nassau, Sen. Craig Johnson, who became the first Democrat in a century to take that seat, is battling tooth and nail with Mineola Mayor Jack Martins. The big knock against both Foley and Johnson is their votes to pass the much-loathed Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax, which did not go over well with suburbanites far from the subways. Whether voters will derail them for trying to get the MTA back on track remains to be seen. But it’s an issue that promises not to go away, no matter who’s governor and which party controls Albany.
Don’t forget our other elections 2010 coverage: The Attorney General race between Eric Schneiderman and Dan Donovan, seven-way New York State Governor race, and battle between Thomas DiNapoli and Harry Wilson for New York State Comptroller, as well as an overview of what congressional races are worth watching.
Kenneth LaValle vs Jennifer Maertz
John Flanagan vs Ira Bernstein
Brian X. Foley vs Lee Zeldin
Owen Johnson vs Maeghan Lollo
Carl Marcellino vs Lawrence Silverman
Kemp Hannon vs Francesca Carlow
Craig Johnson vs Jack Martins
Charles Fuschillo Jr. vs Carol A. Gordon
Dean Skelos vs George S. Sava
Marc Alessi vs Dan Losquadro
Fred Thiele vs Richard Blumenthal
Dean Murray vs Robert Calarco
Steven Englebright vs Deborah McKee
Ginny Fields vs Kenneth Mangan vs Alfred Graf
Phillip Ramos vs Mohsen Elsayed
Michael Fitzpatrick vs Richard Macellaro
Philip Boyle vs Janice Sweet
Andrew Raia vs Christopher Dempsey
James Conte vs John Capobianco
Robert Sweeney vs Brett Robinson
Joseph Saladino vs Kevin Gorman
Charles Lavine vs Robert A. Germino, Jr.
Dermond Thomas vs Brian Curran
Michael Montesano vs Leon Hart
Michelle Schimel vs Scott Diamond
Thomas McKevitt vs Thomas Devaney
Earlene Hooper vs Derek L. Partee
David McDonough vs John E. Brooks
Harvey Weisenberg vs Joshua S. Wanderer
Patrick Nicolosi vs Edward Ra