2014 election

6:52am

Mon May 12, 2014
Politics and Government

Public campaign finance showing signs of life

Gov. Cuomo is facing pressure to revive an issue that failed in state budget negotiations -- enacting a public campaign financing system for statewide elections.

In the final budget deal, Cuomo agreed with legislative leaders to a pared-down public campaign finance system that would apply only to the state comptroller’s race, and sunset after this year.

The governor was immediately condemned by government reform groups who said the pilot program was cynically designed to fail. But Cuomo defended the deal, saying advocates were looking at the glass half empty.

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7:06am

Fri May 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Duffy's decision not to seek re-election no surprise

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy will continue to crisscross the state over the next few weeks arguing for his boss's mandate relief plan. He held a press conference with Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and the mayor of Syracuse in January.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy has informed Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a letter that he is not running for a second term, and Cuomo has accepted his resignation from the ticket. Duffy will serve out the rest of his term, which ends in December.

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12:16pm

Thu May 8, 2014
Politics and Government

Duffy decides not to run again for lieutenant governor

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy. (file photo)
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will have to pick a new running mate now that Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy has announced he won't seek a second term.

Duffy notified Cuomo of his intentions in a letter first reported by the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester. The 59-year-old former Rochester mayor cites the travel demands of his current job and a desire to spend more time with his family.

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6:16am

Thu May 8, 2014
Politics

Onondaga County's Bob Antonacci running for NY comptroller

Onondaga County Republican Comptroller Bob Antonocci.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Onondaga County’s top financial officer will challenge his state-wide counterpart in the November election. Bob Antonacci says he can use the comptroller post to turn around New York.

Antonacci, the Republican Onondaga County comptroller, is a lawyer and certified public accountant. He says his background on the county level has prepared him for Albany.

He was asked last week by state GOP officials to challenge Democrat Thomas DiNapoli.

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6:15am

Thu May 8, 2014
Politics and Government

Reports say Duffy won't run for re-election

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy speaks during an event in Onondaga County. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York state Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy spoke at a police memorial service this week, in what may be one of his last official acts in his role before Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces a new running mate for the 2014 elections.

Several Rochester news outlets are reporting that Duffy has already submitted notice to Cuomo, and will not run on the ticket in this year's election. Duffy, who’s publicly been Cuomo’s biggest cheerleader, privately may have become disenchanted with the job as New York’s number two elected official.

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6:38am

Wed May 7, 2014
Politics

Astorino: Binghamton could be Dallas of New York

Rob Astorino, Republican candidate for New York state governor, campaigned through the Southern Tier Tuesday.
WSKG

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino touted the benefits of hydrofracking during a series of stops in the Southern Tier yesterday. One of the stops was at a Vestal company that does roadwork for oil companies just across the border in Pennsylvania.

Astorino visited the Binghamton-area company Vestal Asphalt and linked upstate New York's declining population with a lack of jobs and high taxes. He pointed to fracking as a way to reverse that trend and transform the Southern Tier.

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6:24am

Fri May 2, 2014
Politics and Government

New York's race for governor heats up

Zack Seward WXXI

The campaign for governor in New York is heating up. The state Democratic Party is running attack ads against the Republican candidate for governor, while the GOP candidate is fighting back in an internet video.

Just two weeks before the party conventions, Democrats are airing negative attack ads targeting incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Republican opponent, Rob Astorino.

“Rob Astorino, so far right he’s wrong for New York,” a narrator intones, over a background of ominous music.

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5:49am

Mon April 28, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo defends progressive record

Ryan Delaney WRVO File

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is responding to a recent poll that finds support for a third party candidate from the left running against him for governor.  Cuomo says he has a progressive track record, and blames Republicans in the state Senate for stalling his agenda.

The Siena poll found that dissatisfaction among left-leaning Democrats in New York could cost Cuomo 15 points on election day, if the progressive  Working Families Party  put up its own candidate in the governor’s race.

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6:57am

Fri April 25, 2014
Politics and Government

Astorino undeterred by low poll numbers

Rob Astorino talks with Karen DeWitt about his plan for this fall's gubernatorial election.
Matt Ryan, New York Now

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is 30 points behind incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the polls. But Astorino says he is undeterred, and has identified a path to victory in the fall elections.

Astorino, in an interview with New York State Public Radio & Television, says he’s already been through a race where he was behind by double digits, with a voter base that was two-thirds Democratic. And he says he won that contest, for Westchester County executive, and was recently reelected to a second term.

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3:59pm

Wed April 23, 2014
Politics

Miner says she's not involved in picking replacement for party co-chair

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says she's not involved in picking a replacement to help run the state Democratic Party. She stepped down from her role as co-chair of the party last week.

Miner had the job for two years, but left to, as she puts it, give someone else a chance.

Since taking the post, though, she publicly disagreed and had a falling out with the state's most powerful Democrat and person who appointed her to the post: Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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6:50am

Tue April 22, 2014
Politics and Government

New poll shows Cuomo vulnerable on the left

Zack Seward WXXI

A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo with a double digit lead against his Republican opponent for the fall elections. But the survey finds that ratio changes if a progressive third party candidate emerges.

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3:02pm

Mon March 31, 2014
Politics

Comptroller says public financing plan has serious flaws

New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the public financing plan in the budget has serious flaws.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state’s top accountant says a test public campaign finance plan that would apply only to his office is seriously flawed, and might even be unworkable. 

The budget provision, which first surfaced late Friday, would enact a pilot public campaign finance program limited to the comptroller’s office.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a long time supporter of public finance, says this plan comes too late in the election cycle, and relies on the State Board of Elections, a board widely viewed as incompetent, to set up the program.

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6:19am

Mon March 17, 2014
Politics

New York GOP has sights set on winning four key Congressional contests

NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

Republican party leaders are bullish when it comes to New York state's congressional elections this November.

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8:08am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics

North Country Congressional candidate Aaron Woolf speaks on the issues

Aaron Woolf, Democratic candidate for the 21st Congressional District
NYS Democratic Party

The endorsed Democratic candidate for Bill Owens' seat in Congress finally broke his media silence Wednesday, speaking with several North Country media outlets. Aaron Woolf spoke with North Country Public Radio's David Sommerstein on a range of issues, from gun control and health care to why a political rookie wants to represent the region. Democratic county chairs chose Woolf to run a month ago, but he had declined interviews until now.

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9:42pm

Tue March 11, 2014
Politics

Donald Trump rallies Republicans, saying party can win New York

Donald Trump speaking at a Republican Party fundraiser in Syracuse Tuesday night.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

In the words of the infamous Donald Trump, upstate New York has been "abandoned," the state's gun control laws were a "catastrophe" and its pro-business television campaign is "egregious."

Those were some of the colorful adjectives Trump, a real estate tycoon and reality TV star, used at a Republican Party fundraiser Tuesday night in Syracuse.

Trump has flirted with a run for governor of New York for a few months, but his speech in front of more than 300 people was to raise money for the party, not announce a bid for governor. He did say that decision is coming soon.

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3:51pm

Fri March 7, 2014
Politics

Republican Astorino takes new campaign for governor to Syracuse

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R) visits Syracuse as part of his new campaign for governor.
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

Two days  after becoming the first Republican to announce a campaign to run for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino spent Friday crisscrossing upstate New York from Rochester and Syracuse to Albany, and his message was the same in each city. He believes he can beat a popular Democrat in an election where Democrats hold an overwhelming voter registration advantage.

Astorino says he did it in Westchester County, where he has twice won the office of county executive.  

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2:36pm

Thu March 6, 2014
Politics

North Country candidate Democrat Aaron Woolf says media silence is not inaction

Aaron Woolf, Democratic candidate for the 21st Congressional District
Martha Foley/NCPR

The elusive Democrat who's running for Bill Owens' seat is meeting privately with local leaders across the 21st Congressional District. Documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf met with Warren County Democrats in Lake George Wednesday night after visiting the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Canton.

It's been more than three weeks since party leaders endorsed Woolf. Even though he's barely spoken with the media, Woolf says he's been busy.

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8:14pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Politics

Astorino makes it official, via YouTube announcement

Rob Astorino
Karen DeWitt/WXXI

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced on YouTube his candidacy to run as a Republican against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Astorino, a Republican who has won the county executive seat twice in the Democratically dominated Westchester County, painted a grim picture of New York under Cuomo, saying the state is “dying” from the highest taxes in the nation and is one of the poorest business climates in the country.

“Is New York winning? Or are we losing?” Astorino asks.

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7:34am

Mon March 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Westchester County Executive expected to become a GOP candidate for governor

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino speaks with reporters in Albany.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

It’s expected that Republicans will have an announced candidate for governor as early as this week. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has formed an exploratory committee and has expressed interest in what most believe will be an uphill climb against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is seeking reelection.

Astorino, a former radio executive, has twice won the county executive’s seat in Westchester County on the Republican line, in a region where Democrats now dominate.

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3:02pm

Sat March 1, 2014
Politics

GOP nominates candidate to challenge Maffei

John Katko (far right) at a Conservative Party event
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Former federal prosecutor John Katko has won the endorsement of the Republican Party in the race for the 24th Congressional District.  He garnered enough votes out of a field of seven candidates, to get the nomination on one ballot at a GOP convention in Syracuse Saturday.  

At least one candidate who lost the party nod, Ian Hunter, says  will begin the process of challenging Katko in a June primary.  Three others candidates haven’t ruled out that possibility.  Republicans are hoping to wrest the seat from incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei.

3:18pm

Tue February 25, 2014
Politics

Hanna prepares for primary day challengers

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

Rep. Richard Hanna recently made the announcement that he will be running for a third term in Congress. But the Republican, who represents the 22nd Congressional District, covering all or part of eight counties stretching from Utica to Binghamton, will have at least two primary opponents to deal with before November's general election.

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7:54am

Thu February 20, 2014
Politics and Government

GOP in 24th Congressional District prepares to endorse candidate for November election

With Election Day only about eight months away, the Fulton Republican Committee has thrown its support behind John Katko, a 51-year-old retired federal prosecutor who plans to run against Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei to represent central New York in Congress.

The 24th District covers all of Onondaga, Wayne and Cayuga Counties, along with the western portion of Oswego County. So far, the race has already drawn support from ten candidates, who all believe they can win the seat.

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3:07pm

Wed February 19, 2014
Politics

Doheny will be on the ballot again for the 21st District

Matt Doheny waving to onlookers at a local parade during one of his previous runs for Congress.
Credit Doheny4Congress.com

Matt Doheny is again adding his name to the 2014 ballot for northern New York's 21st Congressional District. Doheny, the owner of a private investment firm in Watertown, ran for the seat in 2010 and 2012, but lost both races to Democrat Bill Owens. Owens announced last month that he will retire after his term ends at the end of this year.

Doheny announced his candidacy less than two weeks after the district's 12 county Republican chairs endorsed Elise Stefanik as their candidate. Stefanik worked for former President George W. Bush and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

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6:20am

Thu February 13, 2014
Politics

Hawkins running for governor again

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins will run for governor in November

Howie Hawkins, a perennial Green Party Candidate for office in central New York, is expected to officially jump into the race for governor.

Four years ago, Hawkins, a UPS worker who lives on Syracuse’s South Side, was one of seven candidates for governor, in a race that ultimately put Andrew Cuomo in the governor’s mansion and Hawkins in third. He wants to run again, and is hoping to get a little more respect this time after his showing in 2010.

“Last time I think, especially New York City media, said, 'oh he's  an upstate hick' and they totally ignored me," he said.

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9:01am

Tue February 4, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna seeks re-election, says there's more to be done in Congress

RichardHannaforCongress.com

Rep. Richard Hanna says he's seeking a third term in Congress because there's more work to be done.

The Republican announced his re-election intentions late last week. He was first elected to serve what's now New York's 22nd Congressional District in 2010. Hanna is from Barneveld, just north of Utica, and represents that city as well as Binghamton and areas in between.

He says there's a lot of opportunities in Congress right now.

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7:51am

Mon January 27, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo's budget reads like reelection agenda

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces the voters in November, and his budget plan, with many of the major initiatives phased in over the next few years, can be viewed as a blueprint for the governor’s reelection.

Many of the major components in Cuomo’s budget -- including universal pre-kindergarten and business tax cuts -- take three to four years to be fully phased in. Even the property tax freeze is a multi-year proposal.

Implicit in the plan’s success is that Cuomo remains governor for the next few years to carry out all of the proposals.

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8:32am

Tue January 21, 2014
Politics and Government

Siena poll shows Cuomo gaining popularity

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is beginning 2014 with high numbers, according to a recently released Siena College poll.

The governor has regained some lost ground, and now is viewed favorably by 66 percent of New Yorkers. Cuomo would also beat potential GOP opponents, Donald Trump and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, by almost 50 points, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

“He’s governor is sitting pretty,” said Greenberg. “His numbers, favorability, job performance, reelect, are the best they’ve been in about a year.”

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4:49pm

Fri January 17, 2014
Politics

Russell leaving door open on Congressional run; for now, focused on Assembly work

State Assemblywoman Addie Russell at a press conference at her office Friday morning. She said she's not "closing the door" on a Congressional run, but for now, she's focusing on her Assembly work.
Credit Joanna Richards / WRVO

State Assemblywoman Addie Russell’s name surfaced as a possible Democratic contender for the 21st Congressional District seat, after Rep. Bill Owens announced he won’t run again. 

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4:59pm

Tue January 14, 2014
Politics and Government

Owens will not seek reelection to Congress

Congressman Bill Owens

North Country Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in November -- surprising the political establishment and putting the seat for the 21st Congressional District up for grabs.

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3:34pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Longtime Onondaga County sheriff announces retirement

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh (right) announced his retirement, as Deputy Chief John Balloni (left) looks on.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh announced Monday morning that e will retire after 20 years in the position.

While Walsh made the decision public at an event in downtown Syracuse, he said it's something he has known he would do for quite a while.

"I pretty much had made my decision at the end of the last election.  But I was not join going to commit one way or this other until I had to commit, in case things changed and I decided I wanted to do another term," said Walsh. "I didn't want to be accused of flip flopping."

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