2016 election

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Libertarian Party is trying to make a name this political season, which has disaffected some voters from the major political parties. Alex Merced believes a Libertarian option gives him an edge in a race against incumbent Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Merced jumped in the race against Schumer in what he calls a “weird political year.” And he points to the ease of getting signatures to get on the ballot as a sign that this year will work to his advantage.

CSIS/Matt A.J. / Flickr via CC License 2.0 http://bit.ly/1ZNeCAw

A new poll shows that Hillary Clinton is still far ahead of Donald Trump among New York voters — but she has some weak points.

Clinton holds a 21-point lead over Trump among likely New York voters in the Siena College poll, down from a 25-point lead one month ago.

But Clinton has some weaknesses. She is viewed unfavorably by just over half of voters and does not have much support beyond registered Democrats, said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

With a little less than two months before election day, Onondaga County’s Republican Party is hoping to move forward with a united front. A potential challenger to Chair Tom Dadey’s leadership was brought into the fold after a weekend of intense discussions.

New York State Senate

The results of a four-way primary for a New York Senate seat may help Republicans keep control of that house in the long run.

Marisol Alcantara won Tuesday’s primary for the Upper Manhattan seat held by Adriano Espaillat, who is running for Congress. Alcantara is a Democrat, but she has said if elected to the Senate in November, she will likely ally with the breakaway Democratic faction known as the Independent Democratic Conference.

PamHelming.com

In the Republican primary for the 54th District state Senate race, Canandaigua Town Supervisor Pam Helming  appeared to be the victor, leading the four other candidates.

Although absentee ballots still need to be counted, Helming was ahead of her closest rival, businessman Floyd Rayburn, by 190 votes.

Longtime state Sen. Mike Nozzolio currently has the position, but is not running for re-election.  However, Helming realizes there is a legacy there.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

On a state primary day, and during a hotly contested presidential campaign, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday issued a somewhat nonpartisan message to New Yorkers: Vote — or don’t complain about the results.

Cuomo did not address the latest controversies surrounding Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, nor did he advocate for more Democrats in the state Senate, as some Democrats have urged him to do.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the state senate seat in New York's 54th district is open. A crowded field of mostly Republican candidates are vying to replace longtime Republican State Sen. Mike Nozzolio, who's retiring. The district encompasses all or portions of Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Cayuga, Tompkins and Monroe counties. 

The town of Canandaigua's supervisor Pam Helming is considered the GOP favorite. She won endorsements from all six of the county Republican parties. Helming said her top priority in Albany would be to roll back regulations. 

Mike Becallo campaign/Vince Giordano

New York state holds primary elections for state Assembly and Senate races. In central New York, an Assembly seat on the eastern side of Onondaga County is in the spotlight for the GOP.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Local Democratic officials helped open a new Hillary Clinton election office in Syracuse on Saturday. Clinton recently called on every Republican in office to say if they agree with recent Donald Trump comments. Trump said U.S. generals have been reduced to rubble under President Barack Obama and Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. Colleen Deacon, a Democrat running against Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in the 24th Congressional District, called on Katko to voice his opinion.

Deacon says she does not agree with the idea that Katko is a moderate Republican.

NY State Assembly

A well-known state assemblyman from the Rochester area has died in an apparent suicide. A police officer saw Bill Nojay shoot himself near his family’s cemetery plot about 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Nojay, a 59-year-old radio talk show host, had served in the Assembly since 2013. The conservative Republican was facing a primary challenge in next Tuesday’s primary for re-election to a third term. His Democratic opponent has suspended campaigning for now.

Assembly Republican Leader Brian Kolb expressed sadness and shock.

unshackleupstate.com

Republicans fared better than Democrats in pro-business group Unshackle Upstate’s rankings of state legislators who are seeking re-election in November.

Unshackle Upstate’s Greg Biryla said overall, GOP lawmakers did better than Democrats when ranked on issues that business groups care about, such as holding the line on taxes and spending.

He said Assembly Republicans, the smallest conference, scored highest.

“They had numerous members who received 100, overall,” Biryla said. “They were the only conference to achieve that.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

New York state’s Republican Party chairman is talking up Donald Trump and predicted that the GOP presidential candidate will do well in New York state.

Ed Cox said Trump has been looking presidential lately, appearing in Mexico alongside that country’s president, and visiting flood-ravaged Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Cox said Trump’s strength is that he’s a “self-made politician.”

“And a genius of a politician, you have to admit,” Cox said.

Democrats in Tompkins County will have a chance to hear from candidates for the nomination for district attorney tonight.

Tompkins County has to elect a new DA on a rushed schedule. That’s because Gwen Wilkinson resigned last month for health reasons. Her departure came so late that various party committees -- not primary voters -- will choose the nominees for the general election.

New York State Senate

There’s more evidence that the presidential race may affect which party will control the state Senate.

Currently, the GOP is holding on, with the help of one Democrat who meets with them.

But a new Siena College poll finds that nearly two-thirds of voters think that Donald Trump at the top of the ticket will not help Republicans hold on to the Senate, and Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate will actually help Democrats regain the Senate, said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) visited New York Air Brake in Watertown Friday on a campaign stop. She spoke about how the Import-Export bank helps U.S. manufacturers compete internationally. Stefanik helped reform the bank.

“When American workers are able to compete on a level playing field there is no other country that is manufacturing the highest quality of products that the U.S. is,” said Stefanik.  

After her brief speech, the question and answer period turned to the presidential campaign.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) added his voice to a chorus of criticism regarding Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments to the Muslim parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq.

“We ought to revere our Gold Star mothers,” Schumer said. “We ought to praise them. We are to not be criticizing them. My heart goes out to these people who made the ultimate sacrifice and criticism of them is very, very wrong.”

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

New York State Senate Democrats hope to take leadership of their house away from Republicans in the 2016 elections — and many believe the candidates at the top of the ticket will help them do that.

The leader of the Senate Democrats, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, is at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to witness the historic nomination of the first female candidate for president in a major political party. She said she hopes to break some barriers of her own later this year by becoming the first woman, and female African-American, to be Senate majority leader.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it’s a “sign of respect” for New York state that he’s been asked to speak on the final evening of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

He said he plans to mention his father, Mario Cuomo, the former governor who gave the memorable “Tale of Two Cities” speech at the 1984 Democratic convention. Andrew Cuomo said it’s the first national convention that he’s attended without his father, who died on New Year’s Day 2015.

Cuomo said he plans to touch on the larger theme of the two conventions: fear versus hope.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had a full schedule Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, aimed at showcasing some of his strengths, including supporting LGBT rights and helping the homeless.

But first, he shared the stage with Hillary Clinton’s primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Cuomo began with a planned speech to the New York delegates attending the convention in Philadelphia, but he had to abbreviate it to leave time for the surprise guest to address the delegation of Clinton’s home state.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

It’s supposed to be Hillary Clinton’s convention, but the focus Monday was on her primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, and his delegates, who continue to stew over a WikiLeaks release of Democratic National Committee emails that showed favoritism to Clinton over Sanders.

In New York’s delegation, annoyed Sanders supporters attending the convention in Philadelphia struggled to even secure a room to meet in so they could discuss all that’s happened.

Karen DeWitt

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner join capitol correspondent Karen DeWitt and Casey Seiler of the Albany Times Union on today's "ConventionCast" to share their thoughts on the Democratic National Convention, the DNC email controversy, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio's relationship.

Find more from New York Now.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state will have a big presence at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Among the politicians who will speak from the podium, the state’s two senators.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Now that the Republican National Convention is over, the next step for Republicans, after the Democrats are done with their convention, is to begin the presidential general election campaign. The head of Trump’s New York campaign say he expects the state to be in play.

Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino says even though New York has many more Democrats than Republicans, Trump wants to compete against Hillary Clinton in his home state.

“We’re going to win big in Long Island and in upstate,” Paladino said. “We’re going to get crossover like you’ve never seen before.”

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, in a speech to New York’s delegates at the Republican National Convention, assailed Hillary Clinton for her husband’s extramarital affairs when he was president in the 1990s, saying she tried to shut the women up.

Giuliani, who dropped out of a race to challenge Clinton for the 2000 Senate race in New York, which she ultimately won, focused on a topic that so far has been avoided even on the convention floor — whether Clinton was culpable in covering up her husband’s sexual dalliances.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Wendy Long, the Republican candidate for Senate running against Sen. Charles Schumer, faces great odds in her campaign against the powerful and popular third-term senator. Long made her case when she addressed the New York delegation to the Republican National Convention Tuesday.

It’s the second time that Wendy Long is running for Senate. She lost to incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand four years ago, by 46 points, the largest margin of defeat for any statewide candidate in New York, ever.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Among the many Republican public officials sitting out of this week's GOP national convention is central New York Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld). The moderate congressman reiterated that he does not support nor will he vote for the GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

"A lot of people are just looking for an outlet to react to their -- I think rightful -- disdain, disgust with government," Hanna said. "But electing someone who's not competent to do the job is the opposite of what I think people should be doing."

Karen DeWitt

Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt is reporting from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio this week. DeWitt, along with regular contributors to New York Now, will be bringing us podcasts from the road featuring members of each party.

Karen DeWitt

The Republican National Convention begins in Cleveland Monday. New York state Republicans will hear from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who are billed as official Trump-Pence surrogates, as well as CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow.

Republican State Party Chair Ed Cox says he doesn’t think the delegates need a lot of convincing, though he admits that many of them initially supported others in what was originally a 16-candidate race.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

As the Republican National Convention gets underway this week in Cleveland, one high-profile central New York Republican will be watching from afar.  Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) who is running for reelection in a highly competitive central New York district, continues to distance himself from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has offered only lukewarm support in the past for his fellow Democrats in their quest to take over the state Senate, said this week that he would back Democratic candidates in Senate races. He also somewhat reluctantly offered support to his former primary rival, Zephyr Teachout, who is now running for Congress.

Cuomo, answering a question from reporters in the Bronx, gave his strongest statements to date in the 2016 election cycle to back Democratic candidates for the Senate.

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