2018 election

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The congressional midterm elections this November may be the most important midterm in a generation, and even the primaries are generating national attention. One of those primaries is in central New York, where two Democrats are running to unseat Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. This week, Grant Reeher moderates an informal debate with Dana Balter and Juanita Perez Williams. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) has his first Republican opponent in eight years. Economist Janet Burman has decided to run against Valesky, in a district that stretches from the city of Rome in Oneida County into Cayuga County, and includes half of the city of Syracuse.

Burman said she and her husband almost decided to leave New York for a lower taxed state two years ago, but decided against it, because they loved Syracuse. Now she says she’s going to try to do something about those taxes, by running for state Senate.

Democrats Dana Balter, and Juanita Perez Williams will face off in a June 26 primary, with the winner moving on to face Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. The two share a number of things in common, but there are also differences between them. Those differences came out during a conversation with Grant Reeher for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A Siena poll finds Gov.  Andrew Cuomo is securely ahead of his challengers, Democrat Cynthia Nixon and Republican Marc Molinaro, in his re-election bid.

Meanwhile, Cuomo is using some of his $30 million campaign war chest to promote an anti-gun violence measure.

The poll finds Cuomo ahead of Nixon by about 35 points, at 61 to 26 percent, among Democrats who say they are likely to vote in the November election.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Primary Day is less than two weeks away for two women who want to be the Democratic candidate in the race for the central New York congressional seat currently held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). As their campaigns sprint toward the finish line, they face one factor beyond their control: the calendar. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the anti-sexual harassment policies enacted in the state budget are among the strongest in the nation, but his political rivals say the governor has not done enough to respond to allegations of sexual harassment in his own administration.

Cuomo, in his speech at last month’s state Democratic Party convention, contrasted New York’s newest policy to prevent sexual harassment to the lack of action in Washington, where he said “the silence is deafening.”

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon brought her campaign to Rochester on Sunday, specifically to focus on the needs of the disability community.

Nixon met with a variety of supporters, including those active in the disability community locally during her campaign stop at Ontario Beach Park.

The actress and activist who is hoping to face Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in a September primary keyed in on several points important to those with disabilities, including low wages for home health care aides.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Across the country, mainstream Congressional Democrats are being challenged in primaries by more progressive, grassroots-supported candidates. It's also happening in state and local races. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Rachel May, who is challenging central New York state Senator Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) in a primary this September. 

Note: This conversation was recorded June 5, one day after the Oneida County Democratic Committee endorsed May in her race with Sen. Valesky.

Molinaro for Governor / Facebook

The Republican candidate for governor, Marc Molinaro, is proposing term limits of two four-year terms for statewide offices – including the office of governor – and 12-year limits for state lawmakers.

Molinaro said it’s up to the governor of the state to set an example. He said if he is elected in November, he’d limit himself to two terms in office. He said it’s healthy for democracy.

New York Now

Democratic candidate for governor and actor Cynthia Nixon came to the Capitol to talk about the need for more education aid and what she says are Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s failings in that policy area. Meanwhile, Cuomo’s campaign said it’s Nixon who is being inconsistent.

WRVO News File Photo

Concern about access to health care is an issue that both candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 24th Congressional District are concentrating on as the June 26 primary date approaches.

Brian Mann / NCPR

Congressional candidate Dylan Ratigan, who is one of five candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the North Country's 21st Congressional District, told a gathering of Democrats earlier this month that he might have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential contest, if he had cast a ballot. That’s according to four people who were at the public luncheon May 18th in Saratoga County.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The race for the 22nd Congressional District seat is expected to be one of the most competitive in the nation. This week, Grant Reeher talks with state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica), who is challenging first term incumbent Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) this fall. They discuss his case for challenging Tenney, and his pwn policy positions. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called in Democratic Party stalwarts Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden to endorse him as he received the overwhelming support of delegates Thursday at the state Democratic Convention on Long Island.

stgermh / Flickr

The Democrats and the Republicans are holding their events simultaneously, on May 23 and 24, with the Republicans in New York City and the Democrats in Long Island.

On Wednesday, the Republican Party is expected to nominate Marc Molinaro as its candidate for governor. Molinaro, the 42-year-old Dutchess County executive, has been in politics since he was a teenager, becoming the mayor of his hometown of Tivoli when he was 19.

New York State Assembly

Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R-Macedon), who has represented Wayne County and parts of Cayuga and Oswego counties for 26 years, is retiring, and the vacancy is attracting familiar candidates.

Oaks was first elected to the Assembly in 1992 and rose through the ranks of the GOP, eventually becoming the ranking minority member of the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee that oversees fiscal policy. In a statement, the Republican said he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren and pass on the torch.

WRVO News File Photo

Solicitor General Barbara Underwood became acting attorney general on Tuesday, taking over for the disgraced Eric Schneiderman, who resigned after a New Yorker article detailed four women who accused him of numerous instances of physical violence.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Green party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins is calling for an expansion of public housing in New York State. At the same time, Hawkins is criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s housing investment strategies.

Hawkins decried the decline of public housing options in Syracuse, standing between two weed infested vacant lots.

“In this case both on this side of the street, and the other side, there was once over 400 units of affordable housing,” Hawkins said. “But no affordable housing has been built since this project was torn down in 2013.”

Marco Varisco / Flickr

Update 6:25 a.m Friday

Democratic candidate Cynthia Nixon announced Friday morning that she would release her 2017 federal and state tax returns later in the day Friday. 

Original story

Marc Molinaro, the presumptive Republican candidate for governor, released his tax returns for 2017, but his opponent, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, raised the stakes, saying his GOP challenger should release 10 years of tax returns.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The New York State Board of Elections ruled Thursday that congressional candidate Juanita Perez Williams has enough petition signatures to appear on the June primary ballot. That clears the way for a primary for the Democratic nomination in the 24th Congressional District between Perez Williams and Dana Balter, who was chosen by Democrats in Onondaga, Cayuga and Oswego counties. 

stgermh / Flickr

Andrew Cuomo has two main challengers in the governor’s race: Cynthia Nixon on the left and Marc Molinaro on the right. Surprisingly, the two agree on a number of key items as they make their case against the incumbent governor, including a laser-like focus on Cuomo’s perceived weaknesses.

LtGovHochulNY / Flickr (File Photo)

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul says she plans to stay in the race for re-election alongside Gov. Andrew Cuomo, despite remarks by the governor that Hochul might prefer to run for Congress instead.

Cuomo has said he’d support Hochul if she wanted to run for her previous seat in Congress, which is now held by western New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins.

But Hochul has made it clear that she does not want to run for that seat.

Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse-area State Sen. John DeFrancisco does not plan to seek reelection this year, even if his bid for governor is unsuccessful. The Republican, who represents most of Onondaga County and parts of Cayuga County, has served in the senate for 25 years.

stgermh / Flickr

Challengers to Gov. Andrew Cuomo were on the campaign trail Thursday, as the governor announced a massive new anti-poverty program in Brooklyn.

Democratic candidate Cynthia Nixon visited the Finger Lakes to voice her opposition to a controversial proposed liquefied natural gas plant on Seneca Lake. The gas company Crestwood wants to store liquid propane gas in caverns created from salt mining along Seneca Lake. They are awaiting a decision from Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) announced Wednesday that he will no longer actively campaign for governor. The announcement came after an increasing number of Republican county chairs in New York endorsed Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.

New York State Senate

Democrats won two special elections for New York state Senate in the Bronx and Westchester County Tuesday, which will give them a numerical majority in the Senate, but Republicans will still control the chamber thanks to a lone Democratic Senator who will continue to caucus with the GOP.

Even before the results of Tuesday’s election were decided, Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) said in a statement that, with only 25 days remaining in this year’s legislative session, he wants to do what’s best for his constituents.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Two of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political opponents were at an Earth Day rally on climate change attended by hundreds at the state Capitol Monday, where they said the governor’s energy policies are far from adequate.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a speech at the annual meeting of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where he offered remedies to fix the nation’s Democratic Party.

Cuomo railed against President Donald Trump and his administration, saying they are “anti-American” and opposed to everything that King preached about. But he said the Democratic Party got it wrong in 2016.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The Working Families Party split up over the weekend, with some of the last remaining major unions leaving the group. The progressive political party announced it is backing Cynthia Nixon for governor, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo withdrew from consideration, saying he’s sticking with the major unions, for now.

The choice seems a safe bet for the incumbent governor.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Actor and education advocate Cynthia Nixon won the endorsement of the minor party Working Families Party at a meeting in Albany Saturday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is running in a Democratic primary against Nixon, dropped out of contention for the party’s nomination Friday night, after delegates were leaning toward Nixon.

“I am so proud to accept the endorsement of the Working Families Party,” Nixon told the enthusiastic crowd of progressive and activist groups.

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