Elections

In-depth coverage of elections and campaigns.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Former presidential candidate and Pennsylvania Sen.Rick Santorum came to the Capitol to speak at the conservative New York Family Research Foundation. In a question and answer session with reporters, Santorum offered some encouragement to former New York Gov. George Pataki, who’s been exploring a possible run for the presidency.

Santorum says he was considered an underdog in 2012, and he won 11 primaries, and for a time was favored to win the nomination .

Julia Botero

In the wake of the downfall of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, North Country Assembly woman Addie Russell says she stands by the presumption of innocence until you are proven guilty.

Russell, a Democrat from Jefferson County, was part of the long two-day of meetings in Albany that ended with a decision to oust longtime Assembly speaker.

Silver will be out of office by Monday. He was arrested late last week on charges of corruption, including taking about $4 million in kickbacks.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Updated, 7:46 p.m.

Democrats in the state Assembly have emerged from two days of closed door discussions on whether, then how, to remove and replace the leader of their conference, who has been charged with corruption.

Assemblyman Joe Morelle, the majority leader from Rochester, told reporters Tuesday evening that Sheldon Silver will be removed from his post.

"On Monday, there will be a vacancy in the office of speaker," he said.

Dougtone / Creative Commons License

Early on in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address, he took a few moments to  thank  the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division. The soldiers received  the longest applause and the only standing ovation during his speech.

"The 10th Mountain Division is the most deployed force since 9-11. Just think about that -- 323 soldiers have been lost by the 10th Mountain Division defending our freedom," said the governor.

Cuomo called Fort Drum  a great North Country asset.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says central New Yorkers should expect to hear more from her than usual next year, as she runs for a third term.

At this point, she hasn’t made any formal declarations about running. “I did not make any kind of official announcement, and I think I broke protocol, but I happened to be talking to a reporter who asked if I was running and I said I planned to," she told WRVO.

She does plan to make that formal announcement, she said.

Byrne concedes; Russell wins 116th by a hair

Dec 2, 2014
Joanna Richards / WRVO file photo

Assemblywoman Addie Russell (D-116th) has been re-elected for her fourth term representing the 116th Assembly District also known as the "River District." The district includes parts of Jefferson and Watertown Counties. Her Republican challenger John Byrne conceded the race yesterday afternoon as the last absentee ballots were counted at the state Supreme Court in Watertown. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The New  York state attorney general says the Buffalo lake effect snowstorms are more evidence that climate change is happening, and that New York and the nation need to work harder to combat the causes of global warming.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says this week in western New York is another example of weather patterns that are changing, and won’t go back to normal by themselves.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says he’s not going away now that elections are over. He says he intends to continue drawing attention to issues like raising the minimum wage and building his party, instead.

Hawkins says the Greens, who were the only party to gain voters in the elections, intends to build their membership in the coming months. Hawkins says 70 percent of voters did not bother coming to the polls, and he sees potential in the disaffected electorate.

“Those are the future Green voters,” Hawkins said. “That’s the way we’re looking at it.”

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Oswego city voters overwhelmingly approved a five percent tax cap on Election Day, and some lawmakers say they are on board with the new law, which they hope will bring more accountability and efficiency to the annual budget process.

Republican Fifth Ward Councilor Billy Barlow says he's excited to see the city's new five percent tax cap in place. But it isn't just about the city's taxpayers drawing a metaphorical line in the sand regarding the city's budget.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It became clear early on election night that Dan Maffei was going to lose his re-election effort to Congress, but the scope of the loss left many surprised.

“Stunning” is a word more than one political analyst used Wednesday morning to describe Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei’s nearly 20 point loss to Republican John Katko. Not in that he lost, but by how much.

Phil Roeder / via Flickr

Political polls were a crucial way of predicting the outcome of Tuesday’s elections. Polls in central New York's seat for Congress saw an 18 point swing in the campaign's final weeks. But how political polling is conducted – over the telephone – faces an uncertain future.

Pollsters have long used landline telephones to reach into people’s homes and ask them about issues and candidates. It’s far from an exact science, but it’s been the best we’ve got.

But the problem nowadays is that most people under the age of 35 don’t have landline telephones in their home.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

For the first time in 20 years, Onondaga County has a new sheriff in town.  Republican Gene Conway beat Democrat challenger Toby Shelley on Election Day, pulling in 53 percent of the vote.  He says he has ideas about new initiatives in the department.

“Obviously I have in my mind things that I think could work better. Some of those are based on my career as police chief in the town of Dewitt.  I’ll be certainly looking for suggestions from the rank and file,” said Conway.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Incumbent Rep. Tom Reed heads back to Washington after a win against Democrat Martha Robertson in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.

The newly reelected congressman wiped away a few tears as he greeted supporters in Corning on Tuesday. Reed returns to the House after what turned out to be a comfortable victory over Democrat Martha Robertson.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

Republican Elise Stefanik cruised to an easy victory to become the North Country’s next Congresswoman. She defeated Democrat Aaron Woolf 53-32 percent, with the Green Party candidate winning 11 percent of the vote.

At his campaign headquarters near his home in Elizabethtown Tuesday night, Woolf acknowledged some rough patches in his campaign.

Republicans pigeon-holed filmmaker Aaron Woolf from the beginning as a “Manhattan Millionaire,” a carpetbagger. But people at this folksy, Adirondack bar near his home don’t see that Aaron Woolf at all.

Brian Mann / NCPR

It was a triumphant night for Republican Elise Stefanik, the 30-year-old Republican who moved last year to Willsboro in Essex County.

She’ll go to Washington DC as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She built a juggernaut campaign, promising bipartisanship and new ideas.

She's where all of us were when we were thirty years old. She sees the way it could be, the way it ought to be

A Handy win in a strong GOP year

Bocciolatt Campaign/O'Neill Campaign

Democrat Colleen O'Neill may become the first woman to be elected sheriff in New York state. O'Neill and Republican challenger John Bocciolatt ran a very close race for Jefferson Country Sheriff last night. With all districts counted, O'Neill inched ahead with a 670 vote lead.

But Bocciolatt is not conceding, and 1,500 absentee ballots still need to be counted.

In a speech at the Democrat headquarters in Watertown last night, O'Neill thanked her staff and says she is confident she'll be the next sheriff. 

Joanna Richards / WRVO file photo

Last night ended with Republican challenger John Byrne leading the race for the 116th Assembly District by 117 votes. But incumbent Democrat Addie Russell has not bowed out of the race to represent the district that covers parts of Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. She cited the several thousand absentee ballots that still need to be counted, saying their tally may shift the race results. 

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A year ago, John Katko of Camillus was a federal prosecutor, putting criminals behind bars. Today he is congressman-elect for central New York’s 24th Congressional District.

The Republican's first foray into politics has led to a stunning victory over two-term Rep. Dan Maffei, a Democrat.      

“Anybody want to know why I’m wearing a purple tie?" Katko asked, opening his victory speech. "It’s a combination of red and blue because we all got to get together." 

He vowed to keep the promise he made on the campaign trail to work with Democrats in Washington.

Cuomo wins re-election

Nov 5, 2014
Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won re-election to a second term easily beating his nearest opponent, Republican Rob Astorino.

Cuomo, to chants of “four more years,” promised to deliver in his next term on a mostly progressive agenda, including enacting a number of items that were stalled in the state Senate over the past couple of years, like an abortion rights provision as part of a women’s rights agenda and public financing of political campaigns.

jamelah / via Flickr

The WRVO News team is covering races around the region and state today including races for: New York state governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and comptroller; New York state ballot measures, Proposition 1, Proposition 2, Proposition 3; congressional races for the 24th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd districts; New York State Assembly races in the 121st, 126th, 127th, 128th,

Ryan Delaney | John Katko for Congress

Dan Maffei has conceded in the race for the 24th Congressional District. Republican John Katko wins.

917press / via Flickr

WRVO's live coverage begins on-air at 8 p.m. tonight. It will include coverage of national races from the NPR News team. With Robert Siegel and Melissa Block hosting, NPR's Senior Washington Correspondent Ron Elving, National Political Corresondent Mara Liason, Political Editor Charlie Mahtesian, EJ Dionne of the Brookings Institution and the Washington Post, and Ramesh Ponnuru of the National Review will all provide analysis.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

College students across central New York today are learning valuable lessons this Election Day. Many students from different colleges and universities are fanned out at polling places across Syracuse and Onondaga County, interviewing voters or volunteering to help.

Jonathan Rowe, who attends Onondaga Community College, has been what’s called a "gatekeeper" at the Elmwood School polling location in Syracuse, since polls opened this morning.
   
“Good morning, do you know what district you are voting in?” he says to one voter walking into the location.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

If Gov. Andrew Cuomo wins reelection, he’s likely to continue having tensions with the left-leaning members of his party.

Cuomo was endorsed by the progressive Working Families Party after he promised to work for a Democratic state Senate, among other things. But in recent weeks the alliance has frayed, with Cuomo pushing voters to cast ballots on a new line he created called the Women’s Equality Party, known on the ballot as WEP, instead of the Working Families Party line.

governorandrewcuomo and Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and his Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, spent Monday delivering their final messages to voters in a race where the Democratic incumbent governor is favored to win, but by how much?

The governor, in his final pitch to voters, defined Astorino as an ultra-conservative who he says is against many social issues that Democrats are for, including a woman’s right to choose abortion.

“When they try to sell their hate and division, our message is very simple,” Cuomo said. “That hate and venom won’t sell in New York.”

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

There are three amendments on Tuesday’s ballot for New Yorkers to decide, including changing redistricting processes and whether to borrow $2 billion for school technology.   

Proposal 1 changes the way redistricting is conducted in New York, and reform groups are split over whether it’s a good idea or not.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The candidates for central New York’s hotly contested seat in Congress spent their final day of the campaign rallying voter turnout.

Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei has a slight edge in registered Democrats over Republicans in the 24th Congressional District, but he’s struggled to get them to the polls in midterm elections during his previous campaigns. So Monday afternoon he visited his campaign phone bank.

"Now it’s all up to the grassroots and getting out the vote," he said. "That is going to deliver this race; that’s going to deliver a lot more races nationwide." 

Bernt Rostad / Flickr

Upstate New York lawmakers are asking you to put them back in office, but how effective have they been?  

You probably will not be surprised to hear this Congress is the least active in the nation’s history. In the past two years, they have passed 181 bills that were signed into law by the president. Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, does not rate it very highly.

“This is an embarrassing and miserable Congress. Really one of the worst I've ever seen,” Ornstein says.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Onondaga County is experimenting this Election Day with electronic poll books. Information gleaned from this experience could change the way New Yorkers sign in to vote in this state.

Right now, when voters go to the polls in New York state, an election worker flips through a big book. A voter then signs in next to their name, before casting their ballot.

Electronic poll books would change that first step, with voters' names stored in a laptop-like device, using a signature pad to sign in.

Bocciolatt Campaign/O'Neill Campaign

Jefferson County will select a new sheriff Tuesday. Republican John Bocciolatt and Democrat Colleen O'Neill have both spent 28 years working in law enforcement, and each says they have the right kind of experience for the job. 

John Bocciolatt says he knows the duties of county sheriff mostly take place behind a desk. 

"It's really about your ability to communicate and team build," Bocciolatt said.

Pages