Elections

In-depth coverage of elections and campaigns.

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.

Primary results: Assembly and Senate races

Sep 13, 2016

Primary elections Tuesday for some state Senate and Assembly races in central and northern New York are too close to call an official winner this morning.

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.

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.”

At a candidate forum Wednesday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump explained their policies on ground troops, fighting ISIS and other issues related to the military. We've recapped five key moments here and more deeply examined two claims, one from each candidate, below.

A forum designed to test the leading presidential candidates' capacity for military leadership Wednesday night displayed as much unpredictability as the rest of this election, as questions and answers veered off-topic and both candidates were put on the defensive several times.

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.

The current presidential campaign may seem unlike any in recent memory, but most of the techniques and strategies we have seen so far hearken back to the politics of the past.

For example, few would dispute that the past week has been dominated by "mudslinging," the practice of tossing accusations and epithets at one's opponent. Mudslinging is always regretted and decried, yet it invariably returns with each election cycle.

Donald Trump returned to Iowa Saturday where the race between him and Hillary Clinton remains very close. Trump was there for Iowa freshman Sen. Joni Ernst's Roast and Ride fundraiser, which features a motorcycle ride and barbeque.

Sen. Joni Ernst led the group of more than 400 riders on a 42-mile trip that started at a Harley Davidson dealer in Des Moines and ended on the Iowa State fairgrounds. Trump did not participate in the ride.

On this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher continues his conversations with candidates for New York's 22nd Congressional District seat, a seat made open by Rep. Richard Hanna's retirement.  This week he talks with Kim Myers, the Democratic candidate.  On a previous program, he spoke with Republican Claudia Tenney.  Analysts have rated the race a toss-up, and it offers a contrast of positions and styles. 

Reports out Thursday night reveal yet another principal of the Trump campaign in trouble.

Newly appointed CEO Stephen K. Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, was charged in 1996 with domestic violence against his second wife, several news outlets reported. The charges were eventually dropped, and Bannon pleaded "not guilty."

The New York Times noted that, according to the police report of the incident, there were "allegations that he threatened his then wife, the accuser, with retribution if she testified in the criminal case. ... "

Hillary Clinton has not held a single press conference since the start of 2016, triggering charges that she's trying to duck questions from reporters on the campaign trail.

After signaling that his position on immigration is "to be determined" and that it could "soften," Donald Trump did an amazing thing — what amounts to almost a full about-face on the principal issue that has driven his campaign.

Trump indicated in a town hall with Fox News' Sean Hannity, which aired Wednesday night, that he would be in favor of a path to legalization for immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

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.

Hillary Clinton's increasingly dominant lead in the presidential race is solidifying many Republicans' worst 2016 fears that Donald Trump will cost the party not only the White House but also control of the Senate.

"The bottom is starting to fall out a little earlier than expected," says a top Senate GOP campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the state of the race. "We started off with a very difficult map. No matter what, this was going to be a very difficult year."

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.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is shaking up his campaign staff, after a series of missteps that led to slumping poll numbers.

Trump has tapped Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News to serve as chief executive of the campaign. Pollster Kellyanne Conway was promoted to campaign manager. Paul Manafort will stay on as Trump's campaign chairman. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

WRVO News File Photo

Central New York promises to provide some competitive elections this fall. One of them is in the 22nd Congressional District, which covers parts of 8 counties across central New York, the Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier. That seat is open due to the retirement of Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld).

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) still hasn’t publicly endorsed Republican Donald Trump for president, and state party officials aren’t too happy about it. Katko is running for reelection in a congressional district that has changed parties for the last five election cycles, and has expressed concern over Trump’s tone and divisive rhetoric, saying Trump will have to earn his vote. New York State Republican Party Chair Ed Cox says he understands Katko’s reluctance.

Republicans opposed to Donald Trump are making a last-ditch effort to put forth an alternative to the GOP presidential nominee.

Evan McMullin, a onetime chief policy director for House Republicans and a former CIA officer, is launching an independent presidential campaign with the help of political group Better for America.

Blasting Trump as personally unstable and "a real threat to our Republic," McMullin said on his website that he felt compelled to run as an independent.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Republican Party has opened up a political headquarters for the Donald Trump presidential campaign in Syracuse. Elected officials, volunteers and Donald Trump fans crowded into an Erie Boulevard office space to get a pep talk from state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox as the area’s Trump headquarters officially opened on Friday.

"The momentum is on our side, the big mo. And by the way, what does that mean? Come November 8, we’re going to have a Republican President of the United States, Donald Trump,” Cox said. “And that’s what it’s all about.”

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Republicans in central New York are still angry with Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) and his decision to back Democrat Hillary Clinton instead of Republican Donald Trump in the race for president.  

The Green Party officially nominated Jill Stein for president and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka as her running mate on Saturday, at a convention in Houston that attracted many disaffected Bernie Sanders supporters.

Much of the three-day gathering was an explicit appeal to former backers of the Vermont senator to join their fold, and several speakers argued that Sanders had been treated unfairly by the Democratic Party.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump formally endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan for reelection on Friday night, after refusing to do so just days ago.

"We will have disagreements but we will disagree as friends and never stop working together toward victory," Trump said, delivering prepared remarks during a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wis.

"So in our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. He's a good man," Trump added, flashing a grin and two thumps up to a crowd in applause.

Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld pitched themselves as the antidote to Washington partisanship in a CNN town hall, hoping to appeal to voters frustrated with both the Republican and the Democratic presidential nominees.

Both are former Republican governors — Johnson from New Mexico and Weld from Massachusetts — and told CNN's Anderson Cooper they align with most voters on both fiscal and social issues.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Women only make up about a quarter of Congress, but that may change this year. 

Many high-profile elections this fall feature female candidates, including here in upstate New York; from Democratic challenger Colleen Deacon in central New York's 24th Congressional District to former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, a Democrat running in the 19th Congressional District. 

Syracuse University women and politics professor Kristi Andersen attributes it to an increasing effort by political parties and organizations to recruit women for local offices. 

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