by Adam Roberts
The New York primary election for state positions takes place next Thursday, September 13. Unlike other states, New York has two separate primaries, one for federal positions (previously held on June 26) and one for statewide positions. Whereas the federal primary this past June had competitive Republican primaries, the most of the notable races in the state primary next week are among Democrats. AIA New York strongly encourages its members to vote in all elections, including primaries. To check your voter status, please follow this link.
Below are some brief outlines of some notable races (all Democratic primaries) to watch:
- Governor: Long-term Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing a challenge from actress/activist Cynthia Nixon in his bid for a third term. Cuomo has held up his experience (in contrast to Nixon) and opposition to Trump, while Nixon has attacked the corruption surrounding his administration and alleged electoral support for Republicans.
- Lieutenant Governor: Incumbent Kathy Hochul is running for a second term, but is up against New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams. Hochul has run on her partnership with Cuomo and support for women’s issues, while Williams has argued that the position should be used to push New York in a more progressive direction.
- Attorney General: Following the sudden resignation of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman amid sexual misconduct allegations, a four-way race emerged to succeed him. The candidates are NYC Public Advocate Tish James, US Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Fordham Law Professor and 2014 Gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, and former Clinton staffer Leecia Eve. James is running as a progressive with Cuomo’s support, Maloney as an experienced and accomplished member of Congress, Teachout as an anti-corruption progressive with the New York Times’ support, and Leecia Eve on her legal expertise and long history with Democratic politics.
- IDC State Senate: Each of the eight members of the former Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), those State Senators who swung control of the chamber to Republicans for eight years, are facing primary challenges. Among the most serious are:
- 11th District (Northeast Queens): Tony Avella is being challenged by former NYC Comptroller John Liu. When Avella first joined the IDC, Liu challenged him in 2014 but fell short.
- 13th District (Northern Queens): Jose Peralta is facing Jessica Ramos, a former de Blasio staffer running with his support and the endorsement of the New York Times.
- 20th District (Central Brooklyn): Jesse Hamilton is up against Zellnor Myrie, an attorney also running with the New York Times’ support.
- 31st District (Westside and Upper Manhattan): Marisol Alcantara is in another race with former Council Member Robert Jackson, who she defeated to first win the seat in 2014.
- 34th District (East and West Bronx): Jeff Klein, former leader of the IDC, is being challenged by Alessandra Biaggi, a former Clinton staffer and granddaughter of longtime US Rep. Mario Biaggi. Like Ramos and Myrie, she has the New York Times’ support.
- Other State Senate: While the challenges to the former IDC members are gaining the most press, there are also seriously contested Democratic primaries for various other Senate seats in New York City.
- 17th District (Central Brooklyn): Simcha Felder, who also supports the Republicans in the State Senate, but has done so independently of the IDC, is being challenged by attorney Blake Morris.
- 18th District (North Brooklyn): Martin Malave Dilan has drawn perhaps the most notable primary challenge of any NYC official this cycle. He is being challenged by Julia Salazar, who has support from the Democratic Socialists of America and numerous elected officials, including US Rep. Nydia Velazquez, who have long been opposed to Dilan’s centrist and developer/landlord friendly brand of politics. However, questions about the veracity of Salazar’s biography have drawn much attention of late.
- 22nd District (South Brooklyn): Marty Golden, the incumbent Republican, is awaiting to see if political reporter Ross Barkan or legislative aide Andrew Gounardes wins the democratic primary.
- The annual ASLA, AIA, APA Annual Conference is being held on Friday, 9/21, from 9am-5pm at the Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place). This year’s theme is “Designing a Carbon Neutral New York” and will feature panels of experts and policymakers. Register here.
- At 8:30am on Thursday, 9/20, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will be coming to speak at the Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place) about development opportunities in the Bronx. Register here.
- Late last month, AIANY renewed its longtime support for the “MTA Lockbox,” which would prevent mass transit funds from being diverted to other uses. AIANY President expressed our support at a press conference outside Grand Central to call on Governor Cuomo to sign the current Lockbox Bill passed by the state legislature.
- On Monday, 9/17, there is a screening of Detroit 48202 – Conversations Along A Postal Route, followed by a discussion with the director and housing activists. The screening is 6pm at NYU, Tamiment Library. More information can be found here.
- If you would like to take a role in shaping the future leadership of the AIANY Chapter, please attend the AIANY nominating ballot meeting, which is being held at 6pm on Tuesday, September 25, please click here. If you would like to nominate someone to be on the Nominating Committee, please email Joseph Corbin at firstname.lastname@example.org.