September 13 – 6 Assembly Districts in New York
It will be a busy election day in New York on September 13 as six assembly districts choose new representatives. Voters in district 23, 27, 54, 73, 116, and 144 will have to replace the previous office holders – all Democrats, four of whom come from New York City and two from Upstate.
Currently, in the Assembly, Democrats hold a 92 – 51 advantage with one Independence party member and these 6 vacancies. They are hoping to hold onto all of the seats, while Republicans are looking to further shrink the margin after picking up a handful of seats in the 2010 election.
This district is based in Far Rockaway, a section of Queens in New York City that sits on the water just south of the JFK airport. Democrat Audrey Pheffer resigned her seat to become the County Clerk of Queens. Nominated to replace her is Democrat Philip Goldfeder, who will also run on the Working Family Party and Independence party lines. He served as an aide to City Councilman James Sanders, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and most recently, Senator Chuck Schumer.
Republicans have selected Jane Deacy, a former policewoman, as their nominee – and she will also appear on the Conservative ballot line. This district is the most Republican seat in Queens and many believe it will be the most competitive of the 6 held on this day.
This Queens-based district is centered on the Flushing and Kew Gardens neighborhoods. Democrat Nettie Mayersohn resigned after 28 years in office. Her chief of staff, Michael Simanowitz is the Democratic nominee for this seat. He will also appear on the Working Families and Independence lines.
Republicans and Conservatives are backing Marco DeSena. He is a communications consultant, having worked for both Rudy Giuliani‘s presidential campaign and for last year’s Republican senatorial candidate David Malpass. He is also an adjunct professor at Baruch College.
District 54 – (for more on this race, I recommend you check out The Brooklyn Politics, a great website)
Democrat Darryl Towns, son of famous congressman Edolphus Towns, resigned to become commissioner of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal, an appointed position within Governor Cuomo’s administration.
The district is in Brooklyn mainly in the neighborhoods of Bushwick and Cypress Hills.
Showing just how Democratic a district this is, Republicans have selected the same candidate as the Democratic nominee, Rafael Espinal. He will also appear on United We Can ballot line and the Conservative ballot line. He is the chief of staff for City Councilor Erik Dilan.
The Working Families party has nominated Jesus Gonzalez, a community organizer. He has the backing of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.
Interestingly, the sister of the former seat holder, Deidra Towns, a non-profit executive, is running on the Community First party line. It remains to be seen whether the name recognition can help her keep the seat in the family.
In this Manhattan district on the Upper East Side, Democrat Johnathan Bing is entering the Cuomo administration as the Special Deputy Superintendent of the New York Liquidation Bureau. In the Special Election, Democrats have lined up behind Dan Quart, a lawyer and a community board member. He is also standing on the Working Families line.
Republicans and Conservatives are backing Paul Niehaus, a lawyer who started a firm in commercial litigation.
Heading upstate, voters in this Rome and Utica based district will be electing a new representative after Democratic incumbent RoAnn Destito became the commissioner of the Office of General Services in the Cuomo administration. Utica School Board member and attorney Anthony Brindisi is the Democratic and Working Families nominee. Greg Johnson, a councilman in Marcy is the Republican and Conservative party choice. Johnson had run against Destito in 2o10 and received 40% of the vote.
Buffalo has been the site of some fierce political battles over the past few years as demographics change and the population increasingly shifts away from this city on the far west corner of the state. Sam Hoyt, the scion of a political family who has seen a member represent this district since 1972 (his father was assemblyman up until 1992), entered the Cuomo administration as a member of the Empire State Development Corporation.
Vying to replace him are Democrat and Working Family line-holder Sean Ryan, an attorney who has worked in the non-profit field (most recently for PUSH Buffalo, an affordable housing organization) and Republican and Conservative party nominee Sean Kipp, a car salesman and a young member of the local Republican party.