Who Will You Vote For?

Everything You Need to Know About
New York’s Democratic Primary Election on Thursday


SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 1:40 PM

Fun fact: New York State votes in its primary election this week, on Thursday, September 13. Are you ready? If you’ve had other things on your mind lately, that’s fine—but now is the time to brush up on the facts at hand and prepare to make some choices. Below, a general rundown to help guide you, from where to vote and when to who’s running and how to find out what they stand for. Whatever you do? Don’t stay home—voting is a privilege. Use it or lose it.

When to vote

This year’s primary election will take place on Thursday, September 13, rather than the usual Tuesday, so as not to conflict with the end of Rosh Hashanah or the 17th anniversary of 9/11. Polling spots will open at 12 noon and close at 9 p.m.

Where to vote

The New York State Board of Elections website has a handy guide to polling sites.

Who’s Running For What?

Gubernatorial: On the Democratic ticket, Cynthia Nixon is challenging incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the race to be New York’s next governor. Cuomo has been endorsed by Joe BidenSenator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Hillary Clinton; Nixon has been backed by Bernie Sanders’s Our Revolution organization and the Working Families Party. Nixon has identified herself as a democratic socialist and called for single-payer health care, universal rent control, ending cash bail, legalizing marijuana, abolishing ICE, and battling economic inequality. She has also staked a claim to a cause close to many New Yorkers’ hearts: saving the subway. She would be New York State’s first female or openly gay governor.

On the Republican ticket, Marc Molinaro, who currently serves as the Dutchess County executive, is running unopposed.

Lieutenant governor: Incumbent Kathy Hochul, a lawyer and former county clerk and House member from Buffalo, New York, is facing off against challenger Jumaane Williams, who currently represents the 45th district in New York City Council. Williams has campaigned with Nixon on issues like reforming the criminal justice system and universal rent control, and has been endorsed by The New York Times, who wrote that “time and time again over his near-decade in public service, Mr. Williams has brought issues to the fore that affected millions of New Yorkers but had gone unaddressed by the city’s leaders.”

A note: Unlike the presidential election, in the New York primary, you vote separately for governor and lieutenant governor, meaning that you can vote for Cuomo and Williams, say, or Nixon and Hochul, even though they campaigned in different pairings.

Attorney general: There are four democratic contenders: Leecia Eve, a lawyer who currently sits on the Port Authority Board of Commissioners and who served as counsel to Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton when they were in the Senate and as deputy secretary for economic development for Cuomo; New York City public advocate Letitia JamesSean Patrick Maloney, the representative for New York’s 18th Congressional District who is also fighting to hold on to his seat in the 18th Congressional District; and Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor who ran against Cuomo in the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Recent polling had Maloney ahead. If elected, he would be the first openly gay statewide official. James, also an early frontrunner, made history by becoming the first woman of color to hold citywide office in New York City. She has been both boosted and hindered by her connection to Cuomo, who has endorsed and fundraised with her. Teachout, who is pregnant and is due in October, has received endorsements from The New York Times (“an independent-minded lawyer unusually well prepared to curb abuses of power and restore integrity and pride to this office”) and First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray, in her first solo endorsement, independent of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

State Assembly:
Democratic Primary, September 13, District 107: Democrat: Donald Boyajian or Tistrya Houghtling
All 150 Assembly seats are up for election in 2018. New York state assembly members serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years. For a full list of candidates, click here.

State Senate:
The primaries for these seats have already taken place.
All 63 Senate seats are up for election in 2018. New York state senators serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years.

But Wait, Who Are the “Independent Democrats”?
While Democrats held a numerical advantage in the state Senate after the 2012 elections, a renegade group of Senate Democrats who called themselves the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) broke away and formed a legislative coalition with Senate Republicans, thereby effectively putting Republicans in control from 2012–2018. Democrats attempted to flip control of the chamber this year by bringing the eight-member IDC back into the mainline Democratic caucus, winning two special elections to gain a 32-31 numerical majority, and convincing state Sen. Simcha Felder to end his separate alliance with Republicans, but in April 2018, Felder announced he would rather keep his caucus with Republicans.

Despite their return to the fold, several of the Independent Democrat incumbents are being challenged by newcomersZellnor Myrie, a Working Families Party candidate, is running against former IDC member Jesse Hamilton for the 20th District seat (parts of Brooklyn, including Crown Heights and Sunset Park); John Liu, a former city comptroller, is running for Tony Avella’s seat in the 11th District (parts of Queens, including Whitestone and College Point); and Alessandra Biaggi, who’s running as the Working Families Party candidate against Jeffrey D. Klein for the 34th District seat (parts of the Bronx and Westchester, including Morris Park and Riverdale).

Simcha Felder (the aforementioned Democrat who caucuses with Republicans) is facing his own challenger: Blake Morris, a Brooklyn attorney, who is also running to represent District 17, which covers parts of Brooklyn like Borough Park.

For the full list of candidates running for state Senate, click here.

What Will Be On the Ballot on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6

The 2018 New York state elections are scheduled for November 6, 2018. On that date, the State of New York is scheduled to hold elections to the following offices: Governor and Lieutenant Governor (on one ticket- While each party’s candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor form a combined ticket in the general election, each party’s candidates to the two posts run separately in the primaries.), Attorney General, Comptroller, U.S. SenateU.S. House of RepresentativesNew York State SenateNew York State Assembly, and various others.

Democrat: to be determined on September 13 (Andrew CuomoCynthia Nixon)
Republican: Marcos Molinaro
Green party: Howie Hawkins
Libertarian Party: Larry Sharpe
Independent Candidate: Stephanie Miner

Lieutenant Governor
Democrat: to be determined at September 13 Democratic Primary (Kathy HochulJumaane Williams)
Republican: Julie Killian
Green Pary: Jia Lee
Libertarian Party: Andrew Hollister
Independent: Michael Volpe, running with Stephanie Miner
Working Families Party: Jumaane Williams

Attorney General
Democrat: Letitia “Tish” JamesZephyr Teachout
Republican: Keith Wofford

Democrat: Thomas DiNapoli
Republican:Jonathan Trichter
Green Party: Mark Dunlea

United States Senate
Democrat: Kirsten Gillibrand
Republican: Chele Chiavacci Farley

United States House
United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 2018All of New York’s twenty-seven seats in the United States House of Representatives will be up for election in 2018.

New York’s 19th congressional district
Republican: John Faso,
Democrat: Antonio Delgado
Independent:  Diane Neal

New York’s 20th congressional district
Republican: Joe Vitollo
Democrat: Paul Tonko, incumbent

New York’s 21st congressional district
Democrat: Tedra Cobb
Republican: Elise Stefanik, incumbent

New York State SenateAll 63 seats of the New York State Senate will be up for election in 2018. Five Republican members of the State Senate–Sens. John BonacicTom CrociJohn A. DeFranciscoBill Larkin, and Kathy Marchione–had announced that they would not seek re-election in the fall.[12] Ballotpedia has identified the New York State Senate as a 2018 battleground chamber. According to Ballotpedia, battleground chambers are “chambers that we anticipate will be, overall, more competitive than other chambers and have the potential to see significant shifts in party control.”[13] Preliminarily, as of May 2018, Ballotpedia has listed the following races as battleground races.

District 43:  Democrat: Arron Gladd Republican: Daphne Jordan
District 44: Democrat: Neil Breslin Republican: Christopher Davis

State Assembly

All 150 seats in the New York State Assembly will be up for election in 2018.

District 105: Democrat:Laurette Giardino Republican: Kieran Michael Lalor (I)
District 106: Democrat: Didi Barrett (I) Republican: William Truitt
istrict 107: Democrat: Donald Boyajian or Tistrya Houghtling Republican:Jacob Ashby (I)
District 108: Democrat: John T. McDonald III (I) Republican: No candidate
District 109: Democrat: Patricia Fahy (I) Republican:Robert Porter Conservative: Joseph P. Sullivan
District 110: Democrat: Phil Steck (I) Republican: Christopher Carey
District 112: Democrat: No candidate Republican: Mary Beth Walsh (I)

Questions for Candidates 

on Fossil Fuels and Climate Fall 2018

The primary and general election are coming up. Here are some questions you can ask candidates. If you aren’t able to directly ask these questions, please consider climate when you vote in September and November. Our future depends on it.

Hi, I am a constituent and voter in your district and I am a member of ______Stop NY Fracked Gas Pipeline___  (or list your group), a local group that works to stop the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure and promote the use of renewable energy in New York State.

The use of fossil fuels threatens our health and environment, and leads our planet down the path to climate disaster.  As a voter in your district. I would like to know what you will do to stop climate distruction.

As a candidate for _______________, do you generally support or oppose the building of new fossil fuel infrastructure in our town? Our county? Or anywhere in New York or the country? Why? or Why not?

  1. Will you take any money or assistance of any kind from the various fossil fuel industries, their representatives or lobbyists?
  2. Locally a fracked gas powerplant is being proposed for Sheridan Hollow in downtown Albany.
  • Do you support or oppose the building of this project?
  • What steps will you take to help stop this project?
  1. New York has already felt the effect of climate change. Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Lee devastated communities in New York City, Long Island and upstate New York.
  • What do you see as your role in addressing the climate crisis?
  • Will you propose to reduce our town’s, NY’s or our nation’s use of fossil fuels?
  • Requiring 100% renewable energy by a specific date, promoting the use of off shore wind and solar energy, denying subsides to fossil fuel industries, limiting greenhouse gas emissions, taxing carbon emissions, providing incentives for renewable energy, are a few of the proposals that address the climate crisis. Which of these do you support, and why?
  1. For candidates for NY state office, do you support the NY pension fund divesting from fossil fuels?
  2. For candidates for congress:
  • Will you state publicly that climate change is real and that the federal government must act on climate?
  • Will you oppose the roll back of climate and environmental protections and call for our government to again join with the rest of the world to stop
  • Will you oppose the giveaway of public lands to the fossil fuel industry?

Suggestions on how to use these Questions for Candidates

  • If you are unable to ask questions of candidates – look on their website and watch their public speeches to see if they address climate in a serious way.
  • Questions should be asked in person, either at a meeting with a candidate or at a public forum. Very few politicians will answer these questions in writing.
  • At a public forum, it is most likely that you will only get to ask one question. Pick the question that you believe is most important to ask.
  • If possible, bring a number of people to the event. Give each person one question to ask. Don’t sit together so the candidate won’t be able to identify members of your group and avoid them.
  • Record the answers if possible (cellphone video, or audio recorder) or write down the answers immediately so you don’t forget what was said.
  • After the event share the information with other activists on social media or your organization’s newsletters.
  • Discuss the best way to use the answers with your organization. It’s important to hold legislators accountable, but it is also important to maintain a working relationship with your representatives. With this in mind, your organization might want to publish the answers in your newsletter or plan a meeting to followup and educate your legislator on the dangers of fossil fuels.

Note:  501(c)3 organizations are not allowed to campaign or support or influence one candidate over another. Drafting, posing or publishing the answers to these questions and answers of candidates may be problematic for these organizations. For more information on this please go to: http://www.bolderadvocacy.org

Andrew Cuomo Faces An Environmental Revolt


The New York governor’s primary challenger, Cynthia Nixon, has emboldened activists frustrated by his ties to the fossil fuel industry and refusal to back serious climate legislation.

By Alexander C. Kaufman

There was a time when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) fashioned himself as the nation’s most aggressive governor on climate change.

Back in December 2014, Cuomo announced he was banning hydraulic fracturing ― the controversial drilling technique known as fracking ― in New York, a bow to environmentalists who had led months of fierce protests. In October 2015, Al Gore stood by Cuomo’s side as he announced plans to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. A month later, Cuomo vetoed a major gas port off Long Island. In February 2016, Cuomo even called for a last-minute risk assessment report and asked federal regulations to halt construction of the Algonquin gas pipeline, despite his administration granting earlier approvals.

When President Donald Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accords in June 2017, Cuomo formed an alliance with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to maintain the emissions cuts pledged as part of the global agreement.

At Wednesday night’s only televised debate before the Sept. 13 gubernatorial primary, Cuomo listed climate change as one of the top three threats he’s charged with defending New Yorkers against.

“Know me by my enemies,” he said.

But heading into the Thursday primary, Cuomo finds himself at war with New York environmentalists. Activists say Cuomo’s climate policies amount to half measures and fig leaves for a conservative Democrat bent on maintaining lucrative ties to donors in the fossil fuel industry and quashing legislation that might jeopardize plans for a centrist run for the White House.

Cuomo also faced an environmental revolt in the 2014 primary, as protesters rallied behind his progressive primary challenger, Zephyr Teachout, who had promised to keep drilling companies out of New York.

This year, many environmental activists are rallying behind Cynthia Nixon, a democratic socialist who staked out plans to fine polluters for climate pollution and use the money to shift New York’s electricity to 100 percent renewables by 2050. But this time, it’s different. Cuomo may have ameliorated environmental concerns by enacting a fracking moratorium last time, but countering Nixon’s vision for the future would require him to radically shift the state’s energy policies and make enemies of one of the nation’s most powerful industries. There’s little indication Cuomo, who did not respond to an interview request for this article, plans to do that.

Read more

Sign up for our mailing list
We use this list to inform you about our upcoming events, related anti-fossil fuel and renewable energy information.
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!
Visit Us on Facebook
Join Our Google Group

Join the conversation in our Google Group email listserv. Email raconnors@yahoo.com

Visit CASE on Facebook
Visit CASE’s Website