2012 Election Recap

Government Relations Committee”

New Yorkers came out in large numbers to vote for Presidential, U.S. Senator, the state’s 27 House seats and all 213 state legislative seats. But the big question on Election Day in New York State was which party will gain control the State Senate in January 2013.

Democrats picked up two House seats in New York, falling short of taking control of the House. And the question of which party will control the State Senate in the next legislative session remains unclear.

U.S. Senate

As expected, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand easily defeated her challenger, Republican Wendy Long, to win a full six year term. Gillibrand was first appointed to the U.S Senate in 2009 by Governor Paterson, and she was elected in 2010 to serve the last two years of former Senator Hillary Clinton’s term.

U.S. House of Representatives

New York figured prominently in the national battle for control of Congress, with House Democrats looking to pick up seats in order to regain control of the House. But the outcome was not what the Democrats were looking for – they picked up two house seats in New York, but Republicans also gained one seat.

The most competitive House races were:

Congressional District 1 (Eastern Long Island)
Eight-term Democrat Timothy Bishop defeated businessman Randy Altschuler in a rematch of a 2010 race.

Congressional District 11 (Staten Island & Brooklyn)
Incumbent Republican Michael Grimm defeated Democrat Mark Murphy, a former aide to the New York City Public Advocate.

Congressional District 18 (Hudson Valley)
Incumbent Republican Nan Heyworth was defeated by Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney, who was an aide to President Bill Clinton and Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Congressional District 19 (Hudson Valley)
Incumbent Republican Chris Gibson defeated Democrat Julian Schreibman, a former prosecutor.

Congressional District 21 (North Country)
Incumbent Democrat Bill Owens defeated Republican businessman Matt Doheny in a rematch of a 2010 race.

Congressional District 24 (Syracuse area)
Democrat Dan Maffei defeated incumbent Republican Ann Marie Buerkle; Buerkle had defeated then-incumbent Maffei in a very close 2010 race.

Congressional District 25 (Rochester area)
Long-time incumbent Democrat Louise Slaughter withstood a challenge from Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.

Congressional District 27 (Western New York)
Former Erie County Executive Chris Collins defeated incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul, the sole gain for the Republicans this cycle.

State Senate

As it was in 2008 and 2010, the important question of which party will control the State Senate remains unresolved.

Republicans now hold a 33-29 majority in the Senate. Due to redistricting, the Senate will have 63 seats commencing in January. This means that whoever can gain 32 votes can control the Chamber.

The Senate Democrats gained three seats on Election Day, defeating Republican incumbents in Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley, and also winning an open seat in the Rochester area. In a potential fourth pick-up, the Democratic candidate also holds a slight lead in a newly-created district in the Capital Region.

A possible wild card are the members of the Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC). In the wake of their loss of the majority in the 2010 elections, four Democratic Senators broke with their colleagues in early 2011, forming the IDC, and they worked well with the Majority Republicans. Senator Jeff Klein is the IDC leader. These members may not vote for either party leader as majority leader. A fifth newly Senator may also choose not to support the Democratic leadership.

The most competitive State Senate races were:

Senate District 4 (Suffolk County)
Republican Assemblyman Phil Boyle defeated Suffolk County Legislator Rick Montano.

Senate District 15 (Queens)
Incumbent Democrat Joe Addabbo defeated New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich.

Senate District 21 (Brooklyn)
Democrat Simcha Felder easily defeated incumbent Republican David Storobin.

Senate District 37 (Westchester)
Democratic Assemblyman George Latimer defeated businessman Bob Cohen.

Senate District 40 (Hudson Valley)
incumbent Republican Greg Ball is claiming victory over Democrat Justin Wagner; Ball is up by just under 4,000 votes, but Wagner has not conceded the race.

Senate District 41 (Hudson Valley)
Long-time incumbent Republican Steve Saland trails Democrat Terry Gipson by 1,600 votes, with over 7,500 absentee and affidavit ballots to be counted. A Conservative candidate won 14% of the vote, severely hurting Saland.

Senate District 46 (Capital Region)
Democrat Cecilia Tkacyzk leads Republican Assemblyman George Amedore by 139 votes, with more than 7,900 votes outstanding.

Senate District 55 (Rochester area)
Monroe County Legislator Ted O’Brien defeated Assemblyman Sean Hanna.

Senate District 60 (Buffalo area)
incumbent Republican Mark Grisanti cruised to victory over Democrat Mike Amodeo and conservative chuck Swanick.

At this time, the Senate’s 2013 leadership situation is unclear, and is unlikely to be resolved in the immediate future. The winners of the close races listed above will not be known for weeks, as absentee ballots can come in until Nov. 19 and will not be counted until then.

State Assembly

Going into Election Day, Democrats held a huge majority in the 150-member Assembly. The party breakdown was 98 Democrats, 49 Republicans, 1 Independence Party members, and one vacancy.

With their redistricting and spending advantages Democrats picked up a number of seats on Election Day. In January, the Assembly Majority will have 105 seats, Republicans 43, and there is 1 Independen
e Party member who caucuses with the Democrats. One race remains “too close to call.”

Among the high profile Assembly races were:

Assembly District 93 (Westchester)
Democrat David Buchwald defeated incumbent Republican Bob Castelli.

Assembly District 99 (Hudson Valley)
Democrat James Skoufis defeated Republican Roddy Kyle in the race to replace retiring Republican Nancy Calhoun.

Assembly District 111 (Mohawk Valley)
Democrat Angelo Santabarbara defeated republican Tom Quackenbush in the raced to replace Republican George Amedore, who ran for the Senate.

Assembly District 116 (Syracuse area)
Democrat Al Stirpe regained the seat he lost to Republican Don Miller in 2010.

Assembly District 135 (Rochester area)
Republican Mark Johns fended off a tough challenge from Democrat David Koon, who was seeking to retake the seat he held from 1996 until Johns defeated him in 2010.

Assembly District 145 (Niagara County)
Freshman incumbent Republican John Ceretto faced a stiff challenge from Democrat Robert Restaino. Ceretto leads by 900 votes, and Restaino has not conceded

Plugged In @ Hinman Straub

© 2012 Hinman Straub. All rights reserved.