Friday, January 18, 2013

Tkaczyk By 19

Cecelia Tkaczyk won the State Senate seat today by 19 votes after the remaining 99 ballots were counted today.  There is one additional ballot that was "found" by democrat election inspectors in Montgomery County that remains uncounted.

As disappointed Republicans look over this race, they can blame the loss on two people.  First, George Amedore is to blame.  He ran a poor campaign in Ulster County.  His headquarters in Ulster County closed prior to the end of voting on Election Day.  He also foolishly changed campaign strategies late in the race.  He was running a positive campaign only to change to full attack mode against his opponent in the last 3 weeks.  This made him look desperate.

The second and most significant person to blame is Senate Majority Leader (as least as of now) Dean Skelos.

There was a prominent politico in Ulster County who wanted to run for the seat.  His campaign would have been well funded, and would have been likely successful given his strength in Ulster County.  Yet, he was threatened by people working for Skelos with various political acts.  One of the man's prominent supporters was told that if he did not support Amedore immediately, his wife, who works in the State Senate, would be fired.

A lot of people in Ulster County knew about the strong arm tactics used by Skelos and resented it.  Many Republicans skipped the Amedore race as a result.  There were also write-in votes for the other guy.  Considering that the loss was by only 19 votes with over 100,000 cast, it is not unreasonable to say that Dean Skelos cost George Amedore and the Republican Party this Senate seat.

Two years from now, Cecelia Tkaczyk will run for reelection.  She is very beatable.  Yet, you can expect that Dean Skelos will once again push George Amedore again.  If he runs again, he will lose.  To beat Senator Cecelia "Landslide" Tkaczyk, her opponent must be strong in Ulster County.  Otherwise, she will be reelected and become entrenched.  Will Republicans at the state level learn or repeat their errors in 2014?

1 comment:

Andrew Champ-Doran said...

Mr. Cahill,

Give credit where credit is due. Cecilia Tkaczyk is probably the first reason George Amadore lost the race.

In a district gerrymandered to heavily favor the Republican, she somehow managed to keep it close enough to take a closer look at the count, and she got to within thirty five votes before counting the final Ulster ninety nine.

By most accounts, Tkaczyk's campaign showed little chance of winning back in September. Her organization, though small, deployed well for two months, not only getting out what could be considered her base, but bringing on new, energetic team members down the home stretch. If I got one robocall from Amadore, I got three personal calls from Tkaczyk's volunteers in the weeks leading up to the election. While Tkaczyk had two people stationed one hundred feet from my polling place, Amadore had one man trying to move them back another ten.

I would have to give Tkaczyk and her supporters this win. Is she beatable in 2014? It's too soon to say, but if she does well in this first term, and manages to communicate the way she did trying to win the office, I think she'll be just fine.

Andrew Champ-Doran