Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Primary Talk

Next Tuesday (9/10) is Primary Day.  In Kingston, there are 11 primaries.  It may be a record number.  I thought I would take a moment to outline the primaries and discuss the likely results.  

First, there is one primary for county legislator.  John Quigley was endorsed by the Independence Party.  Dave Donaldson has filed an Opportunity to Ballot challenge.  Interestingly, the democrats have filed 6 OTB challenges to the Independence line for County Legislator seats)

(For those who do not know, an Opportunity to Ballot (OTB) primary is where the endorsed candidate is on the ballot, but people may write in anyone they wish to determine the line.  It was created to allow a candidate to run when the party chooses none, but has been abused in recent years as an alternative to a primary.)

As for the legislative primary, this is a toss up.  Normally, the candidate with his name on the ballot wins, but the Independence Party voters in Kingston tend to trend democrat.  This one could go either way.

The rest of the primaries in Kingston concern the Aldermanic seats.

In ward 3, there is an OTB primary for the Independence Party.  The endorsed candidate is Andrew Champ-Doran.  There is a 3-way primary for the Democrat line between Andrew Champ-Doran, Richard Kelder, and Brad Will.  Of great interest is the fact that the City Democrats have not formally endorsed any of the three.  

This is a tough one to call, but I think Kelder has the advantage since he is guaranteed a ballot spot with the Working Families Party.  Champ-Doran could pull the upset depending on how strongly Mr. Will runs.  I expect the order of finish to be Kelder, Champ-Doran, and Will.  On the independence primary, look for Champ-Doran to win.

In Ward 4, there are 2 primaries.  There is an OTB for the Working Families Line.  The party endorsed Christina "Nina" Dawson.  There is also a 3-way Democrat primary between Dawson, Ismail Shabazz, and Nick Woerner.  Woerner is the endorsed candidate.

Look for Dawson to win the WF primary.  As for the Democrats, I must unfortunately conclude that Woerner will be carried to victory by the Democrat machine despite his poor status as a candidate.  If the race were one on one, Dawson would beat Woerner handily.  However, with Shabazz in the race, he takes votes mostly from Dawson.  With Dawson weakened, the party machine carries Woerner over the line in a squeaker.

The good news is that the likely results end up with Woerner having one line, Dawson having 2 lines, and Ladin having 2 lines (his red dog party gets combined with the Conservative line).  Thus, if Dawson stays in, Woerner loses in November.

In ward 6, there is a Conservative OTB with Elisa Ball being the endorsed candidate.  I believe Joe Corcoran wins this.  Corcoran has the support of a large family of enrolled Conservatives.  He should get 4 or 5 votes just from them.  With only 36 conservatives in the ward and primary turnouts being 10% to 15%, the usual turnout would be 4 to 6.  A 4 or 5 vote cushion is a large lead in such a race.

If this is the result, then Ball will have the Democrat line with Corcoran having the Rep, Con, and Ind lines in November.

In ward 8, there are 2 primaries.  Lisa Bruck (endorsed by party) is being challenge by Steve Schabot for the Democrat line.  This will be close as both candidates and very likable and very qualified.  The difference may be that Bruck also has the Republican line.  Some Democrats may reject her for that reason and thus give Schabot a squeaker win.

The really interesting primary is the Conservative OTB.  There is no endorsed candidate so no names will appear on the ballot.  This is what an OTB is supposed to be used for.  Anyone could get this line including Clark Richters who is running on the Kingston Lighthouse Party.  No way to call this one.

No matter how the primaries go, all 3 candidates will appear on the November ballot.

Finally, there is ward 9 which has 3 primaries.  Lynn Johnson is the endorsed Democrat candidate and is being challenged by Jeremy Blaber.  This is the one primary that is not difficult to call.  Look for Lynn Johnson to win comfortably.  Ward 9 has always been the heart of Gallo country.  Shayne and T.R. Gallo grew up in this ward and their mother is a highly respected citizen.  Blaber's battles with Mayor Gallo will hurt him tremendously in this race.

The second primary is a Working Families OTB with Ms. Johnson appearing on the ballot.  Johnson should win this one as well.

The third primary is an Independence Party OTB with no endorsed candidate.  It is a true write-in.  Although this is Blaber's best chance, look for Debbie Brown to win this one and have 3 lines in November.  If Blaber pulls an upset in any of the 3 primaries, expect Debbie Brown to win in November quite easily.  In a one on one race with Johnson, it will be a close race with the advantage toward Debbie Brown.

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