As the 2014 political season ends, there have been several developments that will effect the local 2015 races. The most significant is the order of the parties on the ballot and the entry of two new parties.
The top three: Democrat, Republican, and Conservative kept their places (Rows A, B, and C respectively). Moving to Row D is the Green Party based on the showing of Howie Hawkins in the Governor's race. He became the liberal protest vote against Andrew Cuomo.
The Working Families Party drops to Row E and the Independence Party is now Row F. Since the Green Party often leaves their line blank in local races, this presents a real problem for the WFP and IND parties.
As such, in races where the Green Party line is blank, the top three will have a distinct advantage. For that reason, expect a lot of Opportunity to Ballot petitions for the Green line.
Two new parties have joined the list. The Women's Equality Party and the Stop Common Core Parties are Rows G and H. For the first two or three years, these parties will endorse using a Certificate of Nomination process. You can expect that the Women's Equality Party will endorse Cuomo leaning Democrats and the Stop Common Core Party will support Astorino leaning Republicans.
With all of these parties, we may see candidates with four party lines, none of which will be Republican or Democrat. This could create an interesting dynamic for those looking to challenge the status quo.
The final big change in the City of Kingston in 2015 will involve the Conservative Party line. For the last decade or so, the Conservative endorsement has been decided by the County Executive Committee. However, starting in 2015, conservative endorsements for the City of Kingston will be handled by the CITY Executive Committee, not the county.
For those who do not know, the City Committee had its reorganization meeting and elected myself as City Chairman; Don Ryan as 1st Vice Chairman; and Bob Boughton as 2nd Vice Chairman.
Stay tuned for more information in the weeks and months ahead.