McDonald gets Cuomo endorsement

Timothy Kincaid

September 26th, 2012

New York has an unusual primary process by which the same candidate can run for more than one party. The result is that one person could win the Democratic Party nomination, but their Democratic opponent could still be on the November ballot as the Working Families Party. Or the Republican Party nominee could face his challenger again running as the nominee from the Conservative Party.

Sen. Roy McDonald was targeted by the National Organization for Marriage due to his vote for equality. And after absentee ballots came in, he lost the Republican Party nomination by around 100 votes. But he was elected the nominee for the Independence Party and, if he chooses to stay in the race, he will be on the November ballot along with Republican nominee Kathy Marchione and Democratic nominee Robin Andrews.

Today McDonald’s decision received a significant nudge. (WSJ)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday pledged his “full endorsement” for a Republican state senator whose vote to legalize gay marriage is seen as a factor in his apparent GOP primary loss.

In a letter to McDonald released to reporters, Cuomo, a Democrat, said it would be “an honor to stand with you.”

If McDonald drops out of the race, gay support will go to Andrews, a lesbian who supports our community’s goals. It is also likely that a chunk of Wall Street Republican money would go towards ensuring that Marchione loses (several Wall Street Republicans put forward significant support for the marriage bill).

However, if he stays in, the organized gay support will rally around McDonald to keep NOM from holding his loss over the heads of other potential supporters. Other factors to consider are that the primary draws the “party faithful” which tend to me much more conservative than the significantly higher Republican turnout at the general election and that Andrews is a relative unknown.

Lindoro Almaviva

September 26th, 2012

either way, NOM is been set up for a spanking. I like the sound of that

Smith

September 26th, 2012

Your last point is spot on. Turnout was 13% and Marchione won by just a hair over 50%. So basically, you are talking about someone who got 6.5% of the vote – all GOP voters and older and more conservative than the electorate by far.

Each of the 3 now have about $20-25,000 cash on hand. Andrews has never raised much and McDonald and Marchione exhausted their war chests fighting each other.

But going forward, McDonald is well positioned to re-stock his chest and can count on help from the NY Unity PAC, created by Paul Singer. Marchione can only be competitive if she gets significant help from the GOP senate committee. They are obligated to support her, since she holds the GOP line, but they could easily decide to send her a token check. Their nightmare scenario is one in which Marchione and McDonald are evenly matched and end up splitting the GOP vote, thus electing Andrews. So if they know that McDonald will have real money and the Cuomo endorsement, they may well conclude that they are better off not restocking Marchione’s war chest.

Nathaniel

September 27th, 2012

Smith, I don’t follow how Andrews’ election would be the “nightmare scenario,” at least with respect to the LGBT community. I would be more afraid of McDonald and Andrews splitting the pro-LGBT vote, giving the edge to the anti-LGBT groups that wish to see Marchione elected. Even considering other factors, that would seem to be the least desirable outcome, rather than your suggestion.

If you are speaking in terms of ‘from within the party’, then I can see your point – if one supports Republicans for the sake of supporting Republicans, then it doesn’t matter what Democrat gets elected. It would be understandable, then, for the Party to maneuver in some way to ensure as much weight as possible goes to the most electable candidate, even if he is not the one ‘endorsed’ by the party. But the damage is already done; hate-mongerers have made sure the party is split around the issue of equality. That is bad maneuvering on their part in the long term, but it would still make career politicians a hair more cautious.

Nathaniel

September 27th, 2012

Sorry, Smith. Having reread your post, I see you were positing the scenario as I described in my later paragraph. However, I am still not as confident as Mr. Kincaid that either Andrews or McDonald will successfully gather the majority of pro-LGBT support in a way that ensures the failure of the anti-equality candidate. And anti-LGBT groups are going to ensure that that is the issue that will be the deciding factor in that particular race.

Hyhybt

September 27th, 2012

Thank you for pointing out (again) the oddity in New York elections. I’d seen a lot of headlines similar to this one today and thought it more than a little silly to endorse a candidate who’s already lost.

Robert

September 27th, 2012

hyhybt,

Did you even read the article? He lost the REPUBLICAN primary election but was nominated by a different party. Yes, he lost to one party, but that doesn’t mean he lost the entire election. Usually one waits until the actual election to declare a winner or loser to said election. A primary vote does not an election make.

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