Challengers for Astorino

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will be running for a 3rd term this November.  He’s being coy about taking a second shot at Governor Cuomo next year.

The Journal News reports that Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano won’t be challenging him.  As a general rule, Westchester residents should not vote for any candidate with the last name Spano.

His one declared opponent is County Legislator Ken Jenkins.  Jenkins does not support gun rights:

Westchester County’s Board of Legislators narrowly passed legislation Monday night that bans gun shows on county property … Legislator Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, the original sponsor of the bill, was joined by his Democratic colleagues in the passage of this measure which was first proposed after the school shooting which took place in Newtown, Conn. “To profit from this is just not the business Westchester residents want to be in,” Jenkins said …”

Two state legislators are reportedly considering seeking the Democrat nomination as well.

  1. Senator George Latimer. Supported the SAFE Act.  Voting record shows he does not support gun rights.
  2. Assemblyman Tom Abinanti. Sponsors and votes for antigun legislation. During debates on the SAFE Act he said (paraphrased) that he didn’t believe guns should be able to hold more than one round.

Suffolk sheriff’s race

With the possibility of the Suffolk Co. Sheriff’s seat opening this fall, two state legislators have come forth in hopes of getting the GOP nomination.

First is Assemblyman Al Graf who has a law enforcement background and appears to have support from the county party.  He is an NRA member and a supportive record in the Assembly.

Next is Senator Phil Boyle who has no police background and has the backing of the county Conservative Party.  His record on guns is awful and he is shamelessly dishonest about it.  He has switched sides on the issue at least three times.  He voted for the SAFE Act then sponsored a bill to repeal it.  What he is claiming to be now I don’t know.

Incumbent Democrat Vincent DeMarco has announced his intention to run for re-election, although his name has been mentioned as a possible Trump appointment.  DeMarco signed onto the New York State Sheriffs’ Association amicus brief calling for the courts to overturn the SAFE Act.

With no clear way of getting rid of Boyle, the next best thing would be to make him look stupid by voting against him in a R or C primary.  If he gets past that, vote for DeMarco or whomever his Democrat opponent is in the general.

Nassau candidates picking up endorsements

The Long Island Herald has a story on Democrat candidates for County Executive picking up endorsements:

“… Assemblyman Charles Lavine, of Glen Cove, also announced his endorsement by a number of state Democratic leaders and progressive activists, including … former New York Assembly members Michelle Schimel and Harvey Weisenberg …”

Schimel was easily the worst elected official on guns in the state legislature.

Weisenberg was not quite as bad in terms of his voting record, but exceeded Schimel in sheer hypocrisy.  He would routinely speak on the floor in support of the mandatory firearms storage bill saying it wasn’t gun control, but gun safety.  What made this so outrageous is that Weisenberg negligently shot and killed a kid decades before.

For the Democrat primary, Lavine is the worst followed by Legislator Laura Curran.  That leaves County Comptroller George Maragos as the best choice by default.

Garodnick considering challenging de Blasio

According to the Post, Councilman Dan Garodnick is considering challenging Mayor de Blasio in a Democrat primary:

“Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick is talking with former political leaders, Democratic consultants, and donors about whether they would back his candidacy for mayor, political sources said … Sources close to the pol, whose term ends next January, said he is “50-50” about challenging the mayor in September’s primary …”

Garodnick has sponsored the following bills and resolutions during his time on the City Council:

  • Int 0240-2006 – Penalties associated with the sale of toy guns.
  • Int 0362-2006 – A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the City of New York, in relation to a gun offender registry.
  • Int 0365-2006 – Banning firearms, rifles, or shotguns that are colored so as to appear to be toy guns.
  • Res 0821-2011 – Close the background check loophole at gun shows by establishing a background check procedure for all firearms sold at gun shows. (H.R.591/S.35)
  • Res 1171-2011 – Supporting S.1973, the Gun Trafficking Prevention Act of 2012.

This records makes him slightly better than Tony Avella.  So the new order of preference for candidates in a Democrat primary is:

  • Anyone not Bill de Blasio.
  • Anyone not Tony Avella.
  • Anyone not Dan Garodnick.

Candidates for Mayor of Rochester

Incumbent Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren announced her re-election bid yesterday.

She is the most vocal advocate for gun control outside the NYC metro area. Some examples:

There will likely be a Democrat primary for the nomination. Other declared candidates include:

  • Monroe County Legislator and former police chief James Sheppard. Sheppard is antigun and has associated with New Yorkers Against Gun Violence in the past. See this endorsement letter for (former) Senator Ted O’Brien. Sheppard is quoted by the Times Union in an article on the SAFE Act:

    “… Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard says guns like the AR-15 are just deadlier, period, and should be banned for the same reason that a kitchen knife is legal but a switchblade is not. “These rifles are basically replicas of military armament, and they are designed to efficiently kill people,” Sheppard said. “In civilian life, that’s not something you need or want.” …”

  • TV journalist Rachel Barnhart. She has this position statement on her campaign website:

    “… Stolen guns are often used in crimes in the city. The administration will secure funds for a public service campaign focused on educating the public about the need to secure their weapons. A possible slogan is, “Don’t be a victim that leads to another victim.” Proactively retrieve guns when people with pistol permits die and there is not a surviving family member with a permit …”

  • Green Party activist Alex White. Not much on him other than this article in the D&C which addresses violence without more gun control.

White has run and lost several times for public office before and probably won’t accomplish much this time around either. That leaves Barnhart as the best of the bunch.

Candidates for 2017 City Elections

Gotham Gazette is keeping track of this year’s candidates for NYC elections.

There is some material here of interest to gun voters.


Among the Democrat candidates, the order of preference is:

  1. Anyone not Bill de Blasio.
  2. Anyone not Tony Avella. He voted for the SAFE Act.

Public Advocate

Anyone not Letitia James, who has a history of gun control advocacy.


Anyone not Scott Stringer. Assemblyman Dan Quart would be a tiny improvement in so far as he sponsored a knife-rights bill.

Bronx Borough President

Anyone not Ruben Diaz, Jr..

Brooklyn District Attorney

Challenger Vincent Gentile has a history of gun control activism.

City Council District 9

Incumbent Bill Perkins won the seat in a special election earlier this year. He voted for the SAFE Act.

City Council District 13 – open seat

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj voted for the SAFE Act, but against a mandatory storage bill.

City Council District 18 – open seat

Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. voted for the SAFE Act even though he admitted on the floor that it would have no impact on crime.

City Council District 43

Assemblyman Peter Abatte voted for the SAFE Act.

City Council District 51

Incumbent Joe Borelli voted against the SAFE Act and has made 2A supportive statements in the past. Legitimately pro-gun. Unclear at the moment if he will face a challenger.

Buffalo mayoral race

Byron Brown has announced his intention to run for another term as Mayor of Buffalo.

Although Brown’s record in the State Senate was poor, he has largely avoided gun issues as Mayor except for some focus on “illegal” guns.  Examples include:

Notably, Brown did not come out in support of the SAFE Act and that may have cost him the Lt. Governor’s spot.

Brown faces a likely primary challenge from Comptroller Mark Schroeder.  Schroeder has a positive record of supporting 2A during his time in the State Assembly.

Candidates for Nassau Co. Exec.

With incumbent Ed Mangano having problems, Democrats are hoping to pick-up the Nassau County Executive’s seat this fall.

So far, three names have surfaced:

  1. Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs is supporting Legislator Laura Curran (D-Baldwin).  She supports a New Yorkers Against Gun Violence mandatory firearms storage proposal for the county.
  2. Assemblyman Charles Lavine has the backing of the Assembly Democrat Leadership.  Lavine has a long record of supporting antigun legislation in Albany.
  3. County Comptroller George Maragos. Does not have a record on the issue that I’m aware of.

Assuming Mangano does not run for another term, possible Republican candidates include:

  1. Former State Senator Jack Martins. Voted for the SAFE Act and ran for Congress last year as the gun control candidate.
  2. Hempstead Town Councilman Bruce Blakeman. A perpetual candidate who has run several times for higher office and lost each time.
  3. Hempstead Tax Receiver Donald Clavi. I have nothing on him.

A largely uninspiring bunch of people.

NYC mayoral candidates

Bill de Blasio is up for re-election this year.

AMNewYork has a listing of currently declared candidates. de Blasio will almost certainly be in a Democrat primary against multiple opponents. I expect there will be a GOP primary as well.

The only candidate right now that I find interesting is Republican businessman Paul Massey.  I don’t know what his position on 2A is and, from a purely practical standpoint, it doesn’t matter.  With a huge Democrat enrollment advantage any Republican running would need access to an equally huge source of money.  Massey does seem to be making some inroads in that area.  See, “Better call Paul: Massey adding muscle to mayoral campaign” and “Massey Beats Out Mayor With $1.6M in Campaign Funds Raised in 6 Months, Spends Even Bigger.

Chuck Todd’s prediction

Some thoughts on this:

Whether backed by Gov. Cuomo or not, Democrats are already lining up to primary challenge de Blasio next year so that’s going to happen.

As to de Blasio himself challenging Cuomo in ’18, I don’t think he could successfully do that. He is not popular enough in the City, much less the entire state, to do that. I could see him getting behind someone like Eric Schneiderman should he decide to run against Cuomo.

At this point a primary fight is the only way I can see us ridding ourselves of Cuomo. The NY Republicans aren’t functioning as a statewide political party and do not have a lot of well known people they could put up against him. Even if they did, Cuomo would threaten the Senate GOP again and they would undermine their own nominee just like they did Rob Astornio in ’14. What we need is a scenario where both de Blasio and Cuomo can kill each other off.

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