Winners & Losers 11/10/17
Democrats rode a “tsunami” to victory in races across the country this week, but Republicans are still in position to pass sweeping tax cuts. Which party gains the upper hand going forward may hinge on whether House and Senate Republicans can get on the same page on tax policy. While the GOP sorts things out in Washington, here are New York’s latest Winners & Losers.
Mario Cilento – The man who leads New York’s biggest union coalition got a big win on Tuesday by putting the kibosh on a state constitutional convention – at least until 2037. Cilento's state AFL-CIO and its member unions were strongly con con con, in both manpower and money through the umbrella group New Yorkers Against Corruption. Even though Prop 1 proponents saw it as an opportunity to address systemic corruption, labor leaders feared more harm than good would come of it. Chalk one up for Cilento.
Laura Curran – With a winning margin of a few percentage points, the former county legislator and metro reporter clinched the Nassau County executive office. Her cleverly crafted message decrying a “culture of corruption in Nassau” and the “corruption tax” – marrying a hot-button GOP issue with her reform agenda – helped the her eke out a victory. Pundits say Curran, as well as Laura Gillen, the surprise upset winner in Hempstead’s town supervisor race, rode a tide of anti-Trump fervor. What they overlooked is that the women not only share the same first name, but they also have the same number of letters in their first and last names.
Bill de Blasio – That sound you hear is the soft weeping of the New York Post editorial board. The New York City mayor won a second term, soundly defeating GOP opponent Nicole Malliotakis and a handful of third party candidates. Although the de Blasio team was quick to tout his victory with two-thirds of the vote as a mandate, the mayor received fewer votes than he did in his first mayoral election. Still, despite low turnout and the unflattering testimony of a felonious former donor, de Blasio has four more years in office.
Mark Hall – Someone upstate was knocking on wood Tuesday night during a Prop 3 vote that was won by a sliver. The ballot proposal asked if towns and villages could cut into neighboring forest preserves to improve infrastructure and make improvements if necessary. The lucky lumber tapper may have been Mr. Hall, the executive director of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, which lobbied hard for what wood be a close vote.
Ben Walsh – The next mayor of Syracuse proved that you don’t need major party support to be a winner. Walsh, the first independent candidate to win the mayoralty in over a century, defeated Democratic opponent Juanita Perez Williams by a decisive margin, despite pre-election polls showing a close race. Walsh may have been savvy in choosing not to run as a Republican in this majority-Democrat city, despite originally seeking the GOP line. For defying expectations and the party machines, he not only wins the race, but a spot on the winner’s list.
Rob Astorino – It was a double-whammy loss for the soon-to-be former Westchester County executive. The suburban home of Hillary Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo leaned left on Tuesday, and Democratic state Sen. George Latimer swamped Astorino while riding the blue wave, earning an impressive 57 percent of the vote. With that, Astorino lost his seat and fell off the launching pad for a second run at governor’s mansion, ruling out a second run against Cuomo and clearing the way for a scramble for the Republican line in 2018.
Elizabeth Crowley – While every other incumbent New York City Council member who ran for re-election got to rest easy Tuesday night, Crowley ended the evening with a nail-biter, down 133 votes to local academic and activist Bob Holden. It seems that institutional support and the powerful family name count for little in the face of Central Queens’ rabid, anti-homeless shelter activism.
Bo Dietl – Failed candidate “Wild Man Bo” lashed out on Twitter at the Reform Party’s Frank Morano – “Fat Looser” – and NY1’s Errol Louis – “go back to journalism school.” Remind you of someone? Like his friend President Donald Trump, Dietl also lost the popular vote, getting less than 1 percent in the mayor’s race. That’s one Dietl vote for every 69 de Blasio votes – which Dietl would probably laugh about.
Joseph Mondello – It was a rough night on Tuesday for the Nassau County GOP chairman. Not only did a Democrat win the Nassau County executive’s race, the next Hempstead town supervisor will also be a Democrat – for the first time in over a century. Although the GOP retained control of the County Legislature, Mondello admitted that “this is a bad one.” The master of understatement continued, “We didn’t do well.” Ya think?
Rich Schaffer – While most Democrats were cheering one victory after another amid a Trump backlash, this local Long Island official likely wasn’t laughing. The Democratic chairman in Suffolk County, who's know for his political flexibility, didn't even have his initial choice for county sheriff in the mix, Democrats lost a supermajority in the County Legislature, and now his favorite district attorney of all time is finally resigning.