29 May, 2006

Convetion Preview: What To Expect As The State Parties Gather

Both the Democrats and Republicans will hold their conventions this week - the Dems beginning tomorrow and the GOP Wednesday.

Perhaps symbolic of the state of American politics today, the parties will gather as far apart from one another as possible - the Dems in Buffalo and the Republicans on Long Island.

The Democratic gathering is likely to be a coronation of state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer - who will be endorsed as the party's nominee for governor.

The race to replace hime will be the most interesting item on the agenda. No fewer than five candidates are seeking the party's nod in the attorney general race, with Andrew Cuomo leading the polls. Mark Green is not that far behind and former upstate U.S. Attorney Denise O'Donnell is said to have a chance to surprise.

On the Republican side, the attorney general race is the only race lacking intrigue. Jeanine Pirro has the field to herself.

It's the two spots on the top of the ticket where the drama will be, and there is likely to be plenty of it. In both races the GOP's internal battle between "true" conservatives and pragmatists who see a somewhat centrist candidate as the way to go in blue-state New York will play out. Senate candidate John Spencer and gubenatorial hopeful John Faso represent the former and KT McFarland (senate) and William Weld (governor) the latter.

Monday's New York Times has an excellent breakdown of the races. The Times also has a great thumbnail bio of all of the major candiates in both parties.

In Buffalo, host city of the Democrats, The Buffalo News today concentrated on the five-way race for AG, putting Cuomo at the top of the list but indicating that home-turf candidate O'Donnell may make a stronger-than-expected showing.

The Journal News has separate articles on the two Democratic candidates for governor today, saying Spitzer is rolling into Buffalo at the top of the heap, while challenger Tom Suozzi plans to sit out the convention due to lack of institutional support. Suozzi plans to get on the ballot by way of petition.

The Albany Times-Union also reports today on Suozzi's efforts to buck the Democratic establishment.

DEMS WANT TO TRIM THE FIELD, BUT SIX FIGHT ON IN 19TH DISTRICT

As we reported last week, three different candidates won three different conventions in the Democratic race for the party's nomination in the 19th Congressional Ditrict last week. (Darren Rigger in Putnam, John Hall in Orange and Jim Martorano in Westchester). In a Journal News story today, party leaders appear to be strongly hinting that it's time to narrow the field, but the candidates don't appear to be heeding that call.

Dems in Dutchess County, Hall's home turf, have yet to weigh in on this one but will early in June.

The six candidates are vying for the chance to unseat Replican Rep. Sue Kelly.


KARBEN BILLS KILLED BY DEPARTURE, AT LEAST FOR NOW

The Albany Times-Union reports today that all of the bills sponsored by former Assemblyman Ryan Karben of Monsey have been wiped off the docket by assembly leaders. According to the story, the bills can be taken up by another sponser in the future but are dead in the water for this session. Karben abruptly resigned from his seat on May 18.

JOURNAL NEWS STARTS POLITICAL BLOG

It's called Politics on the Hudson, and its start-up is timed to coincide with the start of the party conventions.

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