Silver Wins Big as Squadron Ousts Connor

silverpostweb.jpgAssembly Speaker Sheldon Silver presumably cruised to another term in yesterday’s Democratic primary, racking up almost 68 percent of the Lower Manhattan vote against challengers Paul Newell and Luke Henry. He will face Republican Danniel Maio in the general election.

Newell pulled 23 percent of the vote, Henry nine percent. Though the vote tally wasn’t close, some pundits are speculating that in mounting the first serious challenge to Silver in years — reducing him to knocking on doors, of all things — the Newell campaign may affect the way the speaker conducts business in Albany. That remains to be seen, of course, but Newell had this to say to the Observer early this week:

"I’m running to get the most votes in this election. That said,
there’s no question we’ve already brought change. We’ve already taken
on Albany. There’s no question about that. And people are scared."

Those scared people, Newell said, are thinking, "Wow, a 33-year-old
community organizer can put together a campaign that is going to rock
Sheldon Silver with his $3 million in his account, and $8 million in
his Speaker’s P.A.C. or whatever it is that he’s got."

"If we’re successful, you’re going to see forty or fifty challengers
to incumbents in 2010, in both parties," Newell said, adding, "I don’t
think there’s any doubt we had a role in that."

Silver’s last primary challenge was in 1986, when John Bal got 20 percent of the vote.  

In the Senate, the talk of the day locally was the defeat of Martin Connor, the 30-year incumbent upended by 28-year-old Daniel Squadron. As Streetsblog readers know, Connor was one of many Albany lawmakers to hold their tongues as congestion pricing went down in April, for which Squadron took him to task during the campaign. What impact pricing had on the race is open to debate, particularly since Connor’s Senate District 25 encompasses Assembly District 64 — home to Sheldon Silver.

In other results, vocal pricing backer Adriano Espaillat held off City Council Member Miguel Martinez in Assembly District 72, which covers Upper Manhattan.

Photo: New York Observer

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Paul Newell on Congestion Pricing and Reforming Albany

|
This is the second installment of Streetsblog’s interview with Paul Newell, candidate for State Assembly in the 64th District, who’s challenging Speaker Sheldon Silver in the Democratic primary this September. In this segment, Newell addresses some of the issues that are fresh in the minds of everyone who followed the death of congestion pricing in […]

The Polls Are Open in New York City

|
It’s primary day, and when it comes to local elections in New York, that means the next few hours bear more significance than what happens in November. Gotham Gazette has the most comprehensive guide to all the contested primaries in the city. From a livable streets perspective, the three Manhattan races stand out. In the […]

Paul Newell on Starting a Political Campaign in New York City

|
Last week Streetsblog caught up with Paul Newell, who’s mounting the first primary challenge to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in 22 years. Discussing his candidacy, Newell made it clear that he is in it to win it. (He picked up some momentum yesterday, garnering the endorsement of BlogPAC, which describes itself as "a consortium of […]

Silver Challenger Paul Newell Campaigns on Livable Streets

|
In what may be a political first, Paul Newell, who is challenging Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in the 64th District, mentions "livable streets" as one of his three major planks in this campaign clip. Newell and Luke Henry, another Silver challenger, have both voiced support for congestion pricing. The last time Silver faced a challenger […]

Help Wanted: Legislators Needed to Fix Broken Capital

|
Can’t wait for someone to challenge Shelly Silver, Deborah Glick, Hakeem Jeffries, Joan Millman and other members of the Albany crew that didn’t allow congestion pricing to even come up for a vote? Neither can the New York Times. In a scathing editorial published on Saturday, the Times issued a call for change in the […]