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

  • brooklyn and i

    simcha felder lost !!!!!!!!!!!

    simcha fine for you deserve to be a loser for your vote for congestion pricing!!!!!!

    no tax on brooklyn very clear

  • With the current dysfunction in Albany, I think that the Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader should face a challenger in every primary and general election. 68% is pretty low for someone who hasn’t had a serious primary challenge in how many years? I hope that Newell and Henry will not be too discouraged, and that at least one of them will be back in 2010 with a stronger organization.

  • BTW, what’s Maio’s stand on liveable streets issues?

  • Congratulations to Paul Newell. Shea and I were saying that anything over 20% would be a serious message. Almost 1/3 of the vote was *against* Shelly – that’s huge.

    Newell’s admirable performance, coupled with Dan Squadron’s strong win, should really get the Albany careerists checking their backs. Should the Democrats finally take control of the Senate and there aren’t tremendous changes made to the way Albany does business, then that flushing sound will be very loud two years from now.

  • mike

    brooklyn and i – you already pay a tax — it’s all the lost money, time and lives due to too many cars.

  • Joe Knickerbocker

    Read what the NY Times’ political reporter – who knows a lot more about politics than streetsblog commenters – had to say about Silver’s resounding support from the People:

    “Mr. Silver’s overwhelming victory solidified his status as one of Albany’s most enduring and powerful figures.

    With 68 percent of the vote, he did not appear impaired either by his high-profile role last spring in blocking Mr. Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, or by the endorsement of one of his challengers, Paul Newell, by the city’s three major newspapers, including The New York Times.”

    Ain’t democracy a bitch?

  • For years, Sheldon Silver ignored the livable streets movement. Now he’s got one of his attack dogs posting here several times a day. ‘Nuff said.

  • You’d just love it if we all just gave up, right Joe? Too bad that won’t happen.

  • Dave

    We got rid of Bruno for his corruption….let’s get Silver now who is just as or more corrupt as Joe was. Let’s look into his questionable dealings with law firms and lobbyists. If all three papers want him gone then maybe they’ll keep up the fire. BTW how long do we think Rangel has before he’s gone? The days of the corrupt Albany should be over…let’s move forward.

    Oh and “brooklyn and i” you are an ass. Congestion pricing is a MUST for the city and will come eventually. So kudos to Felder for sticking up for it and Silver, Glick and all the other pathetic ones who gave up $354 million in Federal funds and in effect voted for a fare increase should be shown the highway.

  • Squadron had a lot more volunteers out and seemed to have a lot more resources at his disposal and a high profile Democrat backing him.

    If Newell had more cash, more volunteers and more high ranking Dems willing to go against Shelly he would have made a much bigger showing.

    I can’t find actual vote counts from yesterday’s primary – just percentages. Are these available somewhere? Please link here

  • mfs
  • Larry Littlefield

    Forget the percentages. Only 6,743 people were willing to vote for Silver, presumably all folks who benefit from one deal or favor or another.

    Newell was right — if he could convince 10,000 people to bother to go to the polls and vote, the incumbent could be replaced. Only 2,400 people could be bothered — in spite of everything that has gone on in this state.

    Nobody who isn’t in on some deal votes in the primaries.

    And in the general election, nobody votes for Republicans in a district like this. Get on the ballot as an independent? You’d probably need more signatures than Newell and Henry got votes — 1,500 is the minimum.

  • Paul Newell did extremely well, considering. I only wish Luke Henry had bowed out and thrown his support over to Newell.

  • “Mr. Silver spent at least $380,000 of his $3 million campaign war chest, compared to about $150,000 by his two challengers combined.”
    http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/FREE/809099955

    He was outspent big time. Newell did a great job, if you factor that in.

  • Ellen Young is Flushing also lost to Grace Meng. You may remember Assemblywoman Young was hit by a cab while riding her bike to work the other month.

  • fdr

    So Silver still has $2 1/2 million left over, and now that he has been warned of future opposition, he will be busy raising more over the next 2 years, plus making sure he is visible in the community to take credit for whatever he can. His opponents next time better be prepared to raise a lot more money and pull out a lot more voters.

  • common sense

    Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow bicyclists, joggers and believers in a more sustainable New York. Perhaps it is time for us to reach to Silver, who is not the enemy despite the foolish posts by extremists from both corners on this blog. He changed his mind on Mayoral control of education; he is the major supporter of the 2nd Avenue subway and he did say he would support some form of congestion pricing (just not the Mayor’s) and would then use his charm on his fellow legislators. All who attack him are ensuring it will not happen. Let’s think big picture, not petty politics.

  • common sense

    I was going to add that instead of bitter time wasting silliness we could put ourselves in a position to celebrating real victory in 2010 not another campaign that is likely doomed to failure.

  • Shelly Silver runs New York State on the strength of fewer than 7,000 votes. Isn’t democracy grand?

  • Remember two guys named Spitzer and Bruno? They were elected, just like Silver, and appeared untouchable, just like Silver. Then something happened. They’re gone now.

    The election is over. Let the investigative reporting begin. What exactly does Silver do for that law firm? Does it have anything to do with the state? And what does he get paid?

  • Dave

    common sense:
    I am happy to let Sheldon Silver introduce his own version of CP (just not the mayor’s) as soon as he gives the $354 million to the city that his inexcusable actions cost NYC. Ain’t gonna happen so Silver’s got-to-go. He should have used his charm when he had the chance to get CP enacted and avoid transit fare hikes that will hurt all of us (except those who drive in and still get a free ride)

    He’s running scared and he should be. Hey-hey ho-ho Shelly Silver’s got to-go. Repeat.

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