Third candidate is back in Maloney-Hayworth race

Goshen resident Scott Smith will join Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Republican challenger Nan Hayworth in the race for the New York’s 18th Congressional District seat after a judge reversed a decision by the state Board of Elections to invalidate Smith’s petition.

Smith, a former Middletown city alderman who’s waging an independent run for Congress, announced the court ruling on Friday, and a Board of Elections spokesman confirmed Monday that it occurred, although the board had yet to get a copy of the decision and certify Smith’s place on the ballot.

“I am extremely pleased with the outcome today, and glad that the hard work of those involved in the petition process, and the support of those who signed, were honored,” Smith said in his release. “I cannot thank them enough. I would also like to thank my attorney for his diligent work.”

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Krahulik wins GOP Family Court primary by 2 votes

Orange County Family Court judge candidate Christine Krahulik has beaten David Hasin for the Republican nomination by two votes after the counting of absentee ballots that had been challenged, Board of Elections Commissioner Sue Bahren confirmed Monday.

The final tally for the Sept. 9 Republican primary was 3,392-3,390, Bahren said. The outcome means Krahulik will run on the Republican and Conservative ballot lines in the Nov. 4 general election, while Christine Stage will compete for the judgeship on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines.

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Maloney leads Hayworth by 8 points in Siena poll (updated)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is leading Republican challenger Nan Hayworth by 8 percentage points and has a particularly strong lead among Orange County voters in a poll conducted seven weeks before their Nov. 4 election rematch.

The Cold Spring Democrat led his opponent by 50 percent to 42 percent in a phone survey of 590 likely voters in New York’s 18th Congressional District conducted by Siena College and Time Warner Cable News from Sept. 12-17. The margin of error for the poll was 4 percentage points.

Maloney, who unseated Hayworth in 2012, had an 11-point edge in Orange County, which represents about half of the 18th District’s voters, and leads of 4 percent and 5 percent in Putnam County and the portions of Westchester and Dutchess in the district. Favorable versus unfavorable views of Maloney were split 53 percent to 31 percent, while more voters had unfavorable opinions of Hayworth than favorable — 44 percent compared to 41 percent.

More voters expected Maloney to do a better job than Hayworth on all seven issues posed to them, including the generic category of “jobs,” which was deemed most important by a third of those surveyed. Maloney had a 10-point edge over Hayworth on jobs, 46 percent to 36 percent.

In a statement on Friday, Maloney campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Formas said, “Sean has the support of Republicans and Democrats because he’s worked across the aisle to get results for the Hudson Valley — creating jobs, investing in our infrastructure, growing our local economy, and cutting wait times for our veterans.” His campaign also announced it had opened offices in Middletown, Brewster and Poughkeepsie, in addition to its Newburgh headquarters, and had knocked on more than 7,000 doors in the 18th District in the last week.

Two bright spots for Hayworth: Independent voters preferred her to Maloney by 49 percent to 42 percent, and opinion was split among all 18th District voters by 50 percent in favor to 38 percent against repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act — a central campaign thrust for Hayworth and Republicans generally in the last election.

Siena college pollster Steve Greenberg predicts the race will be a “nail-biter,” and notes that Hayworth led Maloney in Siena polls before the 2012 election and yet lost. Maloney had trailed by 13 points in September and then by seven points in October of that year, and went on to beat Hayworth by about four points.

Update: In a statement responding to the poll, Hayworth’s campaign said, “After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of Nancy Pelosi’s money to run false attacks against Nan Hayworth, Maloney’s showing as an incumbent is very weak. Hayworth is well ahead with independents, and once voters learn of Maloney’s record of voting for special perks and privileges for himself and higher taxes for us, they’ll reject him in November.”


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Larkin opens New Windsor campaign office

State Sen. William Larkin Jr., R-Cornwall-on-Hudson, is opening a campaign office in New Windsor on Saturday as he prepares to face Newburgh Councilwoman Gay Lee in his bid for a 12th term as a senator and 18th term as a state legislator since 1979.

Here’s the invitation for the 11 a.m. grand opening.


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Tutini prevails in Democratic Assembly primary

Monroe resident Elisa Tutini has sealed her victory in a close, three-way Democratic primary for the Assembly District 98 seat after the counting of absentee ballots in Orange and Rockland counties.

Absentee counts by election boards in the two counties show that Wieder — a Rockland County legislator making his second attempt to become New York’s first Hasidic state lawmaker — picked up 83 additional votes from his hometown of Ramapo, but not enough to overtake Tutini. The combined tallies put him in second and Monroe resident Krystal Serrano in third.

The unofficial counts are: Tutini, 1,189; Wieder, 1,128; and Serrano, 1,023.

Absentee counts for a four-way Republican primary for the vacant Assembly seat confirmed Deerpark Supervisor Karl Brabenec as the winner, with about 350 votes separating him from second-place finisher Dan Castricone. Castricone, a former Orange County legislator from Tuxedo, is running on the United Monroe ballot line, which sets up a three-way general election contest that will feature him, Brabenec and Tutini.

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Krahulik takes lead in GOP primary for Family Court

The counting of Orange County absentee ballots has pushed Christine Krahulik past David Hasin in a close Republican primary for Family Court judge, although the final outcome awaits a judge’s rulings on 49 challenged absentee ballots.

Krahulik, who trailed Hasin by five votes after machine votes were counted last Tuesday, pulled ahead by four after absentees were tallied, 213-204 in her favor, according to the county Board of Elections. The challenged ballots are due to be taken up in state Supreme Court on Friday.

Krahulik prevailed in a separate primary against Hasin for the Conservative Party ballot line, and Democratic candidate Christine Stage beat Hasin for the Independence Party line.

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Absentee ballots in Family Court cliffhanger to be counted Tuesday

The Orange County Board of Elections will begin counting absentee ballots on Tuesday that will determine the outcome of a Republican primary for Family Court judge with two candidates separated by only five votes.

As of Friday, the board had received 470 Republican absentee ballots county-wide, with a deadline of Tuesday for submission of absentees postmarked no later than Sept. 8. They were among 962 absentee ballots for five parties (Republican, Democratic, Independence, Conservative, Working Families) that had yet to be counted for a handful of state and county primaries held on Sept. 9.

The two Republicans vying for the Family Court nomination are David Hasin and Christine Krahulik. Hasin leads Krahulik by 3,164-3,159.


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Maloney urges FERC to refund power-bill increases

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney announced Friday he has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to return to Hudson Valley electricity customers the increases they’ve paid on their bills since a controversial new “capacity zone” took effect in May.

“A refund is necessary for these arbitrary capacity charges,” the Cold Spring Democrat wrote in a Sept. 9 letter to the FEC’s acting chairwoman, Cheryl LaFleur, which he released Friday. “Hudson Valley residents deserve repayment for these excessive charges caused by FERC’s implementation of the new capacity zone — especially as FERC has the authority to ensure customers receive refunds back to the effective date for ‘unjust and unreasonable’ rates.”

With freezing temperatures soon coming to the Hudson Valley,” the letter added, “I firmly believe our constituents should not have to pay a penny more than they need to during these harsh winter months.”

Both Maloney and Rep. Chris Gibson, the Republican representing the neighboring 19th Congressional District, have been crusading to undo the unpopular capacity zone, which was put in place to try to lure more power plants to the Hudson Valley but has had the immediate effect of hiking residential power bills by 5 to 6 percent. They succeeded in attaching to a House spending bill in July a provision that would deny FERC funding to implement the new zone.

The capacity zone also has emerged as an unlikely campaign issue in the rematch race between Maloney and former Rep. Nan Hayworth, the Republican he unseated in 2012. The two candidates have been trading accusations about which of them could have done more to protest the zone or prevent it from coming into existence in the first place. Each blames the other for “inaction.”

Hayworth’s campaign declared last week that Maloney “had well over one year to respond to the outcry from utility providers in the region,” noting that Central Hudson Gas & Electric protested in May 2013 that the zone New York proposed in response to a FERC mandate could hike prices by “as much as 475 percent.”

Maloney’s campaign shot back two days later with automated phone calls and a web ad alerting residents that FERC accepted the proposal for a Hudson Valley zone in September 2011, while his predecessor was in office — “without any action from Hayworth.”

“Tea Party Congresswoman Nan Hayworth spent her time in Washington on partisan fights and gridlock instead of fixing these reckless energy hikes,” Maloney spokeswoman Stephanie Formas said in a press release.

A lawsuit challenging the capacity zone is pending in a federal appeals court.

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New poll shows Gibson with 24-point lead over Eldridge

KINGSTON — A new poll shows Republican Rep. Chris Gibson holds a strong, early 24-point lead over Democratic Sean Eldridge in the 19th Congressional District.

Gibson, from Kinderhook, has the support of 57 percent of likely voters compared to 33 percent who support Eldridge, with 10 percent still undecided, according to a new poll conducted by Time Warner Cable News and Siena College.

By margins ranging from nine to 29 points, voters see Gibson as better than Eldridge on a series of six issues, according to a press release.

“It may be early but incumbent Chris Gibson has a commanding 24-point lead against a well-financed challenger in Sean Eldridge,” said Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg. “Gibson has the support of nearly nine in ten Republicans and 60 percent of independents, as well as one-quarter of Democrats.”

The poll was conducted from September 4-9 by telephone calls to 609 likely voters and has a margin of error of four percentage points. You can find the crosstabs here.

“Gibson has double digit leads in every region of the district, with an overwhelming 41-point lead in the area surrounding the Capital Region,” Greenberg said. “There is little gender gap as Gibson leads by 28 points with men and 20 points with women.”

The poll gets even more gloomy for Eldridge, as Greenberg says he is unknown to “more than half of likely voters, including nearly half of Democrats.”

“Voters with an opinion are evenly divided between favorable and unfavorable,” Greenberg said. “Gibson, with 57-24 percent favorability rating, is viewed favorably by 76 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats. He ended the campaign in 2012 with a 46-31 percent favorability rating.”

Eldridge’s campaign spokeswoman Sophie Friedman took the poll in stride, saying “the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day, and we’re excited to be getting our message out with the help of more than 500 active volunteers.

“We’re confident voters will side with the candidate who reflects their values, and not the one who has voted to sue the President and defund Planned Parenthood, supported fracking even though it puts our drinking water at risk, and signed the Koch Brothers’ pledge to take no action on climate change.”

Out of those polled, 43 percent were from Ulster and Dutchess counties while 25 percent were from Sullivan, Broome, Delaware and Otsego counties. About 23 percent considered themselves liberal, 41 percent moderate and 32 percent conservative.

“On every issue, including the most important issues to voters and those traditionally seen as Democratic strengths, voters say Gibson will do a better job than Eldridge. The range of support for Gibson is between nine points on health care and 29 points on war and political turmoil in the Mideast,” Greenberg said.

Gibson’s campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Valle said the poll shows that “upstate voters don’t want a representative with almost no experience who moved into our area solely to run for Congress.”

“Congressman Gibson puts service first, not partisan politics or personal ambition – a clear contrast with Sean Eldridge.  Our Home Team has never been stronger, and we will continue to work every day to ensure this seat cannot be bought,” Valle said.

Despite the commanding lead, Greenberg said the race is likely to tighten.

“At this point in 2012, Gibson led by 16 points in a Siena poll, closing to five points in the final Siena poll, before winning by six points,” Greenberg said. “Eldridge has a lot of work to do to close the gap but in this district with nearly equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans the race is likely to tighten.”

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Teachout stomped Cuomo in Ulster, Sullivan

Zephyr Teachout lost Tuesday’s Democratic primary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but the Fordham law professor’s liberal critique of Cuomo resonated with primary voters in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties, particularly the latter two.

Teachout, who collected 33 percent of the statewide vote to Cuomo’s 60 percent, creamed the governor by ratios of more than 2 to 1 in Ulster (4,428-1,735) and Sullivan (1,154-490), according to unofficial tallies by the election boards in those two counties. They were two of 30 New York counties in which Teachout prevailed, after a feisty but underfunded and largely symbolic campaign.

Teachout, who made a campaign stop in Goshen on Aug. 27 to protest the potential privatization of Orange County’s Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation, almost notched a victory in Orange as well. The current tally before absentee ballots are counted has Cuomo ahead by five votes, 3,150-3,145.


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