First came the presidential primaries in April. Then came the congressional primaries in June. And now, New York will hold its third set of primaries for 2016 on Sept. 13, this time for state and local offices.
Elections will be held that day for five Senate and Assembly races in Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties, three of them involving major-party lines. The most heated – and complicated – of those contests in the 98th Assembly District scrum, in which pairs of Republicans and Democrats are squaring off for their parties’ nominations while also scrambling for third-party lines in separate primaries. In the 101st Assembly District, two Republicans are competing for the nomination for a seat that the Republican incumbent is vacating to run for Congress. And in the 42nd Senate District, a Democrat activist is waging a write-in effort to get on the November ballot against GOP incumbent John Bonacic.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the Sept. 13 state primaries in the region.
Assembly District 98
In the 98th Assembly District, which crosses the southern half of Orange County and includes part of Ramapo in Rockland, freshman Assemblyman Karl Brabenec and John Allegro, a leader of the United Monroe citizens group, are competing in a Republican primary. Krystal Serrano of Monroe, the Democrats’ endorsed candidate, will compete against Aron Wieder, a Rockland County legislator from Spring Valley, for their party’s line. (Update: Serrano announced that Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, a Suffern Democrat who represents part of Ramapo and all of Orangetown in Rockland, has endorsed her.)
And to liven things up, five others parties have primaries in that race: Wieder and Brabenec will duel for the Independence Party line; Brabenec faces write-in challenges for his Conservative and Reform ballot lines; Serrano faces a write-in challenge for her Women’s Equality line; and there will be an open write-in contest for the Green Party line. In short, if you are enrolled in any party except Working Families and live in the 98th Assembly District, there is a primary ballot waiting for you at your polling station on Sept. 13.
Senate District 42
Pramilla Malick, an environmental activist who has been involved with the campaign against the Competitive Power Ventures plant being built in Wawayanda, is waging a write-in effort on Sept. 13 to get on the general-election ballot as a Democratic opponent for Sen. John Bonancic, a Mount Hope Republican and 18-year incumbent. Having missed the usual petitioning period for candidates, Malick filed what is known as an opportunity-to-ballot petition that will enable Democratic voters in the four-county district to write in her name – or anyone else’s – to place a Democratic candidate on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Though Malick is the only Democrat known to be seeking the nomination, Bonacic recently made a subtle move to thwart her by sending letters to Democrats in his district who vote by absentee ballot that asked them to write in his name for re-election – without mentioning his party or the upcoming primary.
(Update: Malick announced Friday that she has now gotten the endorsement of the Democratic committees in all four counties in the 42nd District: Orange, Ulster, Sullivan and Delaware. Ulster made the most recent endorsement, on Thursday, according to her press release.)
Assembly District 101
With Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney forgoing re-election to run instead for the congressional seat that Richard Hanna is vacating, Maria Kelso – an aide on her staff – and Oneida County legislator Brian Miller are competing for the Republican nomination to try to succeed her. There is also a write-in contest that day to challenge Kelso for the Reform Party ballot line.
The winner will face Democrat Arlene Feldmeier, a Little Falls attorney, in the general election. The 101st District is an absurdly gerrymandered Albany creation that runs like a line from Oneida and Herkimer counties in the north to the towns of Crawford and Montgomery in Orange County, swallowing five Ulster and Sullivan county towns along the way. Republicans have the enrollment edge.
Two additional state races in this region have minor-party primaries on Sept. 13. There are write-in contests for the Women’s Equality and Working Families’ lines in the 39th Senate District, the race in which Democratic Orange County legislator Chris Eachus is challenging Republican Sen. William Larkin Jr. And there is a write-in competition for the Green Party line in the 46th Senate District, which includes party of Ulster County. That is the race in which Sara Niccoli, a Democratic town supervisor in Montgomery County, is seeking to unseat Sen. George Amedore, a Republican freshman from Rotterdam.