The Rev. Al Sharpton drew a large contingent of elected officials to his annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at National Action Network’s House of Justice. Headliners included U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke and Carolyn Maloney. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Speaker and Acting Public Advocate Corey Johnson, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and NYS Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also spoke.
Several of the public advocate candidates participated, including Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Michael Blake and Danny O’Donnell, Council Members Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Dawn Smalls. Walker, Blake, O’Donnell and Smalls were given speaking slots. Former mayor David Dinkins and former congressman Charles Rangel appeared, sitting onstage in the front row for the full program.
The Bronx County Democrats drew a large field of elected officials and candidates to their annual dinner Wednesday, though Governor Andrew Cuomo and several notable candidates did not attend. Statewide and citywide electeds present included Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer. Hochul and DiNapoli, along with Cuomo, are running for reelection and James, reelected in November as public advocate, is running for attorney general.
Notable non-attendees included Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams, Democrats running for governor and lieutenant governor, and Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez defeated Rep. Joe Crowley in the June 26th primary for the 14th Congressional District, which is roughly 1/3 in the Bronx and 2/3 in Queens. James was the only one of four Democratic candidates for attorney general attending, with Zephyr Teachout, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Leecia Eve not spotted. State senate candidate Alessandra Biaggi, challenging Jeff Klein also (as far as I could determine) did not attend.
Other electeds attending included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Bronx Democratic Chairman and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, NYS Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYS State Senators Jeff Klein and Jamaal Bailey, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Council Members Andrew Cohen, Fernando Cabrera, Andy King, Karen Koslowitz, Daniel Dromm and Francisco Moya.
The Democratic Rural Conference drew nearly all of New York State’s major Democratic elected officials to its 2018 annual meeting, with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NYS Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand leading the elected attendees. Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and NYC Council Member and candidate for lieutenant governor Jumaane Williams also attended. The DRC is composed of Democrats from small counties who for the past 20 years have worked jointly to increase their impact in state politics.
Governor Andrew Cuomo touted the reunification of New York State Senate Democrats, bringing ostensibly erstwhile rivals Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Jeff Klein together in a press conference. Stewart-Cousins, the head of the “mainline” Senate Democrats and Klein, head of the Independent Democratic Conference or IDC, pledged unity and cooperation during a press conference Wednesday in Cuomo’s Manhattan office.
Governor Andrew Cuomo attended a campaign rally Sunday, supporting Assembly Member Shelley Mayer in her bid to win a state senate seat and the broader Democratic effort to attain a 32 seat majority in the 63 seat state senate. Mayer is running to succeed former NYS senator George Latimer. The special election to replace Latimer, elected Westchester County Executive in November, is on April 24th.
Latimer and New York State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined Cuomo and Mayer in speaking at the rally.