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.
Our full photo gallery is available here.
New York State’s Electoral College convened Monday, casting its 29 votes for New York’s home state candidate Hillary Clinton. Led by former president Bill Clinton, the electors met in the majestic state senate chamber at the Capitol for a tightly scripted session without any disruption or deviation. Clinton’s New York victory, expected to be a foundational bloc for her winning campaign, was instead a cruel coda to the disorienting election night experience of an anticipated presidency suddenly vanishing. There were some smiles and applause in the senate chamber Monday, but it wasn’t a celebration. Like a jilted groom recasting the pre-paid reception as a party, New York Democrats could cheer their own victories and predominance in their state but the overriding feeling was the last-minute loss of something so much bigger.
Former President Clinton and Governor Andrew Cuomo were the stars of the show, with Cuomo presiding as president of the convention. They entered the senate chamber together to a standing ovation, after all of the other electors and spectators had taken their seats, later rising to cast their ballots together. Cuomo lauded Clinton during his closing remarks, drawing a standing ovation for the former president.
Our full photo gallery is here.
His criminal defense lawyer legal fees, Donald Trump, homelessness, the MTA and his “friend” feud. It was a regular Bronx day for Governor Andrew Cuomo as he spoke with the press this morning. Cuomo appeared at the South Bronx’s Hostos Community College to sign legislation intended to protect nail salon workers and to announce a state government task force “to root out worker exploitation issues in multiple industries in New York State.”
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento joined Cuomo as he spoke with the press, although neither had any questions directed their way. Here’s Cuomo’s full post-ceremony gaggle:
At a Bronx appearance this morning, Bronxite and newly selected Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie introduced Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo reciprocated with welcoming remarks about Heastie.
Here’s what they had to say about each other:
Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a strong speech in support of State Senator Jeff Klein this afternoon, joining a GOTV rally in the Bronx. Klein, leader of the breakaway “Independent Democratic Conference” which controls the state senate in cooperation with the Republican minority, faces Oliver Koppell in a Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Post-rally Press Conference:
Cuomo, joined by his lieutenant governor running mate Kathy Hochul and Klein, spoke with the press following the rally. After a statement touting Hochul and Klein’s candidacies, he answered press questions. Topics included his encounter with Zephyr Teachout at the Labor Day Parade Saturday, Hochul’s candidacy, his engagement with the IDC and Republicans, whether he’s “advanced progressive ideals” and his “ethics agenda”. The press conference concluded with an attempt to ask Hochul about being referred to during the rally as a “young lady.”
Update – Speech Highlights:
Speakers included Governor Cuomo, Hochul, Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz, Assembly Member and Bronx County Democratic Chair Carl Heastie, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr and Klein.
As you’ll see in our highlight reel, the speeches displayed much of what Team Cuomo has going for it; four years in office with some significant legislative accomplishments, nearly universal support from elected Democrats and their political organizations, enormous amounts of state money spent over the past four years which, whether well spent or not produces support from recipients, and a powerful speaker at the top of the ticket. There’s humor, a few exaggerations and basic politicking mixed with some contortions around the fact that Klein and his IDC have kept the Senate Republicans in shared power and the fact that governor has embraced many of those same Republicans. Among the contortions, Dinowitz’s statement that “Jeff Klein has never supported a Republican. Not once, not ever, not one itty bitty time.” Klein ran on the Republican line in 2012, getting 15,000 of his 80,000 votes on that line.
As he entered a meeting of the New York State Assembly Democratic Conference with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, Bronx County Chairman and NYS Assembly Member Carl Heastie briefly answered questions about the selection of the next city council speaker. While he does not have a vote in the selection, he is widely expected to exercise significant influence in the selection in his role as Chairman of the Bronx County Democratic Committee. The Bronx has eight councilmanic districts, and part of a ninth, with all seats held by Democrats.
Ross Barkan of Politicker.com questioned Heastie.