The Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City drew scores of candidates to its endorsement meeting last Wednesday as the first and best known LGBT Democratic club in New York City made its choices in many strongly contested primaries.
The Club supported Governor Andrew Cuomo and his lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul over their challengers Cynthia Nixon and Jumaane Williams. Nixon, seeking to become New York’s first female and first openly gay governor, could not overcome the combination of Cuomo’s powerful political operation and the enduring good will produced by his central role in New York’s fairly early embrace of same-sex marriage. Stonewall also supported Cuomo-aligned Tish James for attorney general over her three competitors. Those competitors include Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney who, if elected, would be New York’s first openly gay attorney general. Stonewall endorsed Tom DiNapoli, who does not face a Democratic primary, for comptroller.
Stonewall endorsed candidates in 21 state senate races, notably supporting challengers to former IDC members Jeff Klein, Tony Avella, Jose Peralta, Marisol Alcantara and Jesse Hamilton, and declining to give any endorsement in Diane Savino’s reelection bid.
The Club endorsed in 38 assembly races, overwhelmingly supporting incumbents. A rare challenger endorsement occurred in the 39th Assembly District, with Stonewall choosing Catalina Cruz over Ari Espinal. Espinal proudly described herself as the first LGBT Latina elected to the NYS Assembly. Espinal was first elected in an April special election, so she’s only been in office a few months but Stonewall’s support for her opponent is notable in part because, like Cynthia Nixon and Sean Patrick Maloney, her personal sexual orientation was not sufficient to draw Stonewall’s endorsement.