The local Democratic Party is fractured and in bitter disarray, causing many of the party’s top operatives intending to sit this election out on Tuesday.
Recent corruption scandals involving Governor Andrew Cuomo have demoralized Democrats statewide — from the Moreland Commission, to Cuomo’s campaign contributors recieving lucrative state contracts, to strong arming political opponents in Albany.
Making matters worse, his Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Kathy Hochul was expected to boost Democratic turnout upstate, but her candidacy has been shaken with revelations that seem to suggest that her husband, US Attorney William Hochul, had been offering her campaign contributors more favorable plea deals, reductions in charges, and lighter sentences.
In the 60th State Senate district, the party’s endorsed candidate is a convicted criminal who plead guilty to election fraud in 2001, and participated in a similar scheme in 2006. Attorney Marc Panepinto even lost his license to practice law due to the ethics violations.
A majority of Democratic voters are expected to break for incumbent Mark Grisanti, who will appear in the Independence Party line. The mudslinging that has consumed the airwaves has most Democrats annoyed and fed up. Even party operatives are openly discussing the possibility of standing down on Election Day. Some are already declining to participate in Tuesday’s get out the vote operation.
Republicans, on the other hand, are quite energized by the prospect of major wins in the House of Representatives, State Senate, Assembly, and — the optimist says — the Governor’s mansion.