New Yorkers are voting Tuesday, but what is – and is not – on their ballots has caused some confusion and contributed to what’s expected to be a low turnout primary.
To start, here’s what will be decided today: The Democratic and Republican nominees for governor. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who ascended after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation last year, is expected to defeat challenges from progressive New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and New York Rep. Tom Suozzi, who has attacked Hochul from the right with a tough-on-crime message.
The race for lieutenant governor has been more competitive and – given that two of the last three people elected to the post ended up in the top job – is worth keeping a close eye on. Former New York Rep. Antonio Delgado, who left Capitol Hill after being tapped by Hochul to replace her first choice, now-former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who resigned after being indicted for corruption, is the narrow favorite. But he faces a serious progressive challenger in Ana María Archila, who was recruited to run by the Working Families Party. Former New York City Council member Diana Reyna, Suozzi’s running mate, is also in the mix.
On the Republican side, four candidates are vying for the gubernatorial nomination. It’s not just a formality either – the state has a history of electing Republican executives.
Rep. Lee Zeldin is the frontrunner and GOP state party’s chosen candidate, but he faces serious opposition from three other candidates. Among them: Andrew Giuliani, the son of the former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino; and businessman Harry Wilson. (Giuliani is considered the most likely of the bunch to give Zeldin a scare on Tuesday night.)
The state assembly will also conduct its primary on Tuesday. The entire body, 150 seats, will be on the ballot in the fall. There are a number of contested seats in the Democratic-controlled body, but many incumbents are running unopposed.
But the highest profile unopposed incumbent tonight is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Despite rumblings over a challenge from the left for more than a year, none materialized.
Which brings us to what’s not on the ballot: US House races. None of them. A long and chaotic redistricting process effectively pushed back the congressional and state Senate primaries.
Still, it might be worth the wait: The new borders have set up a handful of crowded, competitive races between well-known New York politicians who were forced into a game of musical chairs that did not end until late May.
Those elections are scheduled for Aug. 23.