Statewide Elections Update

Governor’s Race

At the New York State Democratic Convention, Governor Kathy Hochul secured her place on the ballot in June with 85% of the State Democratic Committee’s members voting for her. Governor Hochul’s primary opponents will both now need to petition their way onto the ballot after New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams failed to reach the 25% threshold needed to qualify for a spot and Rep. Tom Suozzi chose not to compete at the convention. “We knew coming in here that was pageantry for the incumbent,” Williams said after the vote. Williams noted petitioning and speaking with voters face-to-face can be beneficial, saying, “we’re able to get down and speak to folks in a way the party sometimes forgets to do. We’re able to explain our vision to people.”

On February 16th, Rep. Tom Suozzi announced he has selected former New York City Council member Diana Reyna as his running mate. “Diana believes that public service is about getting things done to improve the lives of the people we serve,” Suozzi said during his announcement. “As the next Lieutenant Governor, Diana will partner with me to ensure that New York State government addresses the critical issues of public safety, affordability, and improving our education system.”

Although Suozzi has selected Reyna as his running mate, candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor are not tied to one another like Presidential Candidates and their Vice President picks. Instead, Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Governor candidates run in their own separate primaries, meaning Reyna will run against current Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin in June. Should she win her Primary against Benjamin, she would run with the winner of the Gubernatorial Primary in the general election. 

State Senate

After Senators Savino and Ritchie announced their retirement from the Senate, several candidates have emerged to succeed the two outgoing Senators. Running for Senator Savino’s seat are Savino’s former Chief of Staff Jessica Scarcella-Spanton and Staten Island District Leader Bianca Rajpersaud – both are Democrats. In her retirement announcement, Senator Savino said she will be endorsing Scarcella-Spanton.

Hoping to succeed Senator Ritchie are Republican Assemblyman Mark Walczyk and Republican businessman Matt Doheny. It appears the Republican primary may be a competitive one after Rep. Elise Stefanik announced her endorsement for Assemblyman Walczyk, while Senator Ritchie announced she is endorsing Doheny. “Mark is the only candidate who has fought for the North Country in Albany standing up against the Far-Left Democrat rule that has destroyed New York State,” Stefanik said. In her endorsement of Doheny, Ritchie said, “Matt is a successful businessman who knows the district, especially the new counties it will encompass. I’m confident he will use his knowledge, skill set, and experience to help the entire North County reach new heights. I look forward to supporting his campaign and am confident he will give 110% when it comes to representing the North Country and its residents.

Democrat and former State Senator Monica Martinez announced she will again run for the State’s 3rd Senate District. 2020, she ran for re-election to the seat, but lost to Republican Senator Alexis Weik. “I’m coming back,” Martinez said. “I never closed the door when I didn’t win last year. I loved what I did. I loved representing the community. Under the new redistricting plan, Weik’s home is no longer in the district, but Weik said she plans to run even if it means she needs to move into the district later, saying, “I am 100% running and look forward to once again serving the residents of Long Island next year. I am incredibly proud of my first term in office and unlike Senate Democrats – who are doubling down on mandates, bail reform and deference to the Governor – I will continue to be the advocate for Long Island and law enforcement.”

Two Democrats have announced their candidacies for the newly created 17th Senate District, which contains parts of Queens and Brooklyn, including portions of Greenpoint, Long Island City, Sunnyside, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale, Woodhaven, and Richmond Hill. The first candidate to announce their run was Kristen Gonzalez, a self-proclaimed socialist who wants to reimagine housing, restore healthcare, and renew Queens. Running against her in a primary will be moderate-Democrat Elizabeth Crowley who is a former New York City Council Member.

Republican Assemblyman John Salka announced that he will challenge Democratic Senator Rachel May in a run for the State’s 55th Senate District. “It is painfully obvious that one party rule in our State Legislature has proven to be a disaster,” Salka said in his campaign announcement. “Their policies have cost the citizens of our great State dearly when it comes to fair representation and the ability to make their voices heard.” Salka said he plans to reach out to citizens of upstate communities and wants to work to “make upstate New York great again.”

State Assembly

On Tuesday, February 15th to fill seats in the Assembly’s 60th and 72nd Districts, which were vacated by former Assemblymembers Charles Barron and Carmen De La Rosa respectively. Winning the election to the 60th Assembly District was Democrat and community activist Nikki Lucas. Democrat Manny De Los Santos, who is a political operative and a social worker won, his election to the Assembly’s 72nd District. 

In the Assembly’s 73rd District, which will be vacated by Democratic Assemblyman Dan Quart, who previously announced he will not seek re-election. Democrat Kellie Leeson announced her candidacy for the seat. Leeson, who volunteered during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 campaign, said she is running with the goal of supporting families, strengthening New York City’s infrastructure against climate change, and reevaluating the New York State budget. “The East Side of Manhattan is in such a period of change,” Leeson said, “and so it’s a real opportunity right now to make sure that we just don’t go back to the status quo and we really build on the lessons we’ve learned over the last couple of years to make sure that our city’s really working for all of us.” Leeson joins a growing field of Democrats for the 73rd District, which includes May Malik, who has served in the New York City Mayor’s office as the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for the past three years, and Russell Squire, an attorney who is the current Chair of the Upper East Side’s Community Board 8.

Former New York State Representative Alec Brook-Krasny announced he has switched his party registration from Democrat to Republican as he is planning to run for the 46th Assembly District, which is currently held by Democrat Mathylde Frontus. Brook-Krasny, who is also a former Assemblymember of the 46th District, has said the switch comes after he has become fed up with the Democratic Party moving further left. “I can’t believe everything that’s going on in the Democratic Party,” he said. “All the calls to ‘defund the police,’ the cancel culture. It goes against my character and my nature.”

Shifting Upstate, two Republicans, who are hoping to unseat longtime Democratic Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, will face-off against each other in a June Primary to secure the Republican nomination for the Assembly’s 106th District after announcing their candidacies this week. Brandon Gaylord, an 11th Grade U.S. History teacher at Green Tech High Charter School in Albany said, should he be elected, he would fight to increase public safety, lower taxes, and encourage families to relocate to Upstate New York. Challenging Gaylord for the Republican nomination will be Catrina Rocco, the Department Chair of Liberal Arts & General Studies at Mildred Elley in Albany. Rocco said the cost of living and high taxes are her reasons for running.

Democrat Dan Buttermann announced he plans to run for the Democratic nomination for the Assembly’s 122nd District, which is currently held by Republican Assemblyman John Salka, who will be leaving the seat after announcing a run for State Senate. Buttermann previously ran against Salka in 2020 and lost, but believes he could win this election because of the newly drawn Assembly map. “My record in community action is founded on collaboration. Now is the time for action,” Buttermann said in his announcement. “Our State is at a pivotal point and we need representatives that can collaborate, share ideas, and work collectively with one another. The world is changing, and we can capture the best parts of that change for our communities, but we can only do that through compromise and collaboration. That is why my first, and most important promise is to listen.”


Democratic State Senator Alessandra Biaggi formerly launched her campaign for New York’s newly drawn 3rd Congressional District. The 3rd Congressional District is currently represented by Democrat Thomas Suozzi who is running in the Democratic Primary for Governor. “Our country doesn’t just need more Democrats in Washington, we need bolder ones,” Biaggi said. “I am running for Congress in NY-3 to bring progressive and honest leadership to the frontlines of our country’s most important fights. Hardworking families of Westchester, Long Island, the Bronx and Queens deserve an experienced, strong, and fearless leader in Washington. And that’s exactly what they can expect from me.”

Following Rep. Kathleen Rice’s announcement that she will not seek re-election, Democrat Siela Bynoe announced her candidacy to fill the seat. Bynoe, who is a Nassau County Legislator, has been an advocate for police reform and strengthening county contracting procedures. She also previously served as Executive Director of the Huntington Housing Authority. “I’m proud to announce I’m running for Congress to represent the values, hopes, and dreams of the extraordinary people of Nassau County’s CD-4,” Bynoe said in her campaign announcement. “Please join me in this grassroots campaign to make sure out community has the reputation in Congress we deserve.”

Two Democrats announced their plans to challenge Manhattan Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in the June Primary. First, is moderate-right Democrat, and vocal anti-mask mandate mom Maud Maron. Maron, a former public defender who ran in a City Council primary last year, ultimately placing fourth, says that Democrats have lost their sense of reality when it comes to addressing crime, saying that they need to “stop blaming white supremacy” when people commit crimes. “I’m trying to challenge Maloney from the moderate center,” Maron said. “We need a course correction in the Democratic Party. Out city is not safe.” Also announcing their candidacy is Suraj Patel, a lawyer and political operative who challenged Maloney in the last election. Patel, who refers to himself as a “pro-growth, pro-democracy, pro-science and pro-safety” Democrat said in his announcement, “this is a new decade, a new district, and as we enter year three of a pandemic, we’ve got new challenges, which means we need a government that proactively develops 21st-century solutions to 21st-century problems.”

Lastly, a fourth Republican has announced their candidacy to New York’s 24th Congressional District, which is being vacated by Republican Rep. John Katko. Former Air Force pilot and engineer John Murtari said, if elected, he would focus on issues like civil discourse, free speech, and implementing term limits for politicians. Murtari will face Republicans Rep. Chris Jacobs, Mario Fratto, and Todd Aldinger in the June Primary.