Below is a press release from Citizens Union announcing their 2014 general election endorsements, and you can find my full candidate questionnaire here.
Citizens Union Chair Peter Sherwin and Executive Director Dick Dadey today announce Citizens Union’s candidate endorsements in 12 races for the November 4th General Election, and its support for two of the three ballot proposals.
In the statewide races, Citizens Union endorses Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General and Tom DiNapoli for Comptroller:
- Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is an effective and active player in the effort to bring reform and accountability to Albany, who has championed election and campaign finance reform. CU supports his re-election because of his record, commitment to public integrity, and constructive use of the powers of his office.
- Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is a dedicated public servant who has demonstrated his personal integrity and restored credibility to the Office of State Comptroller. DiNapoli deserves re-election because of his effort to create greater transparency through the Open Book New York platform and his support for a viable public funding system. CU is confident he will be an active voice for comprehensive campaign finance reform for all state offices if re-elected.
Citizens Union also appreciates Schneiderman and DiNapoli’s collaborative efforts to create the Joint Task Force on Public Integrity in which the Comptroller conferred jurisdiction on the Attorney General to review the misuse of state funds, resulting in dozens of cases being brought against state and local public officers.
Citizens Union has not concluded the evaluation process for gubernatorial candidates, and has thus far received questionnaires from Governor Andrew Cuomo, Rob Astorino, and Howie Hawkins, and has interviewed the latter two candidates. Our decision will be announced in the coming days.
In three state senate contests, Citizens Union endorses: Brad Hoylman, who has led the charge on major ethics legislation in the Senate since he began his current freshman term; Martin Golden, a partner in seeking to improve the design of the ballot and reform the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; and Joseph Addabbo, Jr., who is pragmatic about implementing change in Albany and a leader on election reform.
In six assembly districts, Citizens Union evaluated two open seats, two districts with recently indicted assemblymembers and two with long-standing incumbents. Citizens Union endorses Rebecca Seawright in District 76, who will be a fresh voice in Albany for reform and bring new leadership to a district which has not yet had a female assemblymember.
In District 59, Citizens Union issued “no endorsement” between Republican Jeffrey Ferretti and Democrat Roxanne Persaud. Citizens Union also endorses Ron Kim (AD 40) and Nicole Malliotakis (AD 64), new incumbents who first began serving as assemblymembers in 2013 and 2011, respectively, and who bring a passion for transparency and accountability to their work.
Citizens Union also endorses incumbents James Brennan (AD 44) and Richard Gottfried (AD 75), who continue to be diligent and thoughtful stewards of reform, and models of elected officials serving the public with integrity and wisdom.
Not surprisingly, but still notable, one-third or 33% of all state legislative seats in NYC are uncontested in the November general election. 29 incumbents out of 91 total seats from NYC are not facing any challenger on election day. In each house, the number is 23% (6 of 26) for the Senate, and 35% (23 of 65) in the Assembly. In Queens, only 2 incumbents in the Assembly are being challenged, out of a total of 18 seats, which are all held by incumbents. Beyond incumbents, Leroy Comrie, Jr. is unopposed in his bid for Senate District 14, after having defeated Malcolm Smith in the primary.
“With voter turnout at only 10% in the 2014 primary election and New Yorkers losing trust in state government, it is so important that we educate voters on where candidates stand on good government issues,” said Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union. “Beyond supporting reform-minded candidates for office, Citizens Union also educates candidates on the ballot proposals, recommending they vote yes on measures that will improve state government. Proposals 1 and 2 will both bring long-overdue reform to Albany, creating a fair redistricting process, and ensuring that the legislative process is efficient in utilizing modern technology to save taxpayers money.”
In order to be eligible to receive an endorsement, candidates are required to fill out questionnaires and attend interviews; all candidates in each race evaluated were given the opportunity to participate. A full list of our endorsements is at the end of this release.
As part of Citizens Union’s mission as a nonpartisan good government organization dedicated to making democracy work for all New Yorkers, we evaluate candidates based on their commitment to our reform agenda and their effectiveness in advancing these issues, as well as other issues affecting their communities. In alignment with Citizens Union’s top priorities, candidates were asked about their commitment to the redistricting reform ballot proposal, campaign finance reform, and how they would address the rise in corruption in Albany.
In our soon to be published 2014 general election voters directory, Citizens Union will share candidate information along with our endorsements and evaluations of ballot proposals, disseminating copies to our members prior to the November 4th election. In addition to the hard copy, there will be an online version available to the public on the Citizens Union website, which includes candidate responses to our questionnaire.