News Analysis: New York State Elections
Republicans in New York did not have the same success as in the rest of the country. For the last four years, Democrats have held all of the statewide offices and will continue to do so. However, the Democrats have not been able to get much done in that time, and it’s too soon to determine if that will change.
As expected, Democrat Andrew Cuomo won the race against his controversial Republican rival Carl Paladino, but Cuomo is likely to aggravate his Democratic allies. Cuomo has promised to cut the state’s budget without borrowing money or raising taxes by cutting education and health care spending, which many Democrats will take issue with.
Governors of the recent past have all been bogged down with corruption charges and their inability to get anything done. Eliot Spitzer was elected in 2006, but resigned less than a year later after The New York Times revealed that he was a client of a prostitution ring.
His replacement David Paterson has been criticized for being ineffectual and verging on corruption. In February 2010, soon after Paterson announced that he would run for governor, The New York Times reported “that the governor and his State Police detail had intervened in a case of domestic violence involving a top aide.” On February 26, less than a week after he announced his campaign, Paterson said that he would not be running for governor.
Cuomo, whose father also served as New York governor, is expected to get things done in Albany. However, the state Senate could cause problems for him.
Just two years ago the Democrats wrested control of the state Senate from the Republicans, who had controlled the body for 40 years. Last spring, Republicans and Democrats were unable to come to an agreement on the budget and effectively shut down the Capitol and their accomplishments have been overshadowed by corruption. As of press time, three key races were still undecided. If Republicans win two, they will control the Senate.
This year, state legislature elections are particularly important. Every decade, based on the results of the national census, congressional districts are redrawn by the state government. This process affects national elections. “Both parties traditionally try to gain an electoral edge through gerrymandering and other forms of creative cartography,” according to The New York Times.
Democrats still control the state Assembly, but if they lose the Senate, there could be issues getting anything done.