Primary races to replace a retiring congressman from the Hudson Valley on Tuesday feature two past candidates for New York governor facing off against lesser-known but spirited challengers.
Republican Rep. Chris Gibson is one of four New York congressmen retiring this year, and primary elections are being held June 28 in each of those districts. In New York City, Democrat Charles Rangel’s retirement after 23 terms has sparked a nine-person stampede for the party’s line. The Democratic primary for Steve Israel’s Long Island seat is slightly less crowded with five candidates, while three Republicans are competing for GOP Rep. Richard Hanna’s seat.
Gibson’s largely rural district, which stretches west from the Hudson Valley, is closely split between Democrats and Republicans. Both parties see a chance for a win this fall, teeing up hard-fought primary races.
In Rep. Jerry Nadler’s Manhattan and Brooklyn district, a Democratic contender, Oliver Rosenberg, is challenging the longtime lawmaker’s bid for a 13th term. Rosenberg, who’s been trying to make inroads into the Orthodox community by plastering Boro Park with campaign posters, is not enjoying the support he seeks, possibly due to his personal principles.
Nadler’s support of the Iran deal is sure to play a prominent role in his general election.
Phillip Rosenthal, an Upper West Side physicist and attorney is on the Republican ballot.
Democratic candidate Zephyr Teachout became a progressive hero in 2014 by challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo from the left and grabbing about a third of the primary vote. The Fordham University law professor moved into the district after that race.
Teachout continues to rail against political corruption, saying she was “like Elizabeth Warren with a New York twist.” In a reversal from 2014, She is running as a favorite against a lesser-known challenger. While Will Yandik lags in name recognition, he boasts deep roots in the district.
A recent Siena poll shows Teachout with a 30-point lead.
First-time candidate Andrew Heaney has likened himself to Donald Trump and rails against political correctness. He has taken pot-shots at opponent John Faso as a “failed” politician and a lobbyist.
A win for Faso would be a political comeback. He became a prominent spokesman for conservative Republican policies during a 16-year tenure in the Assembly that ended in 2002. He ran unsuccessful campaigns for state comptroller in 2002 and governor in 2006, losing the latter race to Democrat Eliot Spitzer.
Faso, who has lived in the Hudson Valley for decades, has described Heaney as a “New York City millionaire” and criticized him for donating $2,000 to Barack Obama in 2007.
The Siena poll showed Faso leading Heaney by 22 points.
On Long Island, former Southampton Town supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is facing venture capitalist David Calone in a pricey Democratic primary to retake the seat held by Republican first-term Rep. Lee Zeldin.
Former Nassau County executive Thomas Suozzi is among the five Democrats running for Steve Israel’s seat. Republicans see a chance for a pick-up with their candidate Jack Martins.
In Harlem, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat challenged Charles Rangel twice in Democratic primaries without success. Rangel is not running as Espaillat tries for a third time, but the nine primary candidates include Assemblyman Keith Wright, who has been endorsed by the incumbent.
The district has been a stronghold for black politicians and is now heavily Latino. It remains heavily Democratic, meaning the primary winner will be a prohibitive favorite in November.