State Senator Malcolm Smith has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing after his case was declared a mistrial. This means that he can defend his State Senate seat in November should he wish to stay active and endure a primary challenge.
If Smith were facing a primary challenge in any other circumstance, he would normally have a few options at his disposal. In the past, he has run on multiple party lines and he would most likely have that option this time if circumstances were different.
A lifelong Democrat, Smith has been wooed by the GOP in the past – a magnetism that ultimately landed him in hot water last year. Now, he has to decide if he wants to run in a primary against a challenger who highlights what Smith is not.
Leroy Comrie, the former city councilman, is not as charismatic as Smith. But he does bring with him a sense of stability and confidence that the district might want right now. Comrie has not soured too many people and can run a race with a message about rebuilding broken relationships.
He does not need to be a headline grabber, since the headlines are already taken up by the man he is hoping to unseat. No press is good press in this situation.
The 14th is a large district, extending from the area around St. John’s University all the way down to the northern end of the Belt Parkway. It is a part of Queens that needs strong leadership. While many parts of the borough have experienced a renaissance, this is a district that can go either way.
It needs investment, innovation, and leaders that are not distracted. Even if Smith were not involved in a scandal, he was hoping to no longer make that trek to Albany.
We live in an age where politicians make comebacks. Smith could climb back if he can avoid legal tentacles. Before being named majority leader in the Senate, Smith was one of the most likable and charismatic politicians in the city. He could have been mayor at one time.
That seems a lot less likely now. But he can make a comeback someplace, some time…if he is not found guilty of any wrongdoing. Right now, however, winning a primary seems like a long shot. Comrie has stacked up a few endorsements and, what is more, he is not trending on the Internet.
3rd Congressional District, Round One
GOP primaries in Suffolk County can often turn into bare-knuckle fights. In a part of the state, where the GOP can still claim some heft, Stephen Labate and Grant Lally have been locked in a tough primary battle in the 3rd District for a chance to unseat incumbent Democrat Steve Israel.
By the time this hits print, the primary will be over, but the problem with the party at the state and local level is more of an issue. These primaries are not good for a party that has such a small Republican presence in Congress from New York.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) can dump a lot of money into a campaign if one of their representatives appears vulnerable. If the GOP candidate is already weakened from a primary fight, he would then have to battle not only the incumbent, but an inflow of cash from Washington as well.