This fall, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms PAC endorsed three statewide candidates, three candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, five candidates for the New York State Senate, and nine candidates for the New York State Assembly. Now that the elections are over and the dust has cleared, how did they do?
NYCFPAC’s three endorsed statewide candidates—Rob Astorino for Governor, Bob Antonacci for Comptroller, and John Cahill for Attorney General—were all Republicans. Given the large (and growing) voter enrollment advantage that the Democratic Party possesses in New York, it has been challenging for Republican candidates to win statewide races here in recent years. In fact, the last time a Republican won a statewide election in New York was when then-Gov. George Pataki was re-elected for the final time in 2002. In the statewide races, Gov. Andrew Cuomo—together with his new running mate, former congressmember Kathy Hochul—defeated Rob Astorino and Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman were both re-elected. Gov. Cuomo and Ms. Hochul won by a margin of approximately 52% to 40%, with Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins receiving nearly 5% of the vote. Comptroller DiNapoli prevailed by approximately 57% to 35% over Antonacci, while Attorney General Schneiderman defeated Cahill by approximately 53% to 39%.
Rev. Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director of NYCFPAC, commented, “NYCFPAC appreciates the efforts made by each of our endorsed statewide candidates in 2014. We salute Rob Astorino, who ran a spirited underdog campaign against a well-known incumbent who had an immense warchest of campaign funds. NYCFPAC sincerely hopes that Rob Astorino will consider a 2018 run for Governor, as he is the best gubernatorial candidate New York has seen in decades.”
U.S. House of Representatives
Two of the three congressional candidates who received NYCFPAC’s endorsement this fall prevailed. On Long Island, NYCFPAC-endorsed Republican State Senator Lee Zeldin defeated longtime Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in Congressional District One, 54% to 44%. In the North Country, NYCFPAC-endorsed Republican Elise Stefanik defeated Democrat Aaron Woolf and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello, 53%-32%-11%, in Congressional District 21. In the Capital District, NYCFPAC-endorsed Republican candidate Jim Fischer was defeated by incumbent Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko, 59%-37%, in Congressional District 20.
Rev. McGuire stated, “NYCFPAC is pleased that Sen. Lee Zeldin will be representing District One in Congress. NYCFPAC endorsed Sen. Zeldin in his first State Senate campaign in 2010, and he has rewarded our confidence in him with a solid conservative voting record. Sen. Zeldin’s combination of legislative and military experience will stand him in good stead in Washington.”
“Ever since then-Rep. John McHugh resigned his seat in Congress in 2009, efforts to elect a pro-life candidate from the North Country have been unsuccessful—until now. NYCFPAC congratulates Elise Stefanik on becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Elise should be proud of this historic milestone, and NYCFPAC is pleased that she will be bringing her skills and enthusiasm to Congress in January.”
“NYCFPAC applauds Jim Fischer for running a hard-fought campaign, and wishes him all the best in his future endeavors.”
All five of NYCFPAC’s endorsed candidates won their State Senate races this fall. Islip Town Supervisor and NYCFPAC-endorsed Republican candidate Tom Croci won his race against Democrat Adrienne Esposito, 56%-40%, in Long Island’s District Three. In the Hudson Valley, newcomer Terrence Murphy, a Republican, defeated Democrat Justin Wagner in District 40 by a 53%-43% margin, while Republican Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino unseated Democratic Sen. Terry Gipson, 51%-46%, in District 41. In the Capital District, former Assemblyman George Amedore defeated Democratic Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, 55%-43%, in a rematch of a 2012 race in Senate District 46. In the Rochester region, Republican Rich Funke unseated Democratic Sen. Ted O’Brien by a margin of 58%-41% in District 55.
Rev. McGuire commented, “At NYCFPAC, we’re thrilled that our endorsed candidates went five-for-five in State Senate races. In each race, voters chose NYCFPAC-endorsed candidates over committed supporters of late-term abortion expansion. Tom Croci, Terrence Murphy, Sue Serino, George Amedore, and Rich Funke—all Senate newcomers—will bring an array of skills and perspectives that will strengthen the Senate. It should be noted that these five insurgent candidates made it possible for the Republican Party to attain an outright Senate majority this year.”
NYCFPAC endorsed nine Assembly candidates this fall. Asms. Brian Kolb and David DiPietro were re-elected, and Angela Wozniak was elected to the Assembly for the first time. At this writing, the race in District 116 between NYCFPAC-endorsed John Byrne and Democratic Asm. Addie Jenne Russell remains too close to call. NYCFPAC thanks Tom Jasiewicz, Peter Vroman, Herbert Masser, Robert DeMarco, and Peterson Vazquez for making honorable efforts that fell short this year.
Rev. McGuire concluded, “Overall, NYCFPAC is pleased with the results of this year’s elections and with the quality of the insurgent candidates who will be adding their talents in Washington, D.C. and in Albany. We look forward to those candidates’ support for life, family, and freedom as they serve in elected office.”