Democrats, Republicans Nominate Candidates for U.S. Senate

On Monday, the state Democratic Party met in Tarrytown to nominate U.S. Senator Charles Schumer for a fourth term to that office.

Earlier today, the state Republicans Party held their convention in Buffalo. They nominated attorney Wendy Long to challenge Schumer.  (Watch her web video announcing her candidacy.)  Long ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 2012, when she was soundly defeated by Kirsten Gillibrand.

Schumer is heavily favored to win in November and is considered the favorite to become the Senate’s Democratic leader in 2017.

State Court Hear Challenge to Cruz’s Eligibility

On Thursday, an Acting State Supreme Court Justice heard arguments in a case that challenges Texas Senator Ted Cruz is eligible to run for president. A Long Island resident has asked the state Board of Elections to deny Cruz a spot on the state’s presidential primary ballot, arguing that he Cruz, who was born in Calgary, Canada, is ineligible to run for president due to the Constitution’s requirement that anybody serving as president must be a “natural born citizen.”

Lawyers for Cruz and for the state Board of Elections have raised a number of procedural and jurisdictional issues, and are urging the court to dismiss the case.

Progressive Elective Officials Network Launched

Last weekend, a group of almost 100 elected officials from around the state met in Albany to launch the New York State Progressive Elected Officials Network (NYSPEN), an organization created to help liberal politicians work together. NYSPEN is affiliated with Local Progress, the national network for progressive elected officials.

According to the group, its purpose is to “empower local elected officials through trainings on public policy and leadership skills, to provide policy support and coordinate efforts to pass progressive policies across regions and geographies, to unite elected officials to advocate on issues of shared interest at the state level, and to provide opportunities for networking and shared solidarity.”

Batavia Businesswoman Will Challenge Collins in 27th Congressional District

Democrat Diana Kastenbaum, a business owner from Batavia, announced last week that she will challenge Republican Congressman Chris Collins in November. She is the CEO of Pinnacle Manufacturing Company Inc. in Batavia, a company started by her father in 1972. She said that her priorities will include creating good paying jobs, ending income inequality, making college more affordable, and providing access to affordable health care.

The 27th Congressional District includes all of Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, and Livingston counties and parts of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Ontario counties.