From the morning memo, which we should note incorrectly referred to Gipson’s old job. He is a former village trustee in Rhinebeck.
Democrat Terry Gipson has his work cut out for him as a freshman state senator.
A confluence of factors helped Gipson, a former village trustee in Rhinebeck, defeat longtime incumbent Stephen Saland, a moderate Republican.
Gipson had the support of the teachers unions, especially New York City’s UFT, which saw the election as a proxy war with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his $1 million gift to the Senate GOP’s housekeeping account.
Gipson, as did other Democrats, had the benefit of running in a presidential election year, when the party in New York generally comes out to support the top of the ticket and by extension aid the down-ballot candidates.
And Gipson’s victory, which was narrow and not decided until weeks after Election Day, was aided by the presence of Neil DiCarlo on the Conservative Party ballot line, who had tried to knock Saland off in a Republican primary.
One thing that Gipson did not have in his favor was the support of the state’s powerful and popular Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, who crossed party lines to endorse Saland because of his vote to legalize same-sex marriage.
In the end, Gipson squeaked by in a divided, three-way race that Republicans will no doubt want to rectify in 2014.
To be sure, there is still DiCarlo out there who could play spoiler for a more establishment candidate (It’s highly unlikely that Senate Republicans would turn to DiCarlo, given for his tendency to say inflammatory things and complain about “New York City homosexualists”).
But if the Republicans can coalesce around a candidate unhindered by the gun control vote and one who has the Conservative Party line, Gipson has some real trouble on his hands. Already, 2014 is shaping up to be a backlash year for Democrats, and while Cuomo will be at the top of the state ticket for Democrats, more Republicans in New York tend to come out for gubernatorial elections.
Now weeks after becoming a state senator, Gipson’s finding issues that put him at odds with Cuomo.
On Tuesday, he announced a measure that would prevent so-called “vampire voting” that would limit votes in the Legislature between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. It’s a good-government issue and one that could even gain some sympathy on the Republican side of the aisle.
While Gipson backed the governor’s gun control law, he decried that the Senate was voting on the measure in the middle of the night.
More importantly, and logically, Gipson is opposing Cuomo’s plan in his $142.6 billion budget to close a prison facility in Beacon, which is part of his Hudson Valley Senate district.
In a statement released late Wednesday afternoon, Gipson said he was skeptical of state official’s cost saving claims and was concerned about the economic impact.
“Their decision also seems to ignore the important fact that they would be closing down the last women’s minimum security facility in the state and, as a result, transfer women who are readying to re-enter society to medium or maximum security facilities. With that in mind, this move appears even more confusing,” he said in the statement.
It may prove difficult for a freshman, minority lawmaker to have the Cuomo administration reverse course the prison proposal, but Gipson clearly had show his district, and Albany, that he wasn’t on board.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on February 7, 2013 at 10:49 am, and is filed under Democrats, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|