A reader pointed out to me that David Paterson is in the unenviable position of most likely needing to rely on a high turnout among African-American voters to boost his chances of winning a competitive primary, but opposing the Senate candidacy of Harold Ford Jr., who would be running against Paterson’s appointed senator, might be detrimental to the cause.
I contacted Hank Sheinkopf – a Democratic consultant that has a keen sense of how race, identity and politics mingle together – and asked him whether Ford could bring out the African-American vote and help Paterson in a primary?
No, he said.
That’s because while Ford and Paterson are both African-Americans, Sheinkopf said they’ll represent two different things to voters this fall: the establishment and the none-establishment.
“Ford would bring out the insurgents probably and the anti’s over all, and people possibly who are not high propensity voters,” he said. These voters, said Sheinkopf would rather “use their votes as protests against the current state of affairs: state government perceived to be out of control and the presence of four appointed, unelected individuals in normally elected offices.”
That would be Paterson, DiNapoli, Gillibrand and, Ravitch.