Sean Coffey gave a brief speech at an outdoor reception here in Rye at the State Democrat’s convention, saying he’s glad to have gotten to know so many members of the New York State Democratic Party. Not long ago, he said, he didn’t know any of them.
It’s true, and also is the reason I thought he’d skip this whole convention thing entirely and petition his way onto the ballot, brandishing himself as an “outsider” in a year when everybody – even long-time Democratic Party fixtures like Andrew Cuomo – are casting themselves in that role.
But Coffey, like the four other Democratic candidates for attorney general are going to be placed on the ballot.
This works politically for Andrew Cuomo, who gets to kill two birds with one stone: giving something to reformers, and boosting his oft-speculated favored AG candidate, Kathleen Rice.
Rice is the only woman in the race, and, the theory goes, putting every AG candidate on the ballot will benefit her because there will be a cacophony of white men yelling and attacking each other (or her). It would be harder for her to sustain prolonged attacks if the field had been whittled down to just one or two opponents. The other candidates are Eric Schneiderman, Richard Brodsky, and Eric Dinallo.
By having the state party put each of the candidates on the ballot, they appear to be fulfilling one demand expressed by the New York Times editorial page.
“If there are other serious candidates, Democrats should add them all to their list,” the Times wrote.