GOP state chairman Ed Cox emailed out this afternoon a year end review to party members, and first among the party’s list of accomplishments was the surprising victory by Bob Turner over Democrat David Weprin in the special election to replace Anthony Weiner.
“The significance of Turner’s victory went far beyond one congressional seat, Mr. Cox writes. “Styled as a referendum on President Obama’s administration in general and his Israeli policy in particular, this election changed his Israeli policy and proved that negative ‘Mediscare’ political attacks could not overcome Obama’s political weakness among “Reagan Democrats” in the inner suburbs which he must carry to be reelected.”
We know how many fathers victory has, and the results of the Weprin race have had many–a smart and agressive campaign by the Turner folks, some critical mistakes by the Weprin team (including canceling a debate appearance) and the nomination by party bosses of someone thought essentially to be a space-filler until redistricting.
Plus, special elections are tricky, as Mr. Cox knows as well as anyone, considering the party has lost a string of them until the Turner race. Mr. Cox makes note of this, referring to the special election in the 26th Congressional district, where Kathy Hochul won a very surprising race to replace the scandal-scarred Chris Lee.
“Congressional District to over-the-top attacks on Paul Ryan’s courageous Medicare reform legislation. Turner’s win, along with a simultaneous big Republican congressional win in Nevada, despite “Mediscare” attacks, deflated these hopes and correctly pinned the loss in the 26th on the presence of a third party candidate who self funded a three million dollar conservative campaign,” he writes.
2011 was a decent year for Republicans however, even if it couldn’t match 2010, when the GOP won 6 House seats and retook control of the State Senate. An upset loss in Erie County executive race and less surprising loss in the Suffolk County executive race hurt, but breaking the Democratic super-majority in the Westchester County legislature showed some strength in the suburbs.
Full report below:
The Republican tide in New York is still rising! Victories across the state in 2011 demonstrated the local strength of the Republican message of economic growth, freedom, and job creation and the renewed vitality of Republican organizations.
Victory in the 9th Congressional District
On September 13, despite being outspent by a factor of three, Republican Bob Turner won a special election in a Queens and Brooklyn congressional district with a three-to-one Democratic registration advantage. The district had not been held by a Republican since 1923 and had boasted holders such as Chuck Schumer and Geraldine Ferraro.
The State Committee, as part of a terrific team effort, contributed effectively in a number of critical areas including candidate and campaign staff selection, campaign strategy, coordination of efforts among national and local GOP committees at both senior and staff levels, raising and supplying critical funding, doing mailers, recruiting statewide, national and even international (Republicans Abroad Israel pitched in) volunteers, media “air cover” and op-ed support and ballot security.
The significance of Turner’s victory went far beyond one congressional seat. Styled as a referendum on President Obama’s administration in general and his Israeli policy in particular, this election changed his Israeli policy and proved that negative “Mediscare” political attacks could not overcome Obama’s political weakness among “Reagan Democrats” in the inner suburbs which he must carry to be reelected.
Inflated Democratic hopes, after their devastating 2010 loses, and media hype had ascribed their earlier special election win in New York’s 26th Congressional District to over-the-top attacks on Paul Ryan’s courageous Medicare reform legislation. Turner’s win, along with a simultaneous big Republican congressional win in Nevada, despite “Mediscare” attacks, deflated these hopes and correctly pinned the loss in the 26th on the presence of a third party candidate who self funded a three million dollar conservative campaign.
The State Party initiated a statewide training program that brought some of the best grassroots organizers in the nation to New York to train hundreds of candidates, committee members, campaign managers and activists, including a training session specifically tailored for woman candidates. Regional training classes were held in Westchester, New York, Suffolk, Onondaga, Rockland, Tompkins, Erie, Broome, Saratoga and Ontario Counties.
Victories in the 2011 Elections
Styled after the success of our 2009 Local Assistance Program, we implemented initiatives to help local committees and candidates in the 2011 general elections. Working closely with county leaders, the State Party committed resources to county legislative contests in particular and other campaigns across the state, including financial assistance, training sessions, targeted mailers, communications, voter identification and staff and field assistance.
The local and state team effort paid off. While the elections in 2009 and 2010 were driven in important part by voter revulsion over the actions of absolute and arrogant Democratic power in Albany and Washington, the 2011 wins were more organizational elections demonstrating the growing strength of our local Republican organizations acting in concert with the State Party.
Organizing for local wins in New York’s cities, where Democrats are traditionally strong, is a challenge; we lost several open races for mayoralties in 2011. But Republican city organizations fielded some excellent candidates and the effective outreach to local religious, ethnic and civic groups in Queens and Brooklyn by Bob Turner proved that the Republican message can resonate in New York’s largest City. With ongoing assistance and outreach programs, the State Party will do its part to help build our city organizations.
Around the state, experienced Republican county executives Maggie Brooks, Joanie Mahoney and Tony Picente easily won reelection in Monroe, Onondaga and Oneida counties, respectively. In open seats, Mary Ellen Odell and Assemblyman Marc Molinaro won decisive victories in the Putnam and Dutchess county executive races, respectively, while Debbie Preston, whose home was washed out by the hurricane Irene flood waters during her campaign, became the first Republican County Executive in Broome since 2004. And Republicans maintained, and in many cases strengthened, their control of 46 county legislatures across the State.
While we lost individual county executive races for an open seat in Suffolk and an incumbent in Erie, organization strength prevailed down ballot in both cases and in Westchester County.
In 2 to 1 Democrat Erie County, Republican Chris Jacobs won the county clerk’s office previously held by a Democrat. Erie Republicans also strengthened their super minority in a downsized county legislature winning five of eleven seats, picked up the supervisor’s office in six towns and won a special Assembly election to maintain the Republican super minority in the State Assembly.
In Suffolk County, Republicans held their ground in the county legislature, swept the board and supervisor from the Democrats in the Town of Islip while holding their own or winning additional seats in Suffolk’s other towns, and in conjunction with Nassau County, went an extraordinary 10 for 10 in Supreme Court Justice races.
In 2 to 1 Democrat Westchester County, Republicans broke the Democrat’s super majority in the county legislature, which they had used to stymie Republican County Executive Rob Astorino’s fiscally responsible agenda. Now, Republicans in the legislature have enough votes to uphold Astornio’s veto and bring fiscal sanity back to one of the highest taxed counties in America.
Details of NYGOP 2011 Election Successes
In Albany County, Republicans picked up three seats on the County Legislature.
In Broome County, Debbie Preston won the County Executive’s race, defeating Democrat incumbent Patrick Brennan.
In Dutchess County, Assemblyman Marc Molinaro won a resounding victory in an open seat to become County Executive. Dutchess County also maintained their large Republican majority on the County Legislature.
In Erie County, Chris Jacobs became the first Republican County Clerk in over 40 years. Republican Ray Walter won a special election and maintained our super minority in the New York State Assembly. And showing grassroots strength, Republicans won five out of eleven seats on a downsized legislature, increasing their super minority, and picked up six town supervisors defeating Democrat incumbents.
In Monroe County, Maggie Brooks won an extraordinary third term as County Executive and Republicans picked up two seats on the legislature, giving them their largest majority since the 1990’s. Republicans also picked up additional town seats across Monroe County.
In Nassau County, Republicans maintained control of the county legislature.
In Oneida County, Tony Picente won a second term as County Executive and Republicans maintained control of the legislature.
In Onondaga County, Republican Joanie Mahoney won another term as County Executive, as did District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick and County Comptroller Bob Antonacci. Republicans also increased their majority on the county legislature.
In Putnam County, Mary Ellen Odell won back the County Executive for the GOP which maintained their strong hold on the County Legislature.
In Rockland County, Republicans maintained their super minority in the County Legislature, while sweeping the town board in Orangetown.
In St. Lawrence County, Republican Mary Lou Rupp was elected County Clerk.
In Suffolk County, Republicans maintained their seats on the County Legislature, swept the Town of Islip and picked up a seat on the Huntington Town Board.
In Ulster County, Republican Holley Carnright won reelection as District Attorney with nearly 60% of the vote, while Republicans maintained control of the County Legislature.
In Westchester County, Republicans achieved a super minority for County Executive Rob Astorino in the County Legislature.
In the 5th Judicial District (Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties) Republicans won two out of four Supreme Court Justice seats.
In the 3rd Judicial District we were three for three.
In the 7th Judicial District we won both seats.
In the 10th Judicial (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) Republicans had a huge victory winning ten out of ten Supreme Court Justice Seats.
And these are just some of the victories as we elected and re-elected numerous county, city and town officers throughout the state.
2012 and Beyond
As one of the most Democratic states in the Union, it is not coincidental that New York has been judged by serious academic surveys to be among the least business friendly states with the largest outmigration of jobs, the highest taxes, the highest education, energy and insurance costs, the most burdensome regulatory schemes and the least economic freedoms.
A strong pro-growth NYGOP is a strong pro-growth force for less government spending, lower taxes and creating more jobs and repairing the infrastructure in New York. At the same time we have continued to build the Republican bench for future legislative, congressional and statewide races. With strong established, and promising new, major office holders, the NYGOP has created a substantial foundation for not just the Party’s future but for New York’s future.