New York Must Change Its Primary Date

I’ve been rooting for Marco Rubio ever since he announced he was running for Florida senate, and even though he no longer had an opponent in the primary, I still had August 24th marked on my calendar. As I was watching the primary results, just as I’ve been watching for the past few months, it made me wish New York had a normal date.

You see, while other candidates – like Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak in neighboring Pennsylvania – have been running for Senate since the beginning or middle of the summer, here in New York we have to wait until September 14th before we know who our candidates are. Our candidates here in New York have to spend the summer (and first two weeks of September) fighting and spending money on each other, before they even get to their opponents. That includes Governor and BOTH Senators on our side, and the Attorney General on the other.

Show of hands: who besides me thinks that’s ridiculous?

Let’s look at the race to see who gets to run against Sen. Gillibrand, who at one point was one of the most vulnerable Senators in the country. She’s an unelected Senator who was appointed by an unelected Governor, has changed positions on just about every issue from when she was in Congress, and up until the recent Sienna College poll (Go Saints), more people wanted someone else instead of her. The ads and the campaign write themselves…if you have a candidate.

Right now we have three. There was a nomination convention in June. Maybe, in the eyes of some, our candidates should be chosen by party bosses who have their committeemen sign their proxies over to them (I have the insane belief that the people should decide). Maybe the party was hoping the people who weren’t anointed would drop out because they didn’t get the blessing of enough party insiders.

Instead, we have a primary. I’m all for primaries, as I’ve said before in this blog.  When there are ideological differences to be debated, the candidates should take it to the people. A primary would be great…in JULY. A primary would be great when the candidates have the summer to introduce themselves to the voters and raise the money they need to get their message out and take their fight to the opponent…ON THE OTHER SIDE.

And it’s not just the races I’ve mentioned before. I know with Republicans, we also have Congressional primaries in the 1st, 4th, 13th, and 23rd districts where we’re spending all this time and money attacking each other, leaving us less than two months to attack the incumbents.

Assemblyman Brian Kolb is campaigning across the state for a “People’s Convention to Reform New York.” In short, the people would be elected by their peers to amend and reform the NY constitution, something I’m sure both sides can agree on. This is something I fully support, but one of the most important things we can do might be as simple as changing the election laws.

Move up the date of the New York primary. Mid-July I think would be an ideal time, but even moving it to before Labor Day would be a major improvement.


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