HAMILTON: No Joke – A Gay Man, Two Black Women & a White Woman Walk Into a Voting Booth…

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By: Ken Hamilton


No joke. A gay man, two black women and a white woman walk into a voting booth. The one who comes out a winner will apparently be the undisputed icon of New York’s Democratic Party and the guide-on of the Obama post-racial and gender American movement.  In a political society like NYS, where personal-identity politics flourish, with which of the following candidates would you identify?

Forget about the governor’s September 13th primary race. That’s a race between an ultra-liberal and an uber-liberal.  The race to watch is NYS’s Attorney General Race.  Quite honestly, this one looks like a post-apocalyptic California race, one where all Californians moved from the earthquake ravished west coast an on to the more comfortable digs found between Long Island and Lake Erie.  What we have on one hand are 4 New Yorkers who will be collectively running for the AG office.  But on the other hand, against President Trump on the ballot; while all the while on the campaign trail apparently trying to “out-trump” the others on their fringe minority ratings.

If I had to rank any of them on fringe minority ratings, the winner would be Putnam County Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, an openly gay white male representative whose small and personal family includes, yes, a husband, an African-American daughter, and Asian and Latino sons.  Now, it hardly gets any better than that, but he still seemingly failed to get many, if any, LGBT endorsements.  In the race against the remaining 3 women, Maloney now knows what it feels like to be a black Republican running for office in Buffalo! I know, because despite me being black, I picked up very few black votes when I ran there in 1996 for state senate.

With the next highest fringe minority rating would be the odds-on favorite, Public Advocate Letitia James, an African-American woman. Unlike it was with the then Chicago community organizer Barack Obama, in NYC the Public Advocate is an actual position that is first in-line to replace an incapacitated (or indicted) mayor.  James actually replaced NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on the job, himself with the fringe credentials of being in an inter-racial marriage.  Like de Blasio, the Brooklyn-born James was elected at large, and was the first African-American women in NYC’s history to have been so.  But, unlike de Blasio, I could find nothing about her having a spouse.

James is also endorsed by both de Blasio and by Governor Andrew Cuomo, two men who are often bitterly at odds with each other.  The endorsements might be a strategic one, though.  With James’ popularity, an AG win might keep her out of the way for a run at either the mayor’s or the governor’s office.

The beautiful Buffalo-born Leecia  Eve has the 3rd-best fringe minority ratings.  As an African-American woman, she is the very bright daughter of former Buffalo Deputy Assembly Speaker Arthur Eve.  Her resume is impressive, but her being from upstate NY won’t be working in her favor, especially in the field of candidates that she faces for a statewide office.  Like James, I also found no mention of she having spouse.

That brings us to the married white woman, Zephyr Teachout.  Her spouse is a white man.  Imagine that! Nonetheless, she has some very impressive political accomplishments herself.  As Cuomo’s opponent in the last Democratic gubernatorial primary, the law professor gained 34% of the vote – not bad. The most notable endorsement that she has received thus far may have been from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year old Puerto Rican who’s running in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district that serves parts of Bronx and Queens counties in New York City.

I have found nothing of Teachout’s religion that will bolster her fringe minority ratings, but a plus is that when she ran against Cuomo her running mate was an Asian man named Tim Wu. It should be noted that former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver came out against her stance on Israel during her run against Cuomo.

But I have to say it – what would a stance on Israel, pro or con, have anything to do with being an effective governor, attorney general or assembly speaker of any state.  Back then, wasn’t that Hillary Clinton’s and President Obama’s job?

In fact, what would any of the fringe minority ratings have to do with any voter voting for any of the above jobs as well?

But this is New York State. To a lot of the voters, those things matter far more than a person’s actual ability to do those jobs; even more so than a candidates knowledge of what the job is supposed to be.

In fact, each of the candidates spoke of fighting against President Trump when and if they get into office.  Ironically, when WGRZ’s Claudia Ewing asked the Buffalo-born Keith Wofford — the lone black Republican male that is running unopposed for AG — what he thought about the Trump Administration, he had the best answer of all.

“The voters of New York, regardless of who the president is,” said Wofford, “needs an attorney general who will make sure that billions of dollars are not disappearing. And that’s something that is independent of who the president it.  Frankly, the over- politicization of the attorney general’s office is one of the things that is hurting us.” And it all makes me wonder about the voters of the state that I love.

By the way, Wofford’s fringe minority ratings, not only is he African-American, he’s married to a white woman.  In the general election, will white male and conservative female Democratic voters cross lines to vote for him?  We’ll see.

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