The 2018 Gubernatorial election is arriving, and we have already seen the beginning of the early stages of campaigning. This year’s governor’s election will not only determine the executive leadership of the state for the next 4 years, but will impact the conditions of various parties in the state, and the overall political climate.
To help inform on this matter, here are some the basic details.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is running for reelection in hopes of attaining a third term. Governor Cuomo is part of the Democratic Party. Though a significant portion of his party dislikes or dissatisfied with him. In the 2014 Democratic Primary, a third of primary voters had voted for a relatively little-known law professor, Zephyr Teachout. It is likely that a significant portion of this dissatisfaction still exists and could open the possibility for a primary challenger to mount a serious attempt at taking the democratic nomination. Former State Senator Terry Gipson has already entered the primary race. There is also the possibility of others entering the race. For instance, there is the possibility that former mayor of Syracuse, Stephanie Miner, might decide to enter the Democratic Primary race.
The Republican Party hopes that this year might be the year that their candidate will get elected governor. The Republican governor in New York was George Pataki from 1995-2006. The race for the Republican nomination for governor has already began. Currently, there are three candidates running: Joseph Holland (former Commissioner of the New York Department of Housing and Community Renewal), John DeFransisco (Deputy Majority Leader in the State Senate), and Joel Giambra (former Erie County Executive). State Assembly Minority Leader, Brian Kolb, had briefly entered the race before ending his campaign earlier this month.
Then there are the various other political parties in New York State. The governor’s election is important to minor parties in New York state because their performance in it effects their legal status as state recognized parties. There are different legal procedures for parties to seek to get their candidates on ballot depending on whether they have the legal status of being a state recognized party. Being a state recognized party provides greater legal security and has easier requirements for getting on ballot. The only way to gain state party recognition in New York is to get a candidate on ballot for governor and have their candidate get at least 50,000 votes on their ballot line. If they are successful, then they gain state ballot recognition for the next 4 years. Thus, each of the state recognized parties and any political party which isn’t currently state recognized and has the resources to try to get a candidate on ballot for governor, are likely going to nominate a candidate for governor.
The performance of various minor party candidates for governor will affect the future of these parties, as well as the overall results of the election. The influence of minor parties on the election is further advanced by the fact that New York state allows for fusion candidacy. That is, that multiple parties can nominate the same person as a candidate for governor. The candidate’s vote score is based on the total number of votes they get from each ballot line, and the party’s performance is based on the number of votes their candidate gets on their ballot line. As such, a minor party’s decision to run their own distinct candidate or cross nominate a candidate can affect the vote totals.
There are currently 8 state recognized parties in New York State: Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative, Green, Working Families, Women’s Equality, and Reform.
The Independence Party is likely going to nominate Governor Cuomo.
The Conservative Party often nominates the Republican candidate for governor, but has shown that they will nominate their own candidates if the Republicans don’t nominate someone satisfactory to the Conservative Party. Conservative Party leadership has indicated that Holland or DeFransisco would be satisfactory to them, but if the Republicans nominated Giambra, that it would likely nominate their own candidate.
The Green Party tends to nominate their own candidate for governor. In the last two elections, they nominated Howie Hawkins, but he has indicated that we won’t run for Governor this year. It’s not yet certain which of their members the Greens will nominate for Governor.
The Working Families Party usually nominates the Democratic Candidate, but this year might be different. In 2014, they came close to nominating Teachout instead of Cuomo. Though Cuomo gained their nominated through a serious of promises (such as working to establish a Democratic majority in the state senate), which he then proceeded to later break. So, it’s unclear whether they’ll nominate Cuomo or their own candidate.
The Women’s Equality nominated Cuomo in the 2014 election, though the party’s leadership has yet to decide whether they’ll nominate him again or pick someone else.
The Reform Party is currently is a legal battle between two rival groups of leadership over who runs the party. As such it’s uncertain if they’ll be able to nominate a candidate, and if they do, who it would be.
There are some political parties who are aiming to run candidates in the hope of gaining state party recognition.
The Liberal Party used to have state party recognition but lost it in 2002. The Liberal Party has been working on a political comeback, and in 2017 was able to place several candidates on ballot for New York City Council. The Liberal Party plans on nominating a candidate for governor in order to regain their lost status. It’s not yet clear who this candidate might be.
The Libertarian Party is currently the largest minor party nationwide and has repeatedly run candidates for governor for decades, but it has never been able to get state party recognition in New York. Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe is hoping that he might be able to pass the 50,000 vote threshold.
The Upstate Jobs Party is a relatively new political party. In 2016, it ran a candidate for in New York’s 22nd congressional district. In 2017, Ben Walsh, who was a candidate of the Upstate Jobs, Independence, and Reform Parties was elected Mayor of Syracuse. The Party has stated that it intends to run a candidate to gain state party recognition but has yet to indicate who they would nominate.
Other political parties might end up running candidates for governor as this goes forward.
This is it for the basic introduction to the governor’s race. Stay tuned for further information and coverage.