Monday, April 12, 2010

Same Sex Marriage Senate Battles Heat Up | Room Eight

Same Sex Marriage Senate Battles Heat Up | Room Eight

By Michael Boyajian

Making good on their promise to roll out of the pubs and into the streets gay rights activists are taking the battle for same sex marriage to the senate ballot box. Some races are a long shot but there are many that have a chance of knocking out opponents of same sex marriage.

Here are some of the Democrats that are under siege:

The superstar of the homophobes set, Pentecostal minister Ruben Diaz, Sr. is most likely going to be challenged in the primary by Bill Thompson aide Carlos Ramos, Jr. Ramos is a big wheel with the Latino Congressional Congress and worked behind the scenes to place Sonya Sotemayor on the United States Supreme Court. Diaz doesn’t just dislike gays he dislikes anyone who is not religious.

Running against Shirley Huntley is Lynn Nunes who is pro marriage equality.

The fourth amigo, Carl Kruger, is being challenged by administrative law judge Igor Oberman who promises to mobilize both the Jewish and Russian vote against Kruger. Kruger does have a very large bankroll to back him up.

Mike Gianaris is running for an open city vacated by George Onorato.

William Stachowski is most likely being challenged by county legislator Tim Kennedy. Others are also considering a run against Stachowski.

Now for the Republican side of the senate aisle.

Hugh Farley may not run again and the good news here is that the district is pretty strongly Democratic. Schenectady is in the district and Democrats control the mayor’s office and the city council.

James Alesi, he says he will vote for the bill if it looks like it will pass.

John Flanagan, thought to be moveable on the bill

Charles Fuschillo Jr. would support civil unions.

Conservative Party poster boy Martin Golden faces a tough challenge from openly gay NYU graduate student Mike DiSanto. DiSanto who is Italian American and Catholic may capture that vote in a district that fits that demographic. Golden, a caterer, may not complete his term for he is considering a Congressional run.

Joseph Griffo. The only reason this Republican won last time was because his Democratic opponent was sick and did not campaign. It looks like county legislator Michael Hennessy will run a strong campaign against Griffo this time out.

Kemp Hannon is being challenged by pro marriage equality Dave Mejias. Hannon won with only 51.5% of the vote last time out.

Kenneth LaValle supports civil unions but faces a challenge from Regina Calcaterra.

Vincent Leibell says let the Democrats do it in reference to the bill. He will not vote his conscience in this conservative district. Westchester County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz is shaping up to be the only candidate against him. Leibell is said to be considering a run for Putnam County Executive. Marriage Equality New York is not sure where Kaplowitz stands on the issue.

Elizabeth Little is said to be moveable along with Roy McDonald.

Frank Padavan only garnered 50.4% of the vote last time out and faces a challenge from Tony Avela.

Stephen Saland will be challenged by Didi Barrett with Saland considering retirement.

Dean Skelos, will consider civil unions.

This report does not cover every Democrat and Republican running again for senate but focuses on the races where we know there will be action at press time. Incumbents may have larger bankrolls right now but high rollers in Manhattan are organizing fundraisers for many of the candidates. With such a strong slate of challengers those who oppose same sex marriage should be afraid, very afraid.


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