2004 Election Results

General Election

Except for the Presidency, Nov. 2 was a generally good day for the WFP’s candidates. Of course, that is a very big “except”. Below, we list the results of the most important contested races involving WFP-endorsed candidate:

John Kerry lost nationally to George W. Bush, but carried New York by a comfortable margin. Approximately 120,000 of his votes came on Row E. The WFP accounted for about 1.8 percent of the statewide vote for president.

Chuck Schumer won reelection to the U.S. Senate over Republican Howard Mills and Conservative Marilyn O’Grady. 153,000 of his votes, or 2.3 percent of the total, came on the WFP line.

In the biggest victory of the night, David Soares won election as Albany County District Attorney. The Soares campaign was the WFP’s top priority this year, and there is no question we are responsible for his victory. The election was a clear referendum on reform of the Rockefeller drug laws and a less punitive approach to criminal justice generally. We hope it will set the stage for successful drug-law reform in 2005.

Brian Higgins won election to U.S. Congress from western New York, in the seat occupied by retiring Republican Jack Quinn. The WFP ran a substantial door-to-door operation on Higgins’ behalf, and Row E — together with the Independence line — provided his margin of victory.

Frank Barbaro, sadly, lost his race for U.S. Congress in Staten Island and Brooklyn. We couldn’t have asked for a better candidate, but the power of incumbency proved too strong to overcome.

WFP Executive Board member Diane Savino won election to the New York State Senate on Staten Island.

Jose Serrano easily defeated Olga Mendez for a State Senate seat in the Bronx and southern Westchester.

In Westchester, the race between incumbent State Senator Nick Spano, running on the Republican and WFP lines, and Democrat Andrea Stewart Cousins was a nail-biter. Spano won because Row E votes provided his margin of victory. The party endorsed Spano rather than the Democratic challenger in large part due his leadership in the fight to raise the state minimum wage.

David Valesky won a surprise victory over Republican State Senator Nancy Lorraine Hoffman. The Working Families line provided Valesky’s margin of victory.

Susan John, the lead sponsor of our minimum wage bill in the Assembly, won reelection in a very tight race. The WFP line provided John’s margin of victory.

George Latimer won election to the State Assembly from Westchester, replacing retiring Assemblyman Ron Tocci. Latimer received strong support from the WFP’s Westchester chapter.

Robert Reilly defeated incumbent Republican Assemblymember Robert Prentiss in Albany County, another sign — along with the Soares victory and Luci McKnight’s WFP-only success this spring — of a changing political climate in the Capital District.

In our biggest disappointment locally, Chris Gorman and Mel Callan lost in close races for Monroe County legislature.

Margaret Walsh won election to Family Court in Albany County. Like David Soares, Walsh defeated the candidate of the Albany County Democratic machine.

2004 primaries

Albany County District Attorney: David Soares unseated incumbent Paul Clyne in a landslide upset, winning 62 to 38 percent. Read the official results.

Kings County Civil Court: April Newbauer, and Kelly Sheares, running as a reform slate, were defeated in the Democratic primary. But Bernard Graham, the WFP’s third endorsed candidate for Kings County civil court judge, won his primary and will appear on the Democratic line in November.

New York State Senate, 21st District: First-term Senator Kevin Parker won a close primary against a better-funded opponent, former City Councilmember Noach Dear. In his first race for State Senate two years ago (in which he also faced off against Dear), Parker got a key early boost from his WFP endorsement.

New York State Senate, 23rd District: WFP candidate (and party Executive Committee member) Diane Savino won the Democratic line in a three-way primary in Staten Island.

New York State Senate, 28th District: Jose Serrano beat Nelson Denis, practically guaranteeing that he will win election to the Senate in November over incumbent Olga Mendez.

U.S. Congress: Incumbent congressman Major Owens, the WFP-endorsed candidate, easily won a three-way primary against Tracy Boyland and Yvette Clark.

U.S. Congress: WFP candidate Brian Higgins won the Democratic primary for Congressional seat occupied by retiring Republican Jack Quinn. Higgins represents one of the Democrats’ best shots at picking up a Republican Congressional seat in Novemebr, and the general election here will be one of the country’s most closely watched.

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