Two Democratic senators from New York City—Sen. Liz Krueger of Manhattan and Sen. Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx— have endorsed Assemblyman George Latimer, who is seeking to replace outgoing Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, a fellow Democrat.
Krueger said Latimer as “incredibly smart, committed, honest and principled” and wouldn’t play partisan political games if elected. She announced that her “No Bad Apples” political action committee had donated $5,000 to his campaign.
“There’s too much partisan gameplaying in Albany,” Krueger said at a news conference in front of Thomas A. Edison School in Port Chester. “Everybody throws dirt at each other. We bicker based on partisan lines.
Latimer, who is from Rye, faces GOP opposition for the seat — Diane DiDonato Roth, a North Castle councilwoman, and businessman Bob Cohen, who nearly beat Oppenheimer last time. The new 37th Senate District includes Bedford, North Castle, Harrison, Rye, Rye City, Mamaroneck, Eastchester, and parts of White Plains, New Rochelle and Yonkers
The Senate is narrowly controlled by Republicans, who regained the majority in 2010 after Democrats led the chamber for two years. Krueger said Democrats have a good chance at taking the majority, citing recent Siena College polls that found a majority of voters wanted Democrats to control the Senate. Krueger said it would be harder but not impossible for Democrats to capture the majority following the once-per-decade redistricting process this year. She criticized the process, which was controlled in the Senate by Republicans.
Cohen spokesman Bill O’Reilly criticized Latimer’s record and said he wasn’t surprised Krueger endorsed him.
“Mr. Latimer has the worst record in Westchester County when it come to property taxes. His politics are very much in line with Senator Krueger’s, which is at the far left of the political spectrum in Albany. Today’s endorsement makes perfect sense,” he said.
Roth could not immediately be reached for comment. In announcing her candidacy in April, she said she would be discussing after the primary “how out of touch his (Latimer’s) views are with the mainstream values of this community.”
Latimer is leaving a safe seat in the Democrat-controlled Assembly to potentially serve in the minority if he wins the Senate seat.
“I’ve learned in the past, you can be in the minority, as I was on the City Council in Rye as well as in the county legislature, and still have an impact,” he said. “And I’m not coming to join a minority per se. I’m coming to join a new majority.”
Edison Elementary School received $400,000 in additional education funding after the aid formula was adjusted to target the neediest districts. Latimer said it wasn’t enough to prevent staff cuts at the school. He criticized the nearly $10 million in “bullet aid” that Senate Republicans appropriated to their districts, which deprived Port Chester of any more funds, he said.