Pride Agenda Makes Endorsements, But Doesn’t Yet Back Saland and McDonald


The Empire State Pride Agenda today announced its endorsements for November, but didn’t back two of the Republican senators that voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

The gay-rights group backed 50 legislators and candidates for the state Legislature, but surprisingly didn’t endorse Sens. Roy McDonald of Saratoga and Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie, who were two of the four Republican senators to vote in June 2011 to make New York the sixth and largest state to legalize same-sex marriage.

They did back Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo. Saland and McDonald face primary challenges against conservative Republicans, so the group’s endorsement could have used against them in the primary, in which usually more conservative voters head to the polls.

Erica Pelletreau, a spokewoman for the state Pride Agenda, didn’t offer a reason why Saland and McDonald wasn’t endorsed, saying the group is still going through the process.

“We haven’t yet made a decision in either of those races,” she said. “The process is still going.”

The Pride Agenda, the state’s largest gay-rights group, has vowed to support candidates who voted for same-sex marriage, and the four senators have received an infusion of campaign cash from same-sex marriage supporters.

The fourth GOP senator to vote in favor of same-sex marriage was Sen. James Alesi, R-Perinton, Monroe County. He is not seeking re-election, and the Pride Agenda backed the Democratic candidate for the open seat, Monroe County legislator Ted O’Brien.

Here’s the list of 50 legislators and candidates who the group endorsed today:

New York State Senate

SD 11 (Queens) Tony Avella (D)

SD 12 (Queens) Michael Gianaris (D)

SD 16 (Queens) Toby Ann Stavisky (D)

SD 21 (Brooklyn) Kevin S. Parker (D)

SD 23 (Staten Island) Diane Savino (D)

SD 25 (Brooklyn) Velmanette Montgomery (D)

SD 28 (Manhattan) Liz Krueger (D)

SD 30 (Harlem) Bill Perkins (D)

SD 33 (Bronx) Gustavo Rivera (D)

SD 34 (Bronx/Westchester) Jeffrey Klein (D)

SD 35 (Westchester) Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D)

SD 38 (Orange/Rockland counties) David Carlucci (D)

SD 44 (Albany) Neil Breslin (D)

SD 53 (Onondaga/Oneida/Madison counties) David Valesky (D)

SD 60 (Buffalo) Mark Grisanti (R)

SD 63 (Buffalo) Tim Kennedy (D)

New York State Assembly

AD 1 (Suffolk County) Fred Thiele (I)

AD 4 (Suffolk County) Steven Englebright (D)

AD 11 (Suffolk County) Robert Sweeney (D)

AD 13 (Nassau County) Charles Lavine (D)

AD 16 (Nassau County) Michelle Schimel (D)

AD 26 (Queens) Ed Braunstein (D)

AD 28 (Queens) Andrew Hevesi (D)

AD 35 (Queens) Jeffrion Aubry (D)

AD 36 (Queens) Aravella Simotas (D)

AD 37 (Queens) Catherine Nolan (D)

AD 39 (Queens) Francisco Moya (D)

AD 42 (Brooklyn) Rhoda Jacobs (D)

AD 52 (Brooklyn) Joan Millman (D)

AD 66 (Manhattan) Deborah Glick (D)

AD 67 (Manhattan) Linda Rosenthal (D)

AD 69 (Manhattan) Daniel O’Donnell (D)

AD 75 (Manhattan) Richard Gottfried (D)

AD 76 (Manhattan) Micah Kellner (D)

AD 81 (Bronx) Jeffrey Dinowitz (D)

AD 82 (Bronx) Michael Benedetto (D)

AD 87 (Bronx) Peter M. Rivera (D)

AD 92 (Westchester) Thomas Abinanti (D)

AD 97 (Rockland County) Ellen Jaffee (D)

AD 100 (Sullivan County) Aileen Gunther (D)

AD 103 (Ulster/Columbia counties) Kevin Cahill (D)

AD 115 (Plattsburgh/North Country) Janet Duprey (R)

AD 123 (Binghamton) Donna Lupardo (D)

AD 129 (Syracuse) William Magnarelli (D)


Primary Election (September 13)
SD 27 (Brooklyn) Brad Hoylman (D), Open seat
SD 46 (Schenectady/Montgomery/Albany/Greene/Ulster counties) Cecilia Tkaczyk (D), Open seat
AD 109 (Saratoga and Albany Counties) William McCarthy (D), Open seat

General Election (November 6)
SD 55 (Rochester) Ted O’Brien (D)
SD 40 (Dutchess, Westchester and Putnam Counties) Justin Wagner (D)
AD 21 (Nassau County) Jeffrey Friedman (D)


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