DiNapoli Keeps Seat, By Narrow Margin
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
In what turned out to be one of the closest races in New York State, in the wee hours of the morning, Democrat Thomas DiNapoli narrowly beat Wall Street mogul Harry Wilson and retained his seat in the State Comptroller's office.
This was the first election DiNapoli won—he had been appointed to the Comptroller post in 2007 after Alan Hevesi resigned in the NY pension fund scandal fallout. DiNapoli's success proves that he managed to evade the shadow of his forerunner's corruption in the eyes of voters.
DiNapoli won by three percentage points—despite Wilson's financial advantage and endorsements from all three major New York City newspapers: The New York Times, The Daily News, and the New York Post.
It was a hard fought campaign, but the fact that DiNapoli's name recognition and labor backing proved stronger than Wilson's accolades for being a successful money manager (earning more than $20 million at Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and Silver Point Capital) and helping Steven Rattner restructure General Motors.
The state comptroller's duties include auditing the spending of government agencies and overseeing the (now-infamous) state's $124.8 billion pension fund. But the fact that Wilson was branded a "Wall Street wizard," as DiNapoli called him, may have been a liability in an era of anti-Wall Street fervor.
Wilson did well in the "monied burbs," "emptying nests," and "service worker centers" (see WNYC's patchwork map)—but DiNapoli's success in the big cities propelled him to victory.