In Hudson Valley, Dems Crowd Primary to Challenge Freshman Hayworth

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 08:00 AM

Democratic Congressional candidates Sean Patrick Maloney, Matt Alexander, and Richard Becker at a forum in Philipstown in Putnam County. (Anna Sale/WNYC)

The Hudson Valley’s redrawn 18th Congressional District stretches across farms, tony vacation communities, and struggling post-industrial cities. Its new lines wrap around the city’s inner-ring suburbs like a horseshoe, lending its politics a mix of small town provincialism and bold-faced names. Supporting players in this primary contest, for example, include President Bill Clinton, Fox News Chief Roger Ailes, and the street vendor who spotted the would-be Times Square bomber. 

Moderate Republican politics have reigned here historically. Republicans represented this district for generations: First Hamilton Fish for 26 years, then Sue Kelly for 12 years after that. In 2006, though, voters elected rockstar John Hall – most famous for the Orleans ballad “Still the One” – as Democrats took control of the House.

The district was in synch with the national trends fours years later. Voters sent Republican Nan Hayworth to Washington, Hall into political retirement, and John Boehner to the Speakership.

Political watchers have deemed this district a “toss-up” this year, and Democrats are hoping another national mood swing will buoy their slight registration edge in the redrawn district. That has led to a crowded, five-way primary to be the guy to take on Hayworth.

“Yeah, it’s like America,” candidate Sean Patrick Maloney said. “It’s balanced politically. It’s part rural. It's part suburban. There are people who commute everyday into the city. There are people who farm for a living.”

Until recently, Maloney fell into a different category: A weekender. He has a house here, but he has mostly lived in New York City with his kids and partner. Maloney is gay, and last week he nabbed top billing as a co-host of a pride fundraiser with Nancy Pelosi. To primary voters, he emphasizes his access to cash.

"We are up against someone who has a pile of money, and unless you can go toe-to-toe with these Republicans in Congress, it's going to be really hard to take back this seat and make it work for working people,” he said.

Maloney worked in the administrations of Govs. Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson, but his campaign is all about his boss in the late 90s - former President Clinton. Voters get reminded about Maloney’s Clinton connection often. 

There have been at least six Maloney mailers featuring Clinton so far. Three show pictures of him with the president in the Oval office. Another one shows Clinton whispering in Maloney’s ear. In this race, Maloney has the obvious advantages: The Clinton endorsement, highest fundraising, major labor backing.

The other Democrats in the race are taking a different tack.

One is building his candidacy on his own fame. Two years ago, Duane Jackson was selling I Love New York souvenirs when he spotted a smoking SUV in Times Square. Now Jackson, who lives in the district, says he wants to save Washington next. He is running a low-profile campaign.

The three other Democratic candidates in the eighteenth Congressional district are local politicians, busy introducing themselves across the district. 

Among them is cardiologist Richard Becker. As a Westchester councilman, Becker led an effort to lower heating oil costs in his town. He's been endorsed by the New York Times, and the Democratic committee in Orange County, which is now entirely in the 18th. That added the struggling city of Newburgh to the district's mix of wealthy suburbs and farms.

Becker’s working to break through here, and spent a recent weekday afternoon knocked on doors in a Newburgh neighborhood. The homes here were sturdy but worn, with faded siding and multiple buzzers at frontdoors.

He gave voters a quick redistricting primer, telling them they were no longer in a Democratic district and that they need to vote the Republican Congresswoman because she opposes earmarks that bring federal money to the district. His approach, he described with sweeping promises, will be different.

"Main things will be creating jobs, not hourly Walmart. Good jobs,” he said an older woman’s doorstep. “Not 20 hours. Full-time jobs.”

A Becker canvasser underscored the point, going off-script to tout the jobs Becker's already created - for the young staffers door-knocking for $10 an hour.

“We got about 11 kids out here, he’s hired about 15 altogether. Jobs!” she shouted. “And we’re living real good right now!”

But right now, with new district lines and a primary election two months earlier than usual, most of the campaigning is focused on voters that are already paying attention.

Like the crowd that gathered in Philipstown for a candidates forum. It was almost exclusively white, mostly older, but Chris Hughes, the young Facebook co-founder and publisher of The New Republic, was there. He lives nearby.

The debate was cordial, with all the fire aimed on incumbent Nan Hayworth.

"Whoever wins this primary will be able to raise a ton of money because Nan Hayworth has a target on her back. There's a reason there's five people in this primary,” Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander said to laughs. “Because we know that this primary June 26 is the election."

That's a stretch. You only have to look at the local media to see the politics here are far from settled.

The chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, bought the local paper four years ago. That prompted Gordon Stewart, a former speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, to start his own paper.

“We are somewhat flattered and largely bemused that such very significant figures in American political life come and go here,” Stewart mused while Cold Spring’s Main Street. But people don't notice it much, he said.

There are more pressing concerns, like “whether the fireworks will be held on Wednesday or on Sunday” for fourth of July.

For the record, those fireworks will be on Wednesday – a week after the district Democrats pick their candidate, and face the real work of proving their rockstar congressman wasn’t just a fluke. 

Update: Also in the running is Tuxedo Park Mayor Tom Wilson of Orange County. In the final days of campaigning, spokeswoman Jahneille Edwards said the campaign is targeting most of its turnout efforts in Poughkeepsie and Newburgh. His campaign had more than $58,000 in cash at the end of March, but no more recent data is available. The Federal Election Commission filed a failure to file notice on June 15, and the Wilson campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment about the missing disclosure document.


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Comments [59]

Rosemary Osnato from Montague NJ

Three words Sean Patrick Maloney! Two words NOT, Nan Hayworth! I used to live in Port Jervis and I now live in Montague NJ. I worked for John Hall 2 years ago and found out more then I wanted to know about Nan Hayworth. Wake up you Dems in New York and fight for Maloney! I'm working for him giving him money, even though I can't vote for him. Stop circling the firing squad.

Oct. 03 2012 12:27 AM

I'm tired of all the negativity being thrown around by everyone. Tom Wilson is the only candidate from Orange County and perhaps the only one who remains focused on the issues facing the district instead of taking cheap potshots at the other candidates!

Jun. 25 2012 05:39 PM
Chris from Garrison

Mr. Maloney has sent out yet another hit piece on one of his Democratic competitors in NY18. Dems attacking Republicans, ok. Dems attacking Dems, not ok. Mr. Maloney's calculation that running a negative campaign on a fellow Democrat is the path to victory may just backfire.

Jun. 23 2012 09:24 PM

I agree with much of what has been said here. First, Nan Hayworth has got to go. Her performance has been abysmal! Second, the democratic candidates need to not attack one another because regardless of who wins the nomination they will be light years ahead of Nan and Dems will need to close ranks to get her out! That said I support Matt Alexander. He has a long history of action, knows the district and has demonstrated an abil
ilty to work across party line to get things done. I respect Dr Becker but I just really prefer not to have another Westchester Dr right now, but at least he does appear to have done his homework. I can't say the same for Mr. Maloney who has no experience in district politics, doesn't know the people; players or issues and from what I can tell hasn't really tried to learn them.

Jun. 23 2012 02:08 PM
Lana from Pound Ridge

Bill, Why did your candidate, Maloney, do something unethical just today? Did you see this? "Maloney Touts Times Endorsement That Went To Richard Becker"

Maloney, in mailers that just went out today, is trying to fool voters into believing the Times endorsed him when, in fact, they endorsed Becker.

Add that to the attack robocalls on other Democrats and the attack mailer I got yesterday and I have a real problem with it. I'm okay with attacking Republicans, but going after Dems is stupid. It just makes Hayworth's job easier.

Jun. 22 2012 01:14 PM
Bill from Beacon

Okay — make up whatever stuff about Maloney that you want. At this point I don't think anyone is reading this thread who doesn't already know who they're voting for.

So I think I'll go talk to some voters about my candidate, Sean Patrick Maloney, who has more labor support than the rest of the field combined.

That's eleven unions, including some of the very largest in the state: the NY State AFL-CIO, NY State United Teachers, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, United Auto Workers Region 9A, Teamsters Local 445, the Communication Workers, Northeast Carpenters, Civil Service Employees Association Local 1000, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1500, 32BJ SEIU - Property Service Workers, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

Dems don't always win with union support, but we can't win a tough race without it. And these unions had a year to look at some of the other candidates and thought that as good as some of these folks were locally, they didn't have the right stuff to take back a Congressional seat.

But when Sean Patrick Maloney got into the race, these eleven unions came in, too.

And there is no guarantee that the unions will allocate resources to the general election race if their preferred candidate does not win. In fact, they may not.

So that's it. Good luck, y'all, and have a nice day. We'll see what the voters have to say on Tuesday.

Jun. 22 2012 11:56 AM
Virginia from Newburgh

Maloney has nothing to run on which is why he's attacking the other Dems. He wants us to believe he's the next Bill Clinton. He's not.

Jun. 22 2012 10:58 AM
Bill from Beacon

Oh, yes, that's right. Becker didn't attack Maloney. I must have dreamed it. And black is white.

Jun. 22 2012 10:47 AM
Rose from Poughkeepsie

Maloney attacked Becker. Yesterday I received a recorded call from Maloney and a mailer - both directly attacking Becker. I have not seen anything from Becker attacking Maloney. Going negative on a fellow Democrat this close to the primary is usually not a good sign for the attacker. And it really turns me off.

Jun. 22 2012 09:55 AM
Anslo from Putnam Valley

I have been following this primary closely and from what I can tell, Mr. Maloney is the only one directly and negatively attacking other Democrats. The others are comparing their records with each other. I have received two negative robocalls and three mailers from Mr. Maloney directly attacking another Democrat. Haven't we had enough of this baloney in Congress already?

Jun. 22 2012 09:48 AM
Bill from Beacon

Oops — typo. I meant to write that Maloney was attacked BY Becker and so Maloney attacked back. One can only turn the cheek so long and Maloney is not Jesus. And politics is not the Cub Scouts.

Jun. 21 2012 11:54 PM
Bill from Beacon

Gerry & Lauren — Maloney was attacked Becker and so Maloney attacked back. One can only turn the other cheek so long and Maloney is not Jesus. And politics is not the Cub Scouts.

Jun. 21 2012 11:48 PM
Gerry from Lewisboro

I got three attack mailers from Mr. Maloney and one attack robo-call! He was directly attacking a fellow Democrat! He said in a forum he would not attack another Democrat. That's no good.

Jun. 21 2012 11:35 PM
Lauren from Warwick

I just got one of those annoying recorded message calls from the Maloney campaign that was very negative on another Democratic candidate. I find this appalling. If you want to compare and contrast your views and histories and be a little passionate about it, I'm fine with that, but to smear another Democrat with a direct attack is out of bounds. Democrats should stick together and focus on beating Nan Hayworth.

Jun. 21 2012 04:38 PM
Tam from New Windsor

No, I agree with Peggy and others. The Maloney/Troopergate scandal needs to be cleared up before he can move on. No way am I going to give Hayworth another term. Why chance it when there are other good candidates (who are actually from the district), who have shown me the are more than prepared to fight for middle class and working families. And they don't have scandals like this hanging over them.

I also don't think it is nice of the Maloney Camp to call those asking for details on his scandal desperate.

Jun. 21 2012 03:03 PM
Bill from Beacon

Peggy from Garrison: "Troopergate" is a non-issue to working and middle class voters who are trying to feed their families, stay in their homes, get or retain health care, and educate their children.

And what was Maloney's role in this affair? He protected his boss by withholding some e-mails. And who was calling the shots on that? Spitzer, of course. And at the end of the day, "Troopergate" was one of the stupid things that Spitzer did, but it was not a heinous crime. Old news, end of story.

Your statement that Hayworth will "crush [Maloney] with it is" is politically naive. Hayworth is the incumbent, so her first tack will be to completely ignore her Democratic opponent and NOT EVEN NAME HIM. That's what incumbents always do until they start losing their grip.

Then when she attacks Maloney on this non-issue, that will give Maloney more name recognition and he will be in the news and the media. More voters will get to see him and they will say, "WHOA! I really LIKE Maloney. He seems like a stand-up guy. And what the hell does 'Troopergate' have to do with my life anyway? Maloney seems more in touch with my priorities than Hayworth ever was or will be."

Voters have shown time and time again that they are willing to give a pass to a candidate whom they like for things much worse than protecting a boss by withholding e-mails. That's human nature.

The heads of the ELEVEN LABOR UNIONS who endorsed Maloney know this, and they know that Maloney has a tremendous talent for retail politics, great positive energy, and a disposition that will appeal to a broad cross-section of voters.

You may not be doing this, Peggy, but some commenters who are supporting other candidates are taking the low road here. To me, it is a sign of DESPERATION.

Jun. 21 2012 12:52 PM
Peggy from Garrison

Anita from Cortlandt: One correction, Jackson was also not at the Philipstown forum, yet he was mentioned prominently in the article. For some reason the reporter decided to leave Tom Wilson out of the story which lessens the credibility and objectivity of the piece. Also, Maloney has too much baggage (check out Troopergate and his involvement. Hayworth will crush him with it.). Alexander, Becker, Jackson and Wilson don't have the baggage and would make fine candidates to run against Hayworth.

Jun. 21 2012 09:16 AM
Anita from Cortlandt

A little clarification regarding Sale's article: Alexander, Becker, and Maloney were covered in her piece because the piece was about the Philipstown Forum, and they were the only three who showed up. By the way, longtime assemblywoman Sandy Galef was a no-show, too.

I still wonder how players with only hyperlocal (town board, mayor of small community) experience can be counted on to compete on a national stage. You could argue that Hayworth was a 'nothing' when she started, but she was a multimillionaire 'nothing,' with plenty of expendable capital. She's still the second wealthiest member of the NY Congressional delegation, after Nita Lowey.

That being said, I think Maloney, with his broad-based financing, union support, and quick mind, will do better against her in the general election. And getting her OUT is priority #1.

Jun. 21 2012 09:07 AM
Bill from Beacon

Carol from New Windsor: the night of your forum was Sean Patrick Maloney's 20th anniversary. I am told that this was explained, but maybe you missed the explanation. I think most people would understand that no disrespect was meant to the forum attendees under these circumstances. He certainly stayed around after the two forums I attended and answered each and every question.

And to another commenter, I don't mind that Mr. Maloney hasn't visited my house personally — the district does stretch all the way from the Pennsylvania border to Connecticut, after all.

Having seen the candidates in two forums and compared their styles and approaches side by side, I have simply concluded that Sean Patrick Maloney is the strongest candidate that we can field to challenge Nan Hayworth.

Jun. 20 2012 11:13 PM
Carol from New Windsor

When Mr. Maloney walked out of a Democratic Community Forum here in New Windsor at the end of May because he had a dinner date, I lost interest in him. I want a candidate who wants to connect with, and listen to, the people he's hoping to represent. At this point, I'm deciding between Dr. Becker and Mr. Alexander.

Jun. 20 2012 04:26 PM
Steve Brown

Lorna, What's his record as Mayor...? All 5-months of it before he started running for Congress. Exactly, he has no record, that has not been embellished. Furthermore, Wilson has a failed history as an activist environmentalist - just look at all the lawsuits he has filed and lost. Steve.

Jun. 20 2012 04:06 PM
Alexia from Beacon

I've met Dr. Becker, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Jackson. All have knocked on my door and we've had good, solid discussions. I keep wondering when Mr. Maloney is going to knock.

Jun. 20 2012 03:48 PM
Roger from Goshen

I can't say enough good things about Dr. Becker. First of all, he thinks on his feet and seems to make good decisions. Second, he's extended himself to me and my family twice, and engaged us on the issues. If just going out there and meeting the public can win elections, than Becker will win this primary in a landslide.

Jun. 20 2012 03:45 PM

I don't know what "agenda" Steve Brown is referring to and furthermore Tom Wilson's record as environmental activist and mayor make him a solid and selfless public servant.

Jun. 20 2012 03:31 PM
Janet from Cold Spring

Mr. Maloney needs to explain this before he gets my vote:
The New York Times endorsed RIchard Becker over Sean Patrick Maloney, because, and I quote directly from the Times: "We are concerned about his work with former Gov. Eliot Spitzer. During an investigation of “Troopergate,” he appeared to be most interested in holding back the staff’s personal e-mails from investigators."

Dr. Becker has got my vote unless Mr. Maloney can shed some light on this issue. One that Mrs. Hayworth will certainly exploit to its fullest.

Jun. 20 2012 03:23 PM

Becker. As someone else said: he's got more positives and less negatives than the other candidates. Plus, I've actually met him 1:1 when he knocked on my door. From what I can tell, he's got endless energy and knows what issues are important to me because he asked me and he listened.

Jun. 20 2012 02:46 PM
Steve Brown

Tom Wilson is a bad candidate. He exaggerates his record as Mayor of his 1% community, he shamelessly inflates the amount of money he has raised, and he has a personal agenda beyond helping the residents of the 18th. I am glad to see that he has been recognized for what he is - a bit player on the national stage.

Jun. 20 2012 02:22 PM

Mary - I agree with you. I was writing the same thing when I saw your comment. Why is Tom Wilson not even mentioned in this story? The reporter seems biased towards one candidate in particular. All I can say is 'all the glitters is not gold' and please do consider Tom Wilson for Congress.

Jun. 20 2012 01:04 PM
Mary Graetzer

While I agree with the comments above about the bias and lack of integrity in Sales' article, I would also like to point to its lack of breadth and accuracy. There are *five* Democratic candidates in the Primary on June 26th and I support Tuxedo Park Mayor, Tom Wilson. He is the best candidate because he is a Mayor who knows how to solve problems regardless of ideology. If Ms. Sales is going to write an article about the election, she should get all of the facts about said election before it goes to print. Vote for Tom Wilson on June 26th!

Jun. 20 2012 12:44 PM
James from Warwick

I always pick local - Becker grew up and raised a family here. His mother-in-law lives in Goshen. (btw, same goes for my produce!)

Jun. 20 2012 12:30 PM
Hannah from Garrison

All bickering aside, I am concerned about Troopergate and Spitzer and Mr. Maloney's involvement. There appears to be something wrong there and Hayworth is going to hit him hard on this. I would like Mr. Maloney to explain his involvement with this apparent cover-up BEFORE the primary so that Hayworth can't use it against him. I think he owes us Democrats an explanation. His silence on this matter is troubling.

Jun. 20 2012 11:32 AM
Mary from Goshen

Dr. Becker came and stood with us at a vigil for Valley View Nursing Home in Orange County very early on. He's a good guy. Really cares for people.

Jun. 20 2012 11:05 AM
Lany from Putnam Valley

I benefited from Dr. Becker's heating oil program. It reduced my costs significantly. I'm a senior on SS so I don't have much else.

Jun. 20 2012 10:49 AM
Kris from Hopewell Junction

Becker came to our town meeting and listened to our problem with a local Superfund site. He listened to us and I'm sure he'll be a fine and responsive Congressperson. Hayworth has never done that in her 2 years in office even though we asked her many times.

Jun. 20 2012 09:52 AM
Randy from Slate Hill

What a pathetically biased and poorly written article and a slap in the face to what used to be known as "Journalism"! This is something you might expect from one of the talking idiots on the radio like Limbaugh or Beck or Hannity et al. The subtle or not so subtle right wing bent of Anna Sale, the author, is so evident it makes me ill and to think that this trash was actually published, not to mention the obvious absence of key words, which would have more accurately completed the sentences or what the writer would have conveyed had she possessed even the slightest bit of integrity, which obviously she does not; and, no, you would be hard pressed to convince me that these were simply two coincidental printer errors! All I have to say is shame on Ms. Sale and the periodical or media that published her distasteful, lop sided, disgraceful piece. I would not even dignify it by further comment. I wonder, if Anna Sale was paid $10 by Hayworth or one of her PAC cronies to do it.

Jun. 20 2012 09:07 AM
Randall from Poughkeepsie

Hey, I'd like to put out a good word for Duane Jackson. Now THAT guy's got charisma and REAL passion and none of the baggage Maloney's got dragging behind him that several others have mentioned here. If you like charisma and passion (without the scandal), check out Jackson. I know he's not a DC insider or friend's with a former president, but he is an awesome and successful small businessman with a strong moral conviction to do what's right.

Jun. 19 2012 11:26 PM
BethAnne from Garrison

I was going to vote for Mr. Maloney, but I was also concerned about his involvement in the Spitzer/Trooper-Gate scandal and cover-up so I googled it and found this site - which you must check out before deciding on who to vote for. He's definitely not what I thought he was and now I'm considering voting for one of the other candidates. I am very disappointed in Mr. Maloney.

Jun. 19 2012 11:13 PM
Bill from Beacon

If anyone who didn't get it cares to listen to President Bill Clinton's call in support of Sean Patrick Maloney, here it is on The Daily News blog. It is probably the shortest speech the former President ever gave — 36 seconds!:

Jun. 19 2012 11:08 PM
Candice from Middletown

One word: Trooper-Gate. Look it up. Mr. Maloney has some explaining to do. Wilson, who is not even mentioned in the story, has got my vote.

Jun. 19 2012 11:01 PM

You didn't mention tom Wilson mayor of tuxedo park ny who is also running

Jun. 19 2012 10:11 PM
Lizzy from Newburgh

To Barbara from Poughkeepsie: Got a question? So the glossy mailers from Becker campaign are ok and did not kill a tree.

Do you realize that you just insulted a former President? Not cool, lady.

Jun. 19 2012 09:43 PM
Mike L from Newburgh

We need a progressive like Sean Patrick Maloney in Congress!

Jun. 19 2012 09:37 PM
Lizzy from Newburgh

Re: Larry from Cold Spring: You forgot to mention in your negativity comment that while Dems were fighting to get rid of Sue Kelly in 2005-2006 - RICH BECKER DONATED TO SUE KELLY. YES, he donated to the GOP that was causing the economic down turn, because he was told by his CEO.

We don't need a candidate like Rich Becker running in the 18th, we have had them before.

I am supporting Sean Parick Maloney, because Sean has a proven record of working with the highest elected official of the United States, President Clinton. He has raised the largest amount of money and he has the support of labor and the working people.

Jun. 19 2012 08:26 PM
Anita from Cortlandt

to Barbara from Poughkeepsie: I find it disturbing that you'd base your vote on one too many robocalls from Bill Clinton. And I'm willing to bet that Becker spends as much on signage as Maloney does on mailers. Becker has 'represented' me in Cortlandt for, what, 5 years?, and I've never once heard anything from or about him in the local news--he operates in a Democratic cocoon over there at Cortlandt Town Hall. Maloney's union backing matters a lot to my union family, as does his outspoken support of marriage equality. If you had been at that Philipstown Democratic Forum (I was) you would have seen for yourself that Maloney has the enthusiasm, intelligence, and on-the-ground experience to send Hayworth back to Mt. Kisco Medical Group. Becker does not.

Jun. 19 2012 08:02 PM
Barbara from Poughkeepsie

Just minutes ago my hubby and I were eating dinner and deciding on who to vote for next week - either Maloney or Becker - when we got an annoying robocall from Bill Clinton telling me to vote for Maloney. That, plus nearly 15 glossy mailings from Maloney's campaign has convinced us: We're voting for Becker! (I HATE Robo-calls, especially during dinner! And PLEASSSEEE save the trees and stop sending me junk mail!)

Jun. 19 2012 06:04 PM
Henri from Wappingers Falls

Matt Alexander has done a fantastic job as Mayor and would be an excellent Congressperson. He's sincere and honest and hard working. Maloney and Becker may have raised the most money and have the most endorsements, but Alexander, in my mind, would be the most practical and results-oriented of the three.

Jun. 19 2012 05:25 PM
Carla from Orange County

I like the story and can tell rightaway the difference between the candidates and it reflects my own experience with them. My support goes to the one in the story who was actually out in the neighborhood meeting the people he wants to represent. I want someone who'll chat with me one on one and really listen, not make me go to some political meeting. As in the article, the only one who has been out meeting the people is Dr. Becker - at least that's my experience. He has been the only one whose knocked on my door (and this was months before the election next week). It was a pleasure to meet him and chat with him a bit. He's the real deal. I'm glad he knocked. He's got my vote.

Jun. 19 2012 05:06 PM
Patty from Newburgh, NY

I agree with Lynne from Southeast. Don't attack each other or the reporter. We Dems need to focus on the goal - which is to defeat Nan Hayworth in November. I'm supporting Becker because he's a local guy who was in it from the start, he's a doctor who can run circles around Dr. Nan's Medicare baloney (and with the Healthcare mandate facing a real challenge in the next few days I want a Dr. in there that will fight to protect me, not hurt me - I'm a senior and I don't trust Dr Nan to look out for me.), he's a small businessman who understands the role of government in creating jobs and helping small businesses, he's an environmentalist (he saved a mountain from development!!) and he's a councilman so he understands the world of politics (but not too much). As a bonus, he even took out Hayworth's top spokesman, Jay Townsend, after he made misogynistic remarks BEFORE the Primary. That's action and focus in my book. That's what I want to see in my Rep. So, while I like the rest, Becker's the best in my opinion.

Jun. 19 2012 04:46 PM
Peter from Garrison

Just want to say I'm for Becker. He's got the most positives and the least negatives which is what the New York Times said as well when they endorsed him. That's all.

Jun. 19 2012 04:33 PM
Anthony from Philipstown

Here we Dems go again; tear down any of our candidates and provide ammunition for the other side and show our usual self-flagellation, just in the cause of this candidate or other. At the moment, I am supporting Maloney and don't care that he just moved into the district. (Bobby Kennedy didn't live in the STATE when he ran for the Senate in '64.) After the primary, I will work my butt off for whomever wins. And who the hell cares about Troopergate?
Move on! THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is to beat None Haywire, who lives on another planet and will receive millions from Karl Rove, the Kochs, the Waltons. Is that who you want to determine your representation in Congress?
Keep it up and that's what you'll get.

Jun. 19 2012 04:16 PM
Lynne Eckardt from Southeast

So far most of the posts have been negative about Maloney and Sale's report rather than very positive about preferable candidates. This is often what undoes Democrats.

What I like about Maloney is his credible, refreshing optimism and his refusal to go negative off the cuff or in his mailings. It is also a stretch to say that in Putnam County 'not many people here like Maloney' since he was, in fact, endorsed by the Putnam County Dems- in only one round of balloting.

I thought Ms. Sale's report was an interesting snippet of the race in the 18th (I mean how in depth can you get in under 6 minutes). And if you really want to feel bad for any of the candidates... Yikes, poor Tom Wilson.

Jun. 19 2012 03:23 PM
Bill from Beacon

Sandy from Beacon, Maloney is a guy who can take a punch and he and his progressive and labor allies will be able to hit back hard at Hayworth attacking her voting record and say she is just trying to distract from the real issues.

Troopergate is old news and Maloney was just trying to protect his boss by witholding emails, which many subordinates might have done in the same situation. Maloney was never indicted for anything.

I don't think voters who care about bread and butter issues will give a damn about Troopergate. Maloney has connections to hit the ground running and get a lot done for his constituents. To people who are hurting, that's what counts the most.

And while charisma may not matter to you, many voters are swayed by hidden emotional factors, rather than rational ones. Given the fact that there is virtually no daylight between the stated positions of the fives candidates in this race, weighing other qualities makes complete sense when choosing the strongest candidate.

Maloney's skills at retail politics are through-the-roof impressive. Of all the candidates in this race, he is the one who can best look voters directly in the eye and win back enough of the ones we've lost to prevail in November.

If he couldn't do this, he would not have the backing of eleven labor unions, including some of the largest in the state. The unions have so much on their plates at the moment that they cannot afford to get involved in backing long shots. They see Maloney as a winner, as do the Putnam County Democratic Committee, and a number of other committees that held off endorsing until later in the race.

Finally, re the NY Times endorsement, in 2006 the NYT endorsed one of John Hall's opponents who wound up getting only 25% of the vote to Hall's 50%. To effectively evaluate the candidates one has to see them in real-time situations as Anna Sale has done, not some closed-door meeting in an editorial office.

Jun. 19 2012 03:02 PM
Sandy from Beacon

With all due respect, saying we should vote for someone because they have 'charisma' just doesn't fly with me. All the charisma in the world won't hide Maloney's scandal-ridden past and the fact that he just parachuted in from NYC to run in the district. Check out the NY Times endorsement of the race - they even mention it.

I'm afraid Hayworth and her shadowy far right SuperPACs are just salivating to get their hands on Maloney.

Jun. 19 2012 02:17 PM
Bill from Beacon

Daniel from Westchester, you are mistaken about the redrawing of the Congressional districts. They were not re-drawn by the Republican State Senate, but by a federal special master, because the state legislature dithered. So the new lines are more impartial than you suggest. I too am disappointed that Croton has been eliminated, but the new NY-18 actually has more Democratic voters than did the old NY-19.

I have been to two candidates' forums and think that any of the Dems running would be a huge improvement over Hayworth. But Maloney stood out from the pack as the one with the best chance to beat Hayworth. And believe it or not, I went to the first forum prepared to dislike Maloney, for some of the same reasons that others commenting her have cited.

But Maloney COMPLETELY won me over. He is very personable and appealing. He speaks engagingly and listens intently. His answers to questions are crisp and focused. And he thinks very well on his feet. He's got charisma to spare, fire in his belly, and a great résumé. And then there is the fact that he has more labor support than the rest of the field combined — eleven unions, and some very big ones, too, including the NY State AFL-CIO, Teamsters, UAW, SEIU, CWA, NYSUT (Teachers Union), and the Carpenters Union. Dems don't always win with union support, but we can't win without it.

And for me the carpet-bagger argument does not hold water. John Hall lived in a remote corner of the 19th District and had only moved there recently when we elected him in 2006. He did a good job getting to know this very large district and representing all his constituents. I have no doubt that Maloney will do the same.

People have compared Maloney to Bill Clinton, but he reminds me more of Bobby Kennedy in his intensity and speaking style, without the accent of course, and with more of a sense of humor.

Sean Patrick Maloney is the candidate that Nan Hayworth should fear the most.
He's really got the mojo to make her a one-time Congresswoman.

Jun. 19 2012 01:56 PM
Margaret from Putnam

I have to agree with Daniel on this one Anna. This report is more of an editorial. I live in the district and I have to say not many people here like Maloney. We know he's got connections with Clinton (we've been spammed with over 12 pieces of mail about this - which we don't appreciate.). But he's also got a shady past with Spitzer and Paterson - which even the New York Times mentioned when they endorsed Becker over Maloney.

And, like someone else wrote, Maloney doesn't even know this district since he really lives in Manhattan.

I'm not sure who I'm voting for, but I certainly won't vote for Maloney because he's not really what he says he is - and we already have someone like that in office named Nan Hayworth.

Jun. 19 2012 12:18 PM
Daniel from Westchester, NY

That report was more editorial than reporting. The shift from 19th to 18th was caused by the Republican Senate being afraid of Rich Becker's challenge to Hayworth and redrafting the district to remove his house from the map. He simply moved to remain in the race. It is Rich Becker who has been endorsed by the majority of Democratic organizations, who has called out and confronted Hayworth on the terrible misogynistic statements of one of her staffers and forced his removal. Rich Becker has many good sound bites you could have used rather than relegating him to your poorly self-recorded moment in a clear attempt to diminish his actual candidacy. Your reporting was flawed and incomplete and your bias toward the person with the National Political contact in former President Clinton was obvious. This was all but an endorsement of Maloney without saying so and as such was dishonest reporting. The New York Times was more fair and honest. You should be ashamed.

Jun. 19 2012 11:48 AM
Larry from Cold Spring

Good report. You forgot to mention that Maloney was involved in Trooper-gate under Spitzer and Paterson. He's got a bunch of negatives that the Hayworth Campaign will use to clobber him. Democrats should be concerned about this if they want to win back the district.

Also, Maloney just moved into Cold Spring (where I live) a couple of weeks ago so that he could run. He's really not in touch with the folks here, so I don't think he could really represent us.

The other candidates, who are local and don't have the baggage - Becker and Alexander - would be much better all around for us and harder for Hayworth to beat. And, I believe Becker was just endorsed by the New York Times and has raised roughly the equivalent as Maloney.

Thanks for keeping us all informed.
- Lar

Jun. 19 2012 10:07 AM
Anna Sale

You're right, Mike. Hayworth is the current representative for the 19th, running for reelection in the redrawn 18th this year. You're right that there's always room to make redistricting implications less opaque!

Jun. 19 2012 09:39 AM
Mike from Westchester NY-18

Nan Hayworth is the representative for New York's 19th district not the 18th, represented by Nita Lowey. Also, I think it would be helpful to open these types of reports with a quick sentence about the location of the district since that's how most listeners understand New York.

Jun. 19 2012 09:04 AM

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