WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
All five of the "New" Democratic Party contenders to replace as will get their name on the September primary ballot, according to State Democratic Party Chair .
Rye Brook, NY –
Normally you have to earn your way onto a primary ballot. Either you get at least 25 percent of the convention delegates, or you get 15,000 signatures from all over New York.
But at the Democratic State Party Convention at the Rye Brook Hilton, the decision brought a sigh of relief -- and some off the record complaining -- from contenders. Some candidates thought they had enough support to reach the 25 percent delegate threshold required to get on the September ballot without any special dispensation.
The decision to let all comers on the primary ballot keeps Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee, from making the enemies he was bound to make if he opted to pick a favorite from the field.
All five AG candidates' camps were geared up to make their case to the 400 delegates, and a sea of slick campaign signs for the contenders lined the sprawling hotel complex.
If all goes as party chief Jacobs plans, Westchester Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, former Banking Superintendent Eric Dinallo, , State Senator Eric Schneiderman, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Coffey now get to make their case to Democratic voters without having to go through the labor-intensive and expensive process of gathering signatures from throughout the state's 62 counties.
Convention-goers were generally excited about their November prospects, with Cuomo, their standard bearer, now holding a three-to-one lead over any opponent in the current GOP field.
But there was some grumbling by party old-timers at the presence of signs trumpeting "THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY" on the way into the confab. Party chair Jacobs defended the rebranding as part of the fresh start the party believes it has under Cuomo.
Read more about the candidates for attorney general here.