At this writing, there are 11 vacant seats in the New York State Legislature. Two of those seats are Senate seats, and the other nine are Assembly seats. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has scheduled special elections for all 11 seats on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
Special elections will be held in the following Senate districts:
Senate District 32 (Bronx): Democratic Sen. Rev. Ruben Diaz retired from the State Senate last year after being elected to represent District 18 on the New York City Council. Sen. Diaz had served in the State Senate since 2003, and was a staunch and outspoken ally on pro-life and pro-family issues. The Senator’s willingness to stand for righteousness will be missed. Asm. Luis Sepulveda is the Democratic candidate in the April 24 election; given the overwhelming Democratic majority in the district, he is expected to win easily.
Senate District 37 (Westchester County): Democratic Sen. George Latimer stepped down from the State Senate last year after being elected Westchester County Executive. The special election to replace him is key to both parties’ hopes to control the narrowly-divided Senate; thus, that makes this election the most politically significant of the April 24 special elections. The Democratic candidate is Asm. Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers), who has represented Assembly District 90 since 2012. The Republican candidate is former City of Rye Councilwoman and Deputy Mayor Julie Killian (R-Rye), who ran against Sen. Latimer for the same Senate seat in 2016.
Special elections will be held in the following Assembly districts:
Assembly District 5 (Suffolk County, Long Island): Republican Asm. Al Graf stepped down from his Assembly seat after being elected to a judgeship. Doug Smith, a former staffer to Asm. Graf, is the Republican candidate to replace him. According to the Gotham Gazette, “Peter Zarcon received the Democratic nod, but pulled out of the race [citing] ‘personal family concerns.’”
Assembly District 10 (Suffolk County, Long Island): Republican Asm. Chad Lupinacci resigned his Assembly seat to become Town Supervisor in the Town of Huntington. Janet Smitelli is the Republican candidate for this seat, and Steve Stern is the Democratic candidate.
Assembly District 17 (Nassau County, Long Island): Republican Asm. Tom McKevitt resigned his Assembly seat to become a county legislator. John Mikulin is the Republican candidate in this race, and Matthew Malin is the Democratic candidate.
Assembly District 39 (Queens): Democratic Asm. Francisco Moya resigned from the Assembly after being elected to the New York City Council. NYCF has not yet heard any news about potential successors.
Assembly District 74 (Manhattan): Democratic Asm. Brian Kavanagh resigned from the Assembly after winning election to the State Senate. Republican Bryan Cooper and Democrat Harvey Epstein are vying for this seat.
Assembly District 80 (Bronx): Democratic Asm. Mark Gjonaj resigned from the Assembly after winning election to the New York City Council. Nathalia Fernandez is the Democratic candidate to succeed him.
Assembly District 102 (Catskills): Republican Asm. Pete Lopez resigned his seat to take a job as a Regional Administrator at the EPA. Schoharie Town Supervisor Christopher Tague is the Republican candidate for the seat, and Democratic Greene County Legislator Aidan O’Connor Jr. is running as well.
Assembly District 107 (Capital District): Republican Asm. Steve McLaughlin resigned his Assembly seat after being elected Rensselaer County Executive. Two Rensselaer County Legislators—Republican Jake Ashby and Democrat Cynthia Doran—are seeking election to this vacated seat.
Assembly District 142 (Western New York): Democratic Asm. Mickey Kearns resigned his seat after being elected Erie County Clerk. The Democratic candidate to succeed him is County Legislator Patrick Burke, and the Republican Party has chosen a Democrat—Erik Bohen—to run on the Republican line.
As the April 24 special elections approach, please be on the lookout for New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation’s nonpartisan voter guides regarding these races. If you live in a district where there is a special election, make sure to get out and vote!