Following are summary versions of the endorsements made by The Post-Star editorial board for races of local interest that will be decided in the midterm elections on Tuesday. Whether you agree with the board’s choices or not, we urge you to take a few minutes on Tuesday, get to the polls and vote.
Kirsten Gillibrand vs. Chele Farley
Kirsten Gillibrand has something to say on just about every issue, local and national, and the members of The Post-Star editorial board were impressed by her broad grasp of subjects and willingness to seek bipartisan solutions. She understands how important health care coverage is to people in upstate New York. Chele Farley is a partner in a private equity firm in New York City. Although she has served as the New York City finance chair for the state Republican Party, this is her first time running for public office. Members of the editorial board found her well-spoken, but she talked about getting more federal money for public transportation in New York, which is not an important issue upstate. She criticized Gillibrand for changing positions, particularly on gun control, when she moved from the House to the Senate, and that also troubled one member of the editorial board. Others argued that Gillibrand’s shifting stance reflected the change in her constituency. The one board member who had been initially unsure was persuaded by Gillibrand’s overall grasp of issues, and the final board vote was 5-0.
ENDORSEMENT: Kirsten Gillibrand
21st U.S. House
Elise Stefanik vs. Tedra Cobb and Lynn Kahn
Elise Stefanik came across well in her interview with the editorial board — informed and energetic — and all of the board members agree she has grown in the job since first getting elected four years ago. Her knowledge and composure reflect the effort she puts into the job. But board members expressed reservations about the way Stefanik has run her campaign, airing misleading ads, and with her defense of those ads. Board members said they wished Tedra Cobb had a more detailed platform but liked her local government experience and her passion. Cobb has made health care coverage a key issue, and several board members felt her advocacy for expanded coverage would be better for the people of the 21st District. Board members were impressed with Lynn Kahn’s work history in improving federal bureaucracy but saw Cobb as the better choice. Four members voted for Cobb, two for Stefanik.
ENDORSEMENT: Tedra Cobb
New York governor
Andrew Cuomo vs. Marc Molinaro and Howie Hawkins
Howie Hawkins follows a pragmatic, nonpartisan approach to campaigning for governor. He is solutions-oriented. But Marc Molinaro, who advocates many of the changes that Hawkins does, also has the benefit of long experience in public office. Molinaro displays an impressive grasp of state issues and has detailed policy plans. Every member of the editorial board felt that the state needs a change from Andrew Cuomo, whose last couple of years in office have been stained by corruption scandals. The vote was two for Hawkins, five for Molinaro and none for Cuomo.
ENDORSEMENT: Marc Molinaro
Thomas DiNapoli vs. Jonathan Trichter and Mark Dunlea
Incumbent Comptroller Tom DiNapoli impressed the editorial board with his easy charm and expert grasp of the complexities of his job. Board members were also impressed by Green Party candidate Mark Dunlea, although they did not regard state pension fund divestment from fossil fuel companies as the priority that Dunlea does. The board never heard back from the Republican candidate Jonathan Trichter. Trichter has argued he will be a check on the Cuomo administration, but DiNapoli has not been shy about criticizing state financial operations under Cuomo. The board felt DiNapoli deserves another term and voted for him 5-0, with two members absent.
ENDORSEMENT: Thomas DiNapoli
State attorney general
Tish James vs. Keith Wofford
Keith Wofford is an engaging and intelligent outsider. He has been working as a bankruptcy lawyer and is a partner with Ropes & Gray law firm. He grew up in Buffalo and vows to represent the interests of all New Yorkers, including those who live upstate. We admire a candidate who is willing to give up a huge private sector salary ($3 million to $4 million, according to reports) for the meager $159,000 he would earn as attorney general. More important, members of the editorial board were convinced that Wofford would operate independently of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Tish James, currently the New York City public advocate, is part of the state Democratic political establishment and has Cuomo’s backing. The members of the editorial board felt confident Wofford would be a smart and committed advocate for the state’s taxpayers and voted for him 5-0.
ENDORSEMENT: Keith Wofford
45th State Senate District
Elizabeth Little vs. Emily Martz
Sen. Betty Little could be more forceful on addressing corruption, and she was late coming around on support for the Child Victims Act, but the editorial board was willing to overlook those shortcomings because of her quiet way of getting things done for local people and businesses. Little has nearly a quarter-century of service in state government. She is connected and knows which levers to pull to help her constituents. The board voted unanimously, 6-0, to return her to the state Senate for a ninth term.
ENDORSEMENT: Elizabeth Little
43rd State Senate District
Aaron Gladd vs. Daphne Jordan
Aaron Gladd, just 32, has already done and accomplished much — serving in the military and working in politics in Washington and Albany. Board members were impressed with the clear, knowledgeable way he presented himself and appreciated his nonpartisan focus on doing good things for the people of New York, especially those who live in the upstate area. Board members felt Daphne Jordan, who works for the 43rd District’s current state senator, Kathleen Marchione, did not bring much that was new to the table. She criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo, while saying she wants to make permanent the tax cap he instituted and without laying out many of her own ideas. With three board members absent, the board voted 4-0 for Gladd.
ENDORSEMENT: Aaron Gladd
113th State Assembly District
Carrie Woerner vs. Morgan Zegers
Life experience matters when running for elected office, and while 21-year-old Morgan Zegers is smart, articulate and well-versed in the issues, she could use a bit more life experience to round out her view of the world. Carrie Woerner continues to be an effective assemblywoman in serving her constituents, especially on agricultural issues, and the editorial board voted 5-0 to endorse her for a third term.
ENDORSEMENT: Carrie Woerner
2018 Post-Star endorsements
The Post-Star editorial board will be making endorsements in state and local races ahead of Election Day on Nov. 6. Read the endorsements so far.
New York’s attorney general can and should serve as a counterweight to the power of the governor, particularly when the governor has managed t…
The state Comptroller’s Office landed on the front page in the mid-2000s, when Alan Hevesi got in trouble for using state resources and employ…
Aaron Gladd, the Democratic candidate for New York’s 43rd Senate District, has a compelling life story. Raised in poverty by a single mother i…
It is hard not to be impressed by 21-year-old Morgan Zegers.
Sen. Elizabeth Little admits right up front, she “is not too flashy.”
Books are read on phones and movies are streamed to TV sets, but Crandall Public Library continues to thrive by adapting to the changing times…
If you’re going to unseat a prominent and popular U.S. senator, you’ve got to be a formidable candidate. You have to come armed with specific …