2012 elections review: Two incumbents facing corruption charges defeated in New York legislative primaries

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September 14, 2012

By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

The long primary season finally came to a close on Thursday as New York voters went to the polls to make their choices known.

Here's what happened in New York:

Contested Primaries in New York -- September 13, 2012
State Legislature
(213 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 46 (21.60%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 17 (7.98%)

State legislature

New York State Senate elections, 2012 and New York State Assembly elections, 2012

There are 213 total legislative seats with elections in 2012 -- 63 Senate seats and 150 House seats.

There were 46 (21.60%) contested Democratic primaries and 17 (7.98%) contested Republican primaries. Thus, there were 63 races with at least two candidates on the ballot. The 14.79% figure of total contested primaries in New York is lower than the national contested average of 18.40% in 2012.


A total of 2 incumbents - Republicans Owen H. Johnson and James Alesi - did not run for re-election in 2012.

Republicans currently control the chamber by a margin of 33-29. Due to redistricting many incumbents are running for re-election in different districts. Additionally, a new district was created, bringing the total number of seats in the chamber to 63.

A total of 14 incumbents - 8 Democrats and 6 Republicans - faced a primary challenge. Twelve advanced to the general election while one was defeated and one has come down to absentee ballots.

Democratic Party District 10: Incumbent Shirley Huntley first joined the Senate in 2007. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2010 unopposed. This year, however, she faced two opponents - New York City Councilman James Sanders, Jr. and real estate professional/community activist Gian A. Jones. According to unofficial results, Huntley came in second with 39.9 percent, while Sanders won with 57.1 percent. On August 27, 2012, Huntley was indicted for her role in a scheme to steal taxpayer money from her own non-profit. Huntley pleaded not guilty in the case.[1][2]
Republican Party District 43: Incumbent Roy McDonald was among four Republican senators targeted for defeat because of their support for same-sex marriage last year. With 99% reporting, results show Kathleen Marchione leading McDonald by a margin of 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.[3] McDonald has not conceded and the race looks like it will come down to absentee ballots.[4]


A total of 18 incumbents - 8 Democrats and 10 Republicans - did not run for re-election in 2012.

Democrats currently control the chamber by a margin of 99-49-1-1.

A total of 25 incumbents - 21 Democrats and 4 Republicans - faced a primary challenge. Only one, District 80 incumbent Naomi Rivera (D), was defeated in the primary.[3]

Facing three opponents, Rivera she came in second to Mark Gjonaj. While Rivera was initially the clear favorite in the race, she fell as allegations of nepotism and corruption arose. Late last month it was reported that the state attorney general's office as well as the Bronx district attorney were investigating Rivera for misuse of public funds, including hiring two boyfriends to taxpayer-funded positions.[5][6]

District 55 incumbent William Boyland has also recently been under suspicion of corruption, but he was able to win his primary as his six opponents split the rest of the vote.

Meanwhile, one race remains too close to call:

Republican Party District 99: Unofficial results show Kyle Roddey leading Colin Schmitt by a margin of 1,317-1,224.[3] Complicating things further, a voting machine at the New Windsor Community center was improperly shutdown, temporarily invalidating the results.[7]

New York State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 29 33
     Republican Party 33 30
Total 62 63

New York State Assembly
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 99 105
     Republican Party 49 44
     Independence Party of New York 1 1
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 150 150

See also

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