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Press & Sun-Bulletin: Women win congressional primaries in New York

June 29, 2016

Press & Sun-Bulletin: Women win congressional primaries in New York

by Brian Tumulty

WASHINGTON — Democrats are hoping to elect Hillary Clinton in November as the first woman to serve as president, but women also are poised to increase their numbers in New York’s congressional delegation by as many as four.

The victory of state Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, of New Hartford, in a three-way Republican primary Tuesday sets up a general election race against Democrat Kim Myers, of Vestal, in the 22nd Congressional District, covering most of Broome County and part of Tioga County, as well as the Mohawk Valley.

Tenney, an attorney and co-owner of The Mid-York Press in Clinton, already had the Conservative Party line.

Myers, a member of the Broome County Legislature and former president of the Vestal School Board, did not have a primary.

The incumbent, Republican Rep. Richard Hanna, of Barneveld, is retiring at the end of his term.

An independent candidate — Martin Babinec, of Little Falls — plans to file for the Upstate Jobs ballot line in a long-shot bid for the same seat. Babinec also challenged Tenney for the Reform Party line Tuesday, claiming victory as a write-in candidate. But the state Board of Elections did not immediately respond to a request to verify Babinec’s claim.

Female candidates also won Tuesday in Democratic primaries for two House seats considered tossups in the general election by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Law professor Zephyr Teachout, of Clinton Corners, won in the 19th Congressional District, covering the mid-Hudson Valley and Catskills region. Teachout is on leave from her position as an associate law professor at Fordham University and will face Republican John Faso, a former state Assemblyman, on the November ballot.

Former senatorial aide Colleen Deacon, of Syracuse, won the Democratic primary in the 24th Congressional District in Wayne County and the Syracuse area. She will face freshman Republican Rep. John Katko, of Camillus, in November in a district that has elected Democrats to the House in the past two presidential elections and elected Republicans in congressional midterm cycles.

The eastern Long Island district was represented by Democrat Tim Bishop, who lost to Republican Lee Zeldin in 2014. The Cook Political Report also lists the race as a tossup.

Female incumbents also won in two primaries Tuesday. Veteran Reps. Carolyn Maloney, of Manhattan, and Nydia Velazquez, of Brooklyn, beat back challenges in Democratic primaries.

There currently are nine women in New York’s congressional delegation, led by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is not up for re-election until 2018.

The other eight are all seeking re-election.

If Throne-Holst is declared the winner of her primary and New York’s major party women candidates run the table in key races in November — both of which are big ifs — women could end up close to parity, with 13 of New York’s 29 House and Senate seats in 2017.