Monday, November 12, 2007

Endorsement Endgame?

While her predecessor is back in the news for less than distinguished circumstances, Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand had a tough Election Day.

Unusual for a first-year member of Congress, Gillibrand handed out four endorsements we know of in contest races in the Capital Region, backing Valerie Keehn’s re-election bid for Saratoga Springs mayor, Robert Zinzow’s campaign for Rensselaer County Legislature, Andrew White’s run for Stephentown Supervisor and Susan Haynes’ campaign for Brunswick Supervisor.

Four endorsements, and as Election Day played out, four losses for Gillibrand. Keehn, Zinzow, White and Haynes were all defeated, and as it turned out, the defeats were somewhat decisive.

What is interesting is that a Congresswoman in a Republican-leaning district would make four endorsements in just her first year in Congress. Even more unique is the fact that none of the candidates backed came home with a victory. A preview of 2008 and an indicator of trouble for the Congresswoman?

Troy Trouble

Troy Democrats surprised many, including some of us here, by sweeping to victory in the City Council races, winning a 6-3 majority and overturning three terms of GOP control. But the decision on staffing the Council office has already prompted some rumbling among Dem higher-ups, including a decision to reappoint a staffer originally appointed by Republicans.

48 Hours

Just two days after a dismal showing by the Greenbush Party at the polls, with a bi-partisan reform slate winning election in North Greenbush, Councilman James Mihalko was already turning his back on his one-time mentor, CB Smith. Despite Smith’s attempts to direct Mihalko’s vote from the audience, Mihalko refused to go along with an attempt to deny John Harkin appointment as Assessor. “Enough is enough,” Mihalko is said to have told one resident while exiting. Rumors of a CB tongue lashing of Mihalko in the parking lot have not been verified.