The buzz that Democrats are ganging up on Democrat Legislator Keith Hammond is growing even louder. The Talespin column in The Record detailed how other Democrats running for Legislature are critical of a legislative pay raise.
In District 2, out of all the candidates running, only Hammond supported a pay raise. Given the fact there is a primary, that means trouble for Hammond. Hammond comes from the smallest town in District 2, the town of Poestenkill, and the fact that his fellow Democrats are apparently targeting him does not help his chances.
The District 2 primary pits members of the already fractured Democrat caucus in the County Legislature against one another. District 2 includes four seats, with Minority Leader Ginny O'Brien choosing not to run for re-election to the Legislature, and instead seeking election to the East Greenbush Town Board. Hammond, and incumbents Zweig and Harrington contend with ethically challenged Florida resident Dan Ashley and East Greenbush resident Phil Malone. Harrington, who famously lost an election for a Democrat committee seat in his own neighborhood in 2006 is an Ashley ally, and pitted against Hammond and Zweig.
Both Ashley and Malone have entered the race with the blessings of Boss Tom Wade. Wade tried to block Ashley's candidacy and also opposed Malone's bid. In fact, Wade recently sent out an e-mail inviting District 2 candidates to a meeting, including Malone in the invitation. Wade quickly sent out a follow-up e-mail to Malone, uninviting him.
The chaos and confusion among District 2 Democrats is quite a contrast to the GOP's District 2 team of Leon Fiacco, Phil Danaher, Lou Desso and Michael Cristo. The GOP has proven electability and has raised considerably more cash than Democrats in the district. GOP activists report the response to the ticket has been outstanding.