Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to call special elections to fill four vacant Assembly seats and one vacant Senate seat on Tuesday, March 20, administration officials told Gannett’s Albany Bureau today.
At least half of Dutchess County is without representation after the election in November of then-Assemblyman Marcus Molinaro, R-Tivoli, Dutchess County, as county executive and the death in November of Assemblyman Thomas Kirwan, R-Newburgh.
There’s also an Assembly vacancy in Yonkers after the election of Assemblyman Mike Spano, D-Yonkers, as Yonkers mayor. The fourth vacancy occurred when Assemblyman Mark Schroeder, D-Buffalo, was named the city’s comptroller.
And perhaps the most closely watched race will be the campaign to replaced disgraced former Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn, who resigned last month as part of a plea deal in a federal corruption case. Republicans hold a slim 32-30 seat majority in the Senate.
The Cuomo administration was faced with a variety of dates in which they could have called the primary. They could have done it on April 24 — the same day at the GOP presidential primary, but that would have likely led to criticism that would be suppress Democratic turnout.
They also could have waited until the primary for state and federal elections, but those dates are undecided and could be held either in June or August — or perhaps both — as lawmakers fight the Justice Department over when the primaries must be held.
Waiting until June or later would have meant that the areas without representation would have been without elected officials for most of the legislative session, which is slated to end June 21.