We’ll readily admit that the NYS SD-25 is, to say the least, a Democratic “stronghold”. In 2006, incumbent Sen. Martin Connor didn’t have a Republican opponent and Ken Diamonstone’s post-primary Working Families Party campaign was cursory at best. In 2004, Connor ran in the November election against… NOBODY. In 2002, he faced GOP contender Hyman Silverglad (a Manhattan lawyer who once represented a client who believed he was being attacked by Gamma Rays) and Liberal candidate Andres Tirado. Two years earlier, Marty faced video editor/Green Party candidate Craig A. Seeman and Conservative candidate James M. Gay. The list goes on and on through the years.
Two candidates are vying to fill Connor’s shoes – one is the district’s first GOP contender in 6 years, John Chromczak, and the other is 28 year old upstart, Democrat Daniel Squadron. This year, as in the past, most observers are saying that this week’s Democratic primary WAS the general election for this seat. Essentially, it’s over before it’s over. But is this the vetting process – and the government – we deserve?
Citizen’s Union, the sponsors of primary debates between Connor and Squadron, will not be hosting Fall debates between Chromczak and Squadron. It’s likely that they and others feel that this contest is not competitive. Realistically, they’re probably right given past performance.
However, this year is different. We’re presented with two candidates who have never held public office. While Squadron’s brief record of public service is admirable, he shouldn’t be given a free pass to Albany.
Chromczak is not a career politician and, like Squadron, he needs to prove to voters that he’s qualified to be our State Senator. Given his background as a Healthcare professional, union member and active Log Cabin Republican he fits the description of the type of ordinary citizen our founders had in mind when they envisioned a government of, by and for the people.
This is an election, not a coronation. Squadron must acknowledge his opponent and treat this contest with the same reverence and vigor as he did the battle against Connor. If he does not, the arrogance of power that has tainted the public’s confidence in government will have been passed onto another generation seamlessly.
BHB has reached out to both campaigns regarding a debate on The Homer Fink Show or another platform.