If you’re one of New York’s 6.4 million registered Democrats or 2.8 million Republicans, you’ve got an important election today.
And you probably aren’t even aware of it and even much less likely to vote in it.
But if you care about the future direction of state government, and you want to take advantage of low turnout to have an impact on who wins in November, you might want to consider showing up at the polls today.
Today is the last full day of in-person voting for the first of two New York primaries this year. Today’s primary will determine the November candidates for governor and lieutenant governor for each of the two major political parties, as well as a handful of state Assembly and local seats. The second primary in August will feature candidates for Congress and state Senate. (So if you’re itching to vote for Sen. Jim Tedisco in his new district, you can stay home today.)
In each of the party primaries, voters have a real choice today.
Gov. Kathy Hochul is seeking her first full term in November after taking over from Gov. Andrew Cuomo last August. Polls show her with a comfortable lead. But she’s facing two experienced challengers who should not be dismissed outright — Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi, a former Nassau County executive, and activist and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
The race for lieutenant governor is interesting, too. It features Schenectady native Antonio Delgado, a former congressman appointed elected governor just a few weeks ago after Hochul’s hand-picked second, Brian Benjamin, resigned in scandal. Delgado faces a strong challenge from progressive activist Ana Maria Archila and former New York City Council member Diana Reyna.
Don’t count any of these candidates out, especially with few people voting and a heavy New York City influence in each race.
The Republican race for governor is also not a foregone conclusion. Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, a longtime Trump supporter who has the party’s backing, is facing Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Guiliani, and former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, who lost the governor’s race to Cuomo eight years ago.
What happens after today in each of these races will set the stage for what happens in the November election and beyond.
So if you’re one of those sideline voters who only votes in November, you could be missing the chance to significantly shape state government if you stay home today.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Don’t let this opportunity to make a difference slip away.