Republicans pick party nominees for New York’s statewide offices

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NEW YORK NOW – Republicans in New York have finalized their preferred slate of candidates to challenge the state’s current Democratic officeholders for U.S. Senate, State Comptroller, and State Attorney General.

That doesn’t mean the ticket is finalized; at least one of the designated nominees could still face a primary challenge for the official nomination in June.

Joseph Pinion, a media personality who was born in Yonkers, was designated as the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate to challenge current Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat.

Pinion, who also spoke to New York NOW last week, said he sees a path to victory over Schumer in November through a series of collective interests held by the state’s electorate — regardless of political affiliation.

“We got into this race to find a way to break the wheel of a system gone awry, and make sure that we can actually have policies put in place that work for every single person, irrespective of their politics,” Pinion said Monday.

He tied Schumer to Biden over the Russia-Ukraine crisis, saying the president hasn’t had a strong showing during the conflict, and that Schumer is complicit by association.

“Between Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden, they can’t even find the keys to the car, much less a plan for us to defend ourselves,” Pinion said.

Pinion could still face a primary challenge from Aleksander Mici, an attorney from the Bronx who’s previously run for State Senate and New York City Council. Mici will have to gather signatures from voters if he wants to get on the ballot for June.

In the race for State Comptroller, Republicans chose Paul Rodriguez as their preferred candidate to challenge incumbent State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a Democrat.

Rodriguez was previously in the financial services sector, but currently works in development for the Archdiocese of New York, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Rodriguez did not face any challengers at the convention Monday, and appears to be unchallenged for the Republican nomination. That means he could avoid a primary in June, assuming another candidate doesn’t make their way on the ballot.

Michael Henry, a commercial litigation attorney in New York City, clinched the Republican party’s designated nomination for New York Attorney General after a challenger, John Sarcone, essentially pulled his hat from the ring before the convention’s vote Monday.

If Henry remains as the party’s nominee for the office, he’ll go on to face incumbent New York Attorney General Letitia James in the general election.

James is considered widely popular in the Democratic party, handing Henry an uphill battle to the office in November. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in New York two-to-one.

Henry told reporters at the convention that he plans to promote his own agenda — a focus on crime in New York and corruption in Albany — while criticizing James for her tenure in office. She’s been New York Attorney General since 2019.

He didn’t name any specific litigation filed by James, but accused her of using the resources of the office for political gain, when a legal challenge was unnecessary or unlikely to be successful.

“I would not waste taxpayer dollars on lawsuits that really don’t have standing or done more for political purposes,” Henry said. “And I would evaluate everything in the best interest of the taxpayer.”

James has handled a wide portfolio of litigation since taking office, from a successful barrage of litigation against the former Trump administration, to a failed lawsuit aimed at ExxonMobil over characterizations made to shareholders over climate change.

Henry was facing a primary challenge from attorney John Sarcone, but the latter lawyer handed the party’s designated nomination to Henry in the last moment of the vote.

If he continues with his candidacy, a primary election will be held on June 28.

Candidates for lieutenant governor and governor are expected to receive a vote at the convention Tuesday.