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The two big races in NY tonight were the GOP primary for governor (won by the tea party guy) and the Democratic primary for attorney general (too close to call, with Schneiderman leading Rice by a bit).

But the next most important race was in a Bronx State Senate district, where progressive Democrat Gustavo Rivera challenged the incumbent, Pedro Espada.

And won. Big -- Early returns have Rivera ahead 69-25, and Espada conceded soon after 10 p.m.

Details, below.

Espada was the leader of the Senate coup last year, voting with the Republicans to give them control of the chamber, which essentially stopped Senate work for several months during difficult budget negotiations.

He's also facing state and federal investigations related to his profiteering off health care centers that are almost entirely dependent on government support.

And he doesn't even live in the district; he lives in ritzy Mamaroneck, Westchester County, thanks to his health care profiteering in his poor Bronx district.

In his graceless concession speech, Espada blamed "powerhouse unions, outside millionaires, and the media" which, in his sore loser-view, "successfully ganged up on me this evening."

Espada's loss is great news for other Senate Democrats, incumbents and challengers, vastly increasing their chances to hold onto, and build on, their slim 32-30 majority in a session that will do redistricting.

Republicans have drawn Senate lines to their advantage for 50 years or so. Even fairly drawn districts would create a solidly Democratic Senate, since NY is a 3-2 Democratic state.

Without the Espada millstone, Democratic Senate incumbents are safer, and excellent challengers like Joanne Yepsen, Susan Savage, Didi Barrett, etc., have a much better chance against do-nothing Republican incumbents.

Altogether, the best result for New York.  


Originally posted to devtob on Tue Sep 14, 2010 at 09:15 PM PDT.

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