Stonewall Democrats of Western New York is announcing our support for Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy, the Democratic candidate in the 58th Senate District. In the political statement of the year, Kennedy resoundingly defeated incumbent Senator Bill Stachowski-- replacing a no vote on Marriage Equality in the State Senate with a legislator who will vote yes.
But Kennedy's-- and our-- work is not yet done. With the general election now facing us, the race for the 58th District pits Kennedy against well known Republican and opponent of equality Republican Assemblymember Jack Quinn III. So much rests on this race-- namely, the control of the New York State Senate and, in turn, the future of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and Marriage Equality here in New York.
In the beginning of the year, one of the goals we as an organization set was the protection of incumbents who supported equality, and the defeat of those who did not. With Tim Kennedy, our goal of turning an anti-equality seat to a pro-equality seat will come to pass.
Following a spectacular primary night, which saw such triumphs as equality champions Assemblymember Sam Hoyt and Senator Antoine Thompson being reelected, Stonewall Democrats of Western New York congratulates our Stonewall candidates on their victories-- for Democratic committeemembers, State legislators and our next New York State Attorney General.
-Assemblymember Sam Hoyt
-Senator Antoine Thompson
- Democratic Candidate for Attorney General Eric Schneidermann
-Democratic Candidate for Erie County Court Judge James McLeod
And we also extend our congratulations to Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy who, running a pro-marriage equality campaign defeated incumbent and marriage no vote Sen. Stachowski.
And we look forward to the general election, and victory, ahead of us!
Tomorrow is an important day at the polls in Western New York. Its importance cannot be stressed enough. Tomorrow, the Democratic Primary in New York State will, in many elections, determine the future of our Stonewall issues such as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and Marriage Equality.
As we have been working to all year, we have to work the hardest we can (and then some) to protect our current elected officials, like Assemblymember Sam Hoyt, who have always been our most vocal and effective champions in Albany. We have to work to protect our Senator Antoine Thompson, who was the only “Yes” vote for Marriage Equality in the Senate late last year.
And we have to work to bring in the new class of officials, where there is a need for change, such as in the 58th District. The General Election will afford us tremendous opportunities in Senate Districts such as 56 and 59, where stellar progressive candidates like Robin Wilt and Cynthia Appleton are running to win Republican seats for the Democratic party—the only Party in NYS supportive of the LGBT community (though, of course, the Democratic Party is not without its problems.)
While there are a great many problems with the Democratic Party and current incumbents, let us not forget the good, effective fighters we have for our community in the NYS legislature. Champions like Sam Hoyt and Antoine Thompson, who brought us, through their dedication, the passage of the Dignity for All Students bill.
And we have a similar situation in the City of Buffalo Council, where we have the chance to retain Councilmember Curtis Haynes Jr., a pro-LGBT representative, who was vital in aiding the passage of city domestic partner legislation earlier this year. We also have Judge James McLeod, a longtime friend of the LGBT community, running for Erie County Court.
At the top of our state-wide primary ticket, I am proud that Stonewall is supporting Eric Schneiderman. Senator Schneiderman was vital in the passage of the Dignity for All Students bill, as well as an ardent supporter of Marriage Equality, Gender Expression Non-Discrimination and every other one of our issues in the NYS Senate. I know that he will continue his work as a true progressive leader in the office of Attorney General, and am proud to support him.
In the 144th Assembly District, Sam Hoyt is being challenged by an anti-LGBT Tea Party candidate who currently sits on the city council. As we have time and time again in the past, please come through for Sam Hoyt tomorrow. We cannot afford to lose the ultimate and true progressive champion he is in the Assembly. Send emails, use your Facebook status, or call friends and family on the phone to stress that Sam is the best kind of candidate the LGBT community can have in government, and that we need to help him to victory, so he can continue fighting for our issues, our rights and our families.
In the 60th Senate District, Senator Antoine Thompson is also running in a primary election. I implore you to do the same to spread the word about how Senator Thompson has, since his days as a city councilman, championed LGBT equality every chance he has been given.
Another vitally important election is happening in the 59th Senate District, where voters will decide the political future of Senator Bill Stachowski, one of our infamous “No” votes on Marriage Equality last year. With so many issues and complications involved in the primary, SDWNY was unable to endorse a candidate. I'm incredibly disappointed that Stonewall, and our community at large, is unable to support a candidate against Bill Stachowski. After years of lobbying and being strung along by the idea that Stachowski as our Senator was essential to the Democrats' survival in the majority, he proved last year where he is on the more important issue of civil rights and voted to deny our community and families the equality of basic civil rights.
Tomorrow, voters will chose.
Tim Kennedy is running a pro-LGBT campaign. At Stonewall Democrats meetings, follow-up meetings with officers such as myself and throughout the campaign, Tim Kennedy has pledged to support the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and Marriage Equality. He is also pro-life, an issue which for many in the LGBT community is a crucial issue of human rights. And he is running an incredibly strong and serious campaign.
Michael Kuzma is also running a pro-LGBT campaign. Also at Stonewall Democrats meetings and throughout the year, Mike has pledged to support GENDA and Marriage Equality. Mike is pro-choice, and has the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice NY. Michael Kuzma is a proud progressive.
If you feel Tim Kennedy is the right candidate for our community, vote for him and help him get elected. If you feel Mike Kuzma is the right candidate—I urge you to do the same for him. But whatever the outcome may be, I know the LGBT community is ready to rally around a pro-LGBT Democrat to take on Jack Quinn, a member of the party that uniformly denied us Marriage hand-in-hand with Stachowski last year, and a candidate who has his own experience in bigoted voting in the Assembly.
But whoever our Senator may be come next year, in the 58th District and beyond, I hope that you join Stonewall and Outspoken for Equality in our lobbying efforts to bring GENDA and Marriage to pass; to work to change the minds of those who may not understand our issues, and work to help those who do work within the Senate to make these issues law-- in letters, in phone calls and in person lobbying in Albany.
Thank you for your time, and for being a committed Stonewall Democrat.
"The Buffalo News -
'Stachowski begins airing TV ads as State Senate primary heats up'
By Stephen T. Watson
August 24, 2010
William T. Stachowski began airing television campaign ads Monday in the unofficial start to what promises to be one of the year’s toughest and most expensive State Senate primary contests.
Stachowski, the incumbent Democrat from Lake View, is fighting for his political life in the party’s primary against Erie County Legislator Timothy M. Kennedy of Buffalo and two other challengers. ....The message was a response to three anti-Stachowski mailings produced by a political action committee called Fight Back New York and distributed to voters in the 58th District.
The Fight Back New York materials, for example, highlight Stachowski’s votes against funding for mammograms. But Swanekamp said the mailings were “misleading” and took the senator’s actions out of context.
Fight Back New York states on its Web site that the group is targeting Stachowski and other senators because of their votes against a bill that would allow gays to marry in this state. .... "
(Read full article)
Our July Monthly Meeting is this Tuesday, July 27 at 6:30 PM.
*Please note the time change to accommodate candidate interviews*
Our agenda will include interview of NYS Supreme Court candidates and discussion of the NYS Senate Races in the 58th and 59th Senate Districts, as well as the NYS Attorney General Election.
Still unconfirmed are candidate interviews for the City of Buffalo Common Council Ellicott District election.
Our agenda tentatively will be the following:
6:30-7:00PM: 10 minute candidate interviews with NYS Supreme Court Candidates Catherine Panepinto and Judges Betty Calvo-Torres and Eugene Fahey.
7PM: Vote on endorsement for NYS Supreme Court Candidates
7:10PM: Discussion of NYS Senate Districts 58 and 59.
7:20: Discussion of NYS Attorney General Election.
*Should our candidates confirm attendance in the Ellicott District Council race, interviews with the two candidates who have filed petitions will commence at 7:30 and 7:40.
Because representatives from the NYS Attorney General and Senate District 59 campaigns are unable to attend our meeting due to distance, we will be considering endorsement for those races with their submitted questionnaires. The materials will be available at the meeting, but you may read them ahead of time here:
NYS Attorney General Materials: Eric Schneiderman bio, cover letter, questionnaire and LGBT equality agenda; Kathleen Rice questionnaire; and Sean Coffee questionnaire available soon.
SD 59: Cynthia Appleton Endorsement Questionnaire
We hope to see you there!
June 28th, 2010
After very deep reflection and analysis by our campaign team and me individually, I have chosen to withdraw from this 2010 New York State Senate Race due to insurmountable financial challenges.
Since this campaign began many months ago we have worked tirelessly not only to run, but to win. This decision to end the campaign was not made easily, but it is clear that our campaign has reached the point where we will not be able to raise the means to communicate with voters at a level capable of victory.
Unfortunately, my campaign was unable to secure the financial backing, institutional support, or leadership we hoped for from within the progressive movement. We cannot prevail without a unified base and I will not divide the same movement from which my campaign was born. Nor will I allow this candidacy to elevate political interests which oppose the values and beliefs we all fight so hard for.
I am eternally grateful for the support, generosity, and commitment all of you have shown me throughout this journey. The people I have met, the ideas we have exchanged, and the lessons I have learned are invaluable experiences that I will forever carry with me. We have advanced important discussions in tax fairness, accountable economic development, political reform, equality and civil rights. Make no mistake, our message has resonated with the thousands of voters we have met and spoken to across the 58th State Senate district. You, and they, have expressed a genuine desire for nothing less than people based policies in government.
Our campaign engaged a level of early grassroots support unprecedented in local politics. Whether you were one of the hundreds that made phone calls, walked door-to-door, attended a fundraiser, or wrote a check, your support means everything to me. Still, we were all in this campaign to win and while this campaign may be over, our cause continues.
For me it will continue in the courtroom on behalf the injured men and women I represent, in our fight for marriage equality, and certainly in a progressive campaign in the future.
For many of my supporters it will continue on the stage, in the court room, classroom or other places where we live and work everyday.
For the leaders of my team it will continue in their daily advocacy for LGBT rights, for the rights of the criminally accused, for women’s health, for a clean and healthy environment, for affordable housing, for economic justice, and for government and financial transparency. There has never been a campaign team anchored by a more talented group of activists and leaders. I am especially grateful to all of you and moved by your friendship.
I remain committed to the cause of progress and know you do as well.
A most sincere thank you,
Before you go to the 14th Annual Buffalo Brunch on Sunday, May 2, stop by Sean Cooney for Senate’s campaign kick-off!
Where: In front of the Donovan Building, at the corner of Main & Washington Street in Downtown Buffalo.
When: Sunday, May 2, 2010
Announcement from 11:00-11:30AM
There will be a volunteer canvass following the announcement, from 11:30AM-4PM.
Let’s continue to do our part to retire Sen. Stachowski!
February 23, 2010
Stonewall Democrats of Western New York is proud, and thrilled, to support a true progressive and independently minded candidate in Sean Cooney for the office of NYS Senate District 58. Sean Cooney has been a champion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights for years, and as state senator, we know that he will be our voice in Albany, and will always vigorously defend equality and justice. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a great candidate in him to restore equality to the office of the NYS 58th Senate District, which is currently so lacking.
SDWNY looks forward to the coming year and campaign, as we will work with our candidate Sean Cooney to replace the current incumbent and anti-LGBT senator, William Stachowski. Sean Cooney, endorsed unanimously at our February meeting, has an absolutely perfect record on and grasp of LGBT issues and civil rights. When elected to the New York State Senate, Sean Cooney will be one of our fiercest advocates on the issues important to the LGBT community—such as the Gender Non-Discrimination Act, the Dignity for All Students Act and the Marriage Equality bill—where he will continue the staunch, equality-minded advocacy he has worked on for years with the LGBT community in Western New York. Never will we have to doubt Sean Cooney's commitment to the issues important to our community and families, and never will Sean Cooney have to doubt our commitment to his candidacy. We congratulate Sean Cooney on receiving our endorsement, and look forward to the work to be done in the year ahead which will result in his election as NYS Senator from the 58th District.
Read more about the race in the 58th here.
Read more about Sean Cooney here.