NYS Senator Carlucci Enters Congressional Race
New York state Senator David Carlucci made it official Monday morning: he will run to replace fellow Democrat Nita Lowey, who is not seeking re-election to the U.S. House after 16 terms. He joins a few other Democrats already in the field. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Carlucci this morning shortly after he made the announcement via video.
Lowey’s October 10 announcement came as a surprise. In Congress since 1989, she currently chairs the House Appropriations Committee, the first woman to do so. Carlucci explains why he is running.
“I believe we need someone to go to Washington to fight for the people of Rockland and Westchester Counties. I have a record of delivering results for the people I serve and have never shied away from a tough fight, whether it’s funding for our schools or prescription drugs for our seniors or a property tax exemption for our veterans, I think the issue is about affordability and making sure that we have a true Progressive in Washington that’s fighting to make sure we make Rockland and Westchester more affordable,” Carlucci says. “This year, in the state legislature, after I was re-elected, I was able to pass more legislation to make it to the governor’s desk than any other lawmaker in the state of New York.”
Assemblyman David Buchwald announced via video October 13 he was launching a bid.
“You can never replace Nita Lowey, but we can send someone to Washington with her integrity, progressive spirit and true blue Democratic voice,” Buchwald says in the video. “I’m David Buchwald. I’m a Democrat. I’m a proud progressive, and I’d be honored to serve…”
And Rockland County native Mondaire Jones had already announced a run in July, when he thought he would face Lowey. With Carlucci in the running, Jones is pouncing on the state senator’s membership with the now dissolved Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group of Democrats that often voted with the Republicans. Carlucci says the IDC is in the past.
“Well, yeah, people will be talking a lot about the past. I mean, my opponent’s complaining about the past, and I’m focused on the present and the future. And since this dissolvement of the IDC, I’ve worked with my Senate colleagues and other lawmakers in the state of New York. I’ve been the one with the record to pass marriage equality, to raise the minimum wage, to combat climate control, to pass GENDA [Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act], to pass the Green Light bill to make sure that undocumented brothers and sisters have access to a driver’s license,” Carlucci says. “So people can talk about this and that, I have a record that backs up my progressive credentials and, more than that, my ability to serve the people of the Hudson Valley. So while others talk, I do, and I’m going to continue to do that and push my record of results and show people that if you give me the chance to serve you, I won’t let you down.”
“And what about that person who says, ok, I hear you, but I’m afraid you will flip to the other side on a really important issue to me that’s progressive,” Dunne asks.
“If you look at my track record, I’ve voted consistently as a Progressive. I have the record to show that. While others might have stepped away, I’ve stepped up, have consistently voted the way I said I would,” says Carlucci. “And I’ve always looked to say, hey, I’m willing to work with anyone that wants to talk and focus about solutions. And I’m a Democrat. I’m a Progressive Democrat. My record shows that. It always will. And I will always work to find a way to get results for the people I serve.”
But Jones says Carlucci’s IDC affiliation helped block legislation important to him as a gay, black man. Over the weekend, Jones opened in office in Sleepy Hollow, in Westchester County. This comes after he says his campaign topped $218,000 in third-quarter fundraising.
If elected, Carlucci says he would work to combat climate change and President Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul that curtailed the state and local tax, or SALT, deduction, and work for health care for all and gun safety. Meantime, he welcomes a burgeoning primary field.
“I think the more voices in the debate, the better. We have to make sure that everyone that thinks that they can do a better job that their voice is heard and let the voters decide. I think that that is healthy for the democratic process. It’s healthy for democracy, and that’s why people might not agree with me, but I’m going to tell you where I stand and tell you the issues that I think are important,” says Carlucci. “And I hope that other people, that they think they can do the job as good or better than Congresswoman Lowey, then they should step up and enter the debate as well. I’m willing to put it on the line with my record, with the ability to deliver results. I think it’s very important that we encourage people to run for office.”
The 17th District includes all of Rockland County and part of Westchester.