NY Lt. Governor Candidate Hochul Campaigns In Dutchess

Oct 2, 2014

Credit WAMC, Allison Dunne

Democratic candidate for New York lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul spent the day in Dutchess County. One of her stops was at Vassar College, where she touted the Women’s Equality Agenda as well as support for state senate and assembly candidates.

Former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul of Buffalo first stopped in Wappingers Falls and then met with clergy members in Poughkeepsie before heading to the student center at Vassar College, where she rallied with local Democrats to push Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda.

“And he has asked me to lead the charge to make sure that our state partners in Albany have the people at their sides, enough people to get the Women’s Equality Agenda, not to lose by two votes like it did last time, but to get over the finish line so we can enshrine our values in the state of New York as a progressive leader that other states will follow, as they always have,” says Hochul.

Cuomo stood on Vassar ground more than one year ago urging the passage of the Women’s Equality Act. Thursday, Hochul stood with fellow Democrats state Senator Terry Gipson and Assemblymembers Didi Barrett and Frank Skartados. Again, Hochul.

“And it’s all about supporting these individuals like Terry Gipson to make sure he gets re-elected and Didi Barrett and people who are having tough races this year,” Hochul says. “I need them as partners and so does the governor.”

Here’s Gipson:

“Every single one of you grab every single person you can when it comes time to vote on November 4 and get them out because if we do not succeed, if all of us up here on this stage do not succeed in November, this Women’s Equality Act is in great danger of not getting done and we just can’t take that risk,” Gipson says. “So we’re counting on you. We’ve got to get this done. Thank you for your support.”

Republican senators are steadfast in their opposition to one of the measures in the 10-point agenda: codifying abortion rights in Roe versus Wade. So keeping and gaining Senate Democrats is high on Cuomo’s and Hochul’s agenda — although there is question over in which configuration. It’s also on the agenda of Chair of the Dutchess County Democratic Committee Elisa Sumner.

“The state Senate race is pivotal in whether this state goes Democrat and passes things like the Women’s Equality Agenda or stays Republican in the Senate and keeps taking us backwards,” says Sumner.

Credit WAMC, Allison Dunne

New York State GOP spokesman David Laska.

“Democrats know full well that if they wanted to pass nine out of the 10 items on the Women’s Equality Agenda, Republicans would do it today. Republicans have called for a vote on 9 of those ten items, but Democrats won’t allow it,” says Laska.  “And look, if Terry Gipson wants to lecture us on women’s rights, let’s not forget that Shelly Silver is the Democratic speaker of the Assembly and has admitted to covering up instances of rape and sexual assault in the Assembly with taxpayer money. Why won’t Terry Gipson join our call for Shelly Silver to resign the Assembly speakership. When Terry Gipson wants to do that, then he’s serious about women’s rights.”

Laska’s comments echo long-standing calls by Republicans for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign after a rash of scandals in the chamber. Meanwhile, Sumner says the heat is on in Dutchess County not only in the Gipson race against Republican Sue Serino, but for the Senate seat currently held by Republican Greg Ball, who is not seeking re-election. She also points to congressional races involving Dutchess County -- the matchup between Republican Congressman Chris Gibson and Democrat Sean Eldridge plus the rematch with Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney and Republican Nan Hayworth.

“We probably have the hottest, tightest, most important races in the state, so the pressure is on,” Sumner says.

After her stop at Vassar, a women’s college for more than century before it became coeducational in 1969, Hochul was off to Hyde Park, to Val-Kill, the home of Eleanor Roosevelt and to meet with Hyde Park Town Supervisor Aileen Rohr.