Two months after Election Day the votes have finally been counted and Democrat Cecelia Tkaczyk will become the new State Senator from the 46th district in New York. She won by 19 votes in a district that was specifically created to elect Republican Assemblyman George Amedore. The campaign turned on the issue of money-in-politics—making this win an important one in the fight to pass Fair Elections in New York State. As Paul Blumenthal at Huffington Post wrote today:
"Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk's victory over Republican George Amedore means there are now a majority of sitting senators who support the passage of reform, including the public financing of elections statewide.
"Public financing is the Holy Grail for New York's campaign finance reformers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has publicly supported the idea, but Tkaczyk's win is being hailed as the final piece of the puzzle."
Jonathan Soros, whose Friends of Democracy group played a key role in the race, said, "Her victory shows that voters will support candidates who champion real campaign finance reform, including citizen funded elections."
Citizen Action of New York's Karen Scharff said, “(Tkaczyk’s) campaign proved that New Yorkers are tired of the corrupting influence of big money on politics, where major campaign contributions grease the wheels to special access and preferred legislative outcomes for a select few.”
And Dan Cantor with the Working Families Party said, "This is a linchpin victory for public financing of elections, and it means the Governor's proposal has the votes to become law.”
In an editorial, the Albany Times-Union calls it a "teaching moment" and "It’s now up to Ms. Tkaczyk and all those politicians from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on down who say they stand for campaign reform to live up to their promises to do it."
Here are the headlines on Friday's news:
- Huffington Post: Public financing of New York elections picks up key vote with Cecilia Tkaczyk Senate victory
- NYT: Democrat ekes out Senate win
- Capital Tonight: Left says Tkaczyk win = "clear mandate" for publicly financed campaigns
- ThinkProgress: Campaign finance reform advocate defeats right wing millionaire in NY Senate race
- Journal News: Tkaczyk: "No one believed our campaign had a chance"
- AP: Democrat wins close NY Senate race
- Wall Street Journal: Democrat wins upstate Senate seat, giving party clear majority