LONSBERRY: Who I'd Vote For And Why

You don’t vote based on who you think’s going to win, you vote based on what you think’s right.

And you don’t vote because you hate your opponents, you vote because you love your country.

At least that’s how you do it if you do it right.

It doesn’t matter where that takes you, it just matters that you get there the right way.

And here’s where I’ve gotten. Here’s how I’m going to vote, or how I would vote if I could vote in some races I’ve followed closely.

I’m voting enthusiastically for Republican Marc Molinaro for governor. Andrew Cuomo is despotic and mean, while Molinaro is intelligent, gracious and principled. There’s a reason Cuomo has almost historically high disapproval ratings, and there’s a reason Molinaro has been a leader since he was a teen-ager.

For attorney general, I want Republican Keith Wofford. I’m sorry this campaign didn’t give more people a chance to see and hear him. He is one of the brightest and most plain spoken candidates I’ve ever seen. He would clean house in Albany, and keep Wall Street policed without going to war with it.

For United States Senate, I like Republican Chele Farley. I’ve spoken to her several times and she is impressively smart and upbeat.

For Congress in the 25th District, I’d pick Jim Maxwell over Democrat Joe Morelle. I believe Maxwell is the better, humbler man. And I believe that Morelle’s brand of liberalism is too strident for either me or the district he wants to represent. I also think it’s pretty cheeky of Morelle to have already begun the process of setting up his congressional offices.

For Congress in the 24th District, I’d vote for incumbent John Katko. He honestly is a guy who straddles the aisle and finds a way to serve and work with both Democrats and Republicans alike. That’s why he has a staggering pile of passed legislation and good relationships across the House.

For Congress in the 27th District, I am going to vote for Chris Collins. I am not proud of that, but it has to be done. To be honest, I won’t be heartbroken if he loses, but I will have no hand in it myself. His opponent, Nate McMurray, is a nice guy, and if McMurray wins and the Democrats take the House, the district will not be in such a bad situation.

In state Supreme Court for the 7th Judicial District, I am going to bullet vote for Republican Judge Vicki Argento. I could vote for two candidates, but I really want Judge Vicki to win, so I will enhance her chances of winning by voting for just one candidate. She has a nice reputation in the courthouse, but I am supporting her because of the way she and her husband have engaged people on the campaign trail.

In Monroe County Family Court, I would vote for Nicole Bayly, and then my pen would dawdle over the ballot a moment before it finally settled on Alecia Mazzo. There is another candidate I like – Zuleika Shepard – who has a great personality and wonderful spirit. But Republicans Mazzo and Bayly have essentially dedicated their professional lives to Family Court, and are so well qualified and dispositioned that I would have to vote for them. They may be two of the best-prepared judicial candidates I’ve ever come across.

I doubt it will happen, but I hope Mayor Warren will appoint Shepard to City Court.

In State Senate in Monroe County, I would be torn. I want the Republicans to retain control of the Senate – no matter how unlikely that may be – but in the races against incumbent Republicans Rich Funke and Joe Robach, the Democrat challengers are both interesting, engaging people.

Democrat Jen Lunsford faces Funke and Democrat Jeremy Cooney opposes Joe Robach. I like them both. I also disagree with them both. It’s likely neither has much of a chance to win, but if they were on my ballot, and nobody was looking, I’m not sure what I would do.

In the Syracuse-area Senate seat being vied for by Republican Bob Antonacci and Democrat John Mannion, I would vote Antonacci all day every day. He is just a good-hearted man, whose background as a lawyer, accountant and county comptroller stand him in very good stead. Mannion is owned by New York State United Teachers and has a reputation for being very hard to work with.

In the Assembly district where I live, I am going to vote for Democrat Barbara Bear. I don’t think very many others will. She is insufferably liberal, but in the Assembly, it doesn’t matter either the party or the name of the person representing this backwoods district. Whoever goes will have no impact whatsoever on the composition or disposition of legislation. So I figure you might as well send someone who can sit with the majority and beg us some crumbs. Plus, she is a nice lady.

In the Assembly district currently represented by Democrat Harry Bronson, I would vote for Patsy Iacovangelo. I don’t even know if that’s a man or a woman. And if I don’t know, then it must have been a pretty low-profile campaign. But Bronson is sometimes a self-important and petty man, and that’s not pretty on anybody.

In Ontario County, I would vote for Democrat Kevin Henderson for sheriff. I wish he’d pick Bob Green to be his undersheriff, but either way, Henderson is the better true leader, especially in an emergency. Republican Silvio Palermo probably cut his own throat when his campaign went negative.

Whenever I can, I’m going to vote on the Conservative Party line. The state and local Republican parties have disappointed me, and I want to send them a small message.

What do I think is going to happen?

I hope I’m wrong, but I think the blue wave is a good possibility. The biggest question might be how far down the ballot it washes. Will Democrats running for all offices be benefited? We’ll know soon enough.

I don’t have a good record of predicting elections, and I hope I’m way off base, but I think it is very likely the Democrats take control of the New York state Senate and the United States House of Representatives. The country is far better off than it was two years ago, and the policies of Donald Trump deserve most of the credit for that, but Trump’s demeanor and the unrelenting media/Democrat war against him have turned him into an energizing pariah who will bring out millions of voters for Democrat candidates.

Most of the new voter enrollments in this historic cycle have been for Democrats, and that looks to me like the handwriting on the wall.

But I’ve been wrong before, and I hope I’m wrong again.

Either way, these are the people I would vote for, and the reasons I would vote for them.

Not because I think they are going to win, but because I think they are right.

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