Mark J. Grisanti, one of the four Republican New York state senators who voted for same-sex marriage last year — giving Democrats enough votes to pass the bill — tonight won his primary race against a candidate NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, actively and aggressively supported. Grisanti won with almost a 20 point margin: 59.9% vs. Kevin T. Stocker’s 40.1%.
Stephen M. Saland, a second Republican state senator who voted for same-sex marriage last year, is in a virtual tie, but has the majority, 50.2% against his challenger, Neil A. Di Carlo, who has 49.8% of the vote. Absentee ballots will determine the winner.
A third incumbent, Roy J. McDonald, currently has 49.8% of the vote. His Independent party challenger, Kathleen A. Marchione, is slightly ahead, win 50.5% of the vote. Again, absentee ballots will determine the winner.
The fourth incumbent Republican senator, Jim Alesi, did not run for re-election.
Earlier this week, as The New Civil Rights Movement reported, a GOP “dark money” group was caught using soft-core pornography from a hard core gay porn site to attack Senator Grisanti.
In challenging incumbent Senator Saland, Neil Di Carlo vowed to repeal same-sex marriage — a near-impossible task, given New York’s strict rules and Democratic governor. And Di Carlo did it in a rather ugly manner, paying for at least four anti-gay, homophobic, and even anti-Semitic mailers, as the Advocate on Tuesday reported:
The challenger claims he will “work tirelessly to restore the institution of marriage to its rightful place,” while he says the incumbent provided “the deciding vote on homosexual ‘marriage.’”
Three of the mailers depict Saland as a “puppet” of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and say that he received contributions from the mayor, the “liberal gay mafia,” and “Fistgate” Kevin Jennings. Antigay groups had attacked the former Obama appointee with false charges about his work as founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.
A fourth mailer depicts Saland as a small child holding the hands of his “two daddies,” Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who spearheaded the marriage equality push, under the caption, “New York’s Modern Political Family.” The mailer seems to veer into anti-Semitic territory, with Saland, who is Jewish, wearing what appears to be a rainbow yarmulke.
The Advocate also noted:
Advocates have prioritized the races in New York because of the signal the senators’ fates will send to other lawmakers around the country. Almost 200 Republican state lawmakers have expressed support for marriage equality legislation nationwide and none has lost a seat yet for that reason.
— Michael Paulson (@MichaelPaulson) September 14, 2012
Election numbers via The New York Times.
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