Post Election Review

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OPINION – Election season isn’t just a busy time for Republican activists or politicos. For us Brooklyn Young Republicans, it means assessing the strengths and weaknesses in the Republican Party and rectifying inherent flaws. It also means finding our strong points and expanding upon them.

Congressman Michael Grimm and BYR Treasurer Glenn Nocera

Michael Grimm’s election in the 13th Congressional District on November 2, 2010 was a showcase of fine Republicanism and grassroots activism. This was the target race in all of New York City, if not New York State. What made Grimm’s campaign important was that he was part of the Republican insurgency of the House of Representatives to defeat Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi and introduce a different breed of conservatism in Congress. The seat, formerly held by Michael McMahon, is strategic to conservatives in New York. Why? Because it covers vital Republican strongholds located in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. The location was the decisive factor in helping Michael Grimm get elected, which included Brooklyn Young Republicans who, by pounding pavement, helped spread the word.

Michael Grimm’s election, however, was one of the very few Republican victories in Brooklyn. While he and Nicole Malliotakis claimed victory Tuesday night in large part due to many Republican votes from the larger Staten Island portions of their districts, other Brooklyn Republicans went back to their homes to no avail. Phyllis Carbo lost with only 34% of the vote in the 47th Assembly District.  Brian Doherty lost with 38% in the 48th AD.  Peter Cipriano also lost with 38% in the 49th AD.

The 58th and 59th Assembly Districts had no Republican candidates running.

And, my favorite: the 46th Assembly District attempted to run a Republican Candidate against Alec Brook-Krasny, but was swiftly knocked off the ballot and Brook-Krasny ran essentially unopposed. Needless to say, those District Leaders in the 46th have some explaining to do.

The numbers can be upsetting.  After all, Republicans do have a lot to offer to New York City and to Albany. Free markets, low taxes, a revamped welfare system, and transparency all contribute to good government. But with election numbers this low in Brooklyn in one of the best years for Republicans in quite some time, a few things come to question.

1) How does the Chairman allow Democrats to run unopposed in districts, especially Democratic Chair Vito Lopez’s handpicked State Supreme Court judge nominees (whom Brooklyn Republicans always cross-endorse)? Republicans are some of the best and brightest in the borough. The question begs, why is there no effort being made to tap into and cultivate a Republican intelligencia?

2) The 46th AD leadership is weak. Not running a candidate is one thing, but dropping a candidate off the ballot is another. With the fervent anti-incumbency feel running rampant throughout the country, District Leaders Clorinda Annarummo and Simon Shamoun had the opportunity to surgically remove a career politician. The question begs, why didn’t they?

3) The low voter turnouts, lackluster campaigns and candidacies, and low vote percentages are unacceptable. For far too long, the Republican Party has been receiving far too few votes in virtually any election. The question begs, why is the Chairman doing nothing to change this?

And so, the question ultimately begs, what are Brooklyn Young Republicans willing to do to fix this?

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