The special election to replace Sheldon Silver in the state assembly is now just 10 days away. The New York Times today is out with its endorsement in the 65th Assembly District race. The newspaper backs Yuh-Line Niou, who is running on the Working Families Party line.
In the same editorial, the Times made an endorsement for Dean Skelos’ former Senate seat in Nassau County. The leaders of both houses were, of course, convicted of federal corruption crimes days apart late last year. The editorial board writes:
Even as they wait, disgraced, to be sentenced for multiple felonies, their old allies are scheming to make sure the Legislature does not change too much now that they’re gone. Voters, it is time to shout No. No more manipulators, hacks and cronies. No more disciples of the status quo who promise to reform the state government but never do.
There are four candidates on the ballot in the Lower Manhattan special election. Niou is facing Alice Cancel, the Democratic nominee; Republican Lester Chang; and Dennis Levy of the Green Party. Although Cancel and her supporters have dismissed allegations that she’s a Sheldon Silver crony, the Times believes the Democratic candidate is too close to the former speaker:
The race to replace Mr. Silver, in Lower Manhattan, has had unsavory twists. Although Mr. Silver’s days as a power broker are supposed to be over, his wife, his friends and a former aide managed to overpower the candidate-selection process earlier this year and maneuver a Silver apologist onto the Democratic ballot. Their choice, Alice Cancel, is a district leader who shows little enthusiasm for cleaning up the culture in which Mr. Silver thrived. The Working Families Party picked a far better candidate: Yuh-Line Niou. Ms. Niou, who worked for nonprofit groups and as a legislative aide in Washington State, fighting predatory lending, has been chief of staff to a Queens assemblyman. Her fluent Mandarin would serve her well in Chinatown, an underserved part of the district, as would her experience as an advocate for the elderly and poor.
We’ll have more on all of the candidates next week, including a roundup of recent candidate forums and in-depth interviews with the contenders.