Mesi and Cuomo
by Geoff Kelly - posted 5:43 pm, October 22, 2008
Baby Joe Mesi keeps is attracting big-name support in his race for the 61st District State Senate seat, as Democrats seek to gain the majority there and Republicans aim to preserve (or add to) their one-seat advantage.
First, Tom Golisano, who made a big donation to Mesi early on and whose Responsible New York committee continues to support his bid against Republican Mike Ranzenhofer. And yesterday New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo stood beside Mesi at his campaign headquarters on Niagara Falls Boulevard and said, “What we need in Albany is more independent leadership and a willingness to fundamentally change the way things are done. Joe has shown he will stand up to anybody, and we all know how committed he is to making Western New York a better place for working families.”
(Note Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Len Lenihan the foreground; Mesi, apparently, is a candidate he and Steve Pigeon can agree on. Later that evening, Lenihan would fail in his effort to stymy Frank Max’s re-election as chairman of Cheektowaga’s Democrats.)
The 61st District, which runs from Tonawanda to LeRoy, is conservative and Republican. Ranzenhofer is a known quantity, at least in the Erie County part of the district. And State Republicans have about twice as much money to spend on critical races as do state Democrats, so financial support from Golisano and political support from big names like Cuomo are essential to Mesi. He’s already racked up th endorsements a Democrat can count on—the Sierra Club, the UAW, etc.—and even a few that they can’t. John Duke of the First Amendment Club, whose endorsements run across party lines, says, “What we need is real relief from the way Albany has been doing business in the past. Joe Mesi represents the best chance at real change for the 61st District and for the entire State of New York.”