Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact

Why Thompson Lost

The folks at the Buffalo News continue to maintain that Mark Grisanti beat Antoine Thompson for the 60th District State Senate seat because Carl Paladino’s candidacy brought lots of folks to the polls, Democrat and Republican, who were inclined to vote against Thompson (presumably because he’s black, because he’s the incumbent) and for Grisanti (presumably because he’s Italian, because he’s not the incumbent). Donn Esmonde offers the explanation again in his column today crediting Joel Giambra for master-minding Grisanti’s campaign:

Like him or not, there is no questioning Giambra’s political smarts. He knew he had an appealing candidate who connected with the independents and crossover Democrats whom Carl Paladino brought to the polls.

It’s a tidy theory, except that Andrew Cuomo won in the 60th State Senate District. There was no great outpouring of support for Paladino in the Erie County parts of the 60th District, but Grisanti performed very well in Erie County anyway. Paladino won resoundingly in the Niagara County section of the 60th District, as did Grisanti; Niagara County is more Republican that Erie County. True, many more Niagara County residents voted in the 60th District race this year than in 2006. But in 2006, more Niagara County residents voted in the gubernatorial election than did this year, so it seems to me that the increase in Niagara County votes in the 60th District race cannot be attributed to Paladino.

Giambra tells Esmonde that Thompson didn’t see this coming. I think Thompson’s campaign finance filings suggest otherwise. In 2008, Thompson’s campaign committee acted as a conduit, sending money to beleaguered Democratic colleagues like Bill Stachowski. That’s what you do when your own seat is in the bag and you’re helping to run one of your party’s statewide campaign committees. This year, Thompson spent almost exclusively on his own campaign. He knew he was in trouble.


  • It doesn’t seem to sit well with you that something positive came out of the Paladino candidacy. GOP recount attorneys tell me that Paladino, an Italian Republican, brought out Republicans and Italians of all political stripes for Grisanti. It is a metaphysical certainty that Carl had a positive impact on the race – so maybe get over it.

  • jerald

    Michael Caputo,

    You were the worst campaign manager I have ever seen. All you had to do was focus on taxes, spending and jobs. Maybe even point out how Cuomo is a democrat who speaks one thing but in reality will do another.

    Instead you run a slander based campaign, focus on social issues that no one cares about and reject any and all help from GOPers who knew what was going on statewide.

    You are a failure, an EPIC FAILURE

  • Lancey Howard

    The facts are the facts; Andrew Cuomo won in the 60th State Senate District, as did Grisanti. As for the Paladino campaign; lots of positive things came out of it. And even though Artvoice has always been pro-Paladino; the NYC media machine is an arm of the Democratic party, and acted as such.

  • Kevin

    It looks like Mr. Mark Boyd is next in line to become State Senator in the 60th district. Mr. Boyd served as Sen. Antoine Thompson’s Chief of Staff. Rumor has it that he has been working back channels within Grassroots for the last three months to shore up support.

  • Peter A Reese

    I don’t think Thompson was able to motivate his base to come out in Buffalo’s African-American neighborhoods. I think Grisanti was counting on low turnout in black neighborhoods for the general election. Thompson really got clobbered in Niagara County.

  • Hapklein

    I guess a lot of people guess at outcomes to satisfy personal convictions than relying on any mere facts.
    Antoine Thonpson lost the election just on the extraordinary Grisanti votes in the City of Tonawanda and Grand Island. In both the vote was better than 5 to 1. I couldn’t find any voting districts that had more than the about a 20% bulge for Grisanti outside of Brown’s core area.
    It might be expected that some other motivation cause this extraordinary swing in a heavily Democratic voting area.
    One very knowing political person laughed at my perplexity. They are racist enclaves she assured me.
    Are they? And if so why is it so hidden?

  • Simon Magus

    It was the Democrats that won this for Grisanti, the Republicans were no shows: Read Thursday’s Buffalo News. Peter Reese is once again right on the money: 2/3 of registered voters in the Masten district were no shows.

    Peter Reese would be be barred at the casino for card counting. Antoine Thopmson would be barred after he claimed 29 is below 21.

  • Earth to Artvoice

    Artvoice spins: “There was no great outpouring of support for Paladino in the Erie County parts of the 60th District”

    A great outpouring wasn’t needed. Grisanti won by only 525 votes.

    Artvoice wants people to believe the extra turnout for Paladino didn’t boost Grisanti’s vote by at least 525 votes?

    It was a combination of factors including low turnout in Masten, but if the gov’s race was Cuomo v. Lazio, a lot of WNY voters for Paladino would have stayed home. Lazio’s support in WNY was almost non-existent. Deservedly so.

    Thompson losing that district needed both low turnout in Masten and extra right-of-center turnout backing Paladino. It was very very close even with both factors.