John Duke: Thompson’s Advantages Over Kennedy
by Artvoice Staff (@Artvoice) - posted 10:18 am, May 1, 2012
The prospect of a Democratic primary showdown between Antoine Thompson and State Senator Tim Kennedy won’t seem to go away; here at AV, we’ve received numerous telephone calls cataloging the pros and cons of each candidate, and making predictions on whether it will come to pass, and, if it does occur, what the result will be. Most of these calls were strictly on background, but trust John Duke of the First Amendment Club, who may be one of our area’s most accurate political prognosticators, to go on the record.
His prediction: “Thompson would win the contest walking away,” he says. “There isn’t a reason not to vote for Thompson or Kennedy, but the mathematics of the district are determined by its geography and history.”
Duke explains: “State Senator William Stachowski owned the 58th District for three decades before his defeat by Tim Kennedy. But some people might have forgotten that two years before Kennedy’s victory, Thompson helped Stachowski with troops and money to fend off Detective Dennis Delano, especially in the Latino areas south of Hampshire Street in the City of Buffalo. Stachowski, I’m sure, still remembers and might want to help Thompson and repay Kennedy at the same time. That’s the history.
“The geography is just as crucial,” he continues. “When the Republican State Senate ‘redistricted’ Western New York, they added four main areas to the 58th District: Old Polonia, all of the Niagara District, Allentown, and the East Side. Kennedy’s new district now has more Polish, Latinos, African-Americans, and LGBT people than any time in its past. Thompson has great relationships with three of the four groups, and Higgins fatigue has gripped South Buffalo, as illustrated by the defeat of Chris Fahey.
“Bill Stachowski and other Poles know well that what goes around comes around, and in Kennedy’s case that could mean disaster.”