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Elections 2010: Latino voters in New York to determine next governor

October 6, 2010

Pelea de los gallos

Susana Martinez, a prosecutor and the Republican nominee for governor, would be the first Hispanic woman to run a state if elected. She is ahead in the polls, partly on the strength of television advertisements that show her standing at the border talking about how she has convicted law-breakers who have entered the country illegally from Mexico.”

These stories are making headlines in the South and Southwest describing the Latino vote likely to lag and saying many  sitting out the mid-term vote.

Yet here in New York State the opposite may likely happen as the gubernatorial race with two Italian Americans duking it out on the Democratic and Republican party lines have added steam to an otherwise mundane election.

Attorney general Andrew Cuomo thought the front-runner to capture the election until Buffalo businessman and real estate developer Carl Paladino tossed his hat into the race with a catchy slogan that “I’m mad as hell.”

In fact, Latinos in New York are more energized and won’t be sitting this one out.  Political polls show Paladino has a larger than expected  support from Latinos state-wide and engaged local consultant Chito Olivencia to help him in wooing the votes in Upstate  New York.

In a telephone conversation with Mr. Olivencia he commented how he was crisscrossing the Upstate area recently gone to Dunkirk, N.Y for the Republican gubernatorial candidate.

When at the same time, African-Americans seem to overwhelmingly support the Cuomo candidacy for governor rejecting Paladino as a racist.  And the sentiment  shared among many African-Americans in Buffalo who view Paladino similarly for speaking negatively about leaders in this community and his role in helping to down-size the Buffalo Common Council a few years ago, ousting the popular Councilman James Pitts.

And the run for attorney general of Harvard educated lawyer Ramon Jimenez under the Freedom Party line that delivered over 50,000 petitions to Albany is a sign Latinos are not sitting this gubernatorial election out in New York State.

And African-American Councilman Charles Barron from NYC  is running for Governor and local historian Eva Doyle for Lt. Governor both under the Freedom line, providing an opportunity for African-Americans and Latinos to work together. The Green Party has African-American candidates as well.

The problem with Latinos, if any, is  their  divided into competing political groups sometimes based on country of origins as it was the case in New York City when Dominicans politicians collaborated to oust the Puerto Rican Senator Hiram Monserrate.  Still, these are ongoing battles in NYC while the assembly seat of José Peralta remained vacant conveniently as Democratic leaders plotted together to choose a successor in the Democratic primary.

What is interesting about the poll conducted in August and September 2010 among 1, 375 Latino voters, 618 of them registered is,”the survey finds that among Latino registered voters, Republicans may be more likely to turn out and vote than Democrats. Some 44% of Latino Republicans say they have given the election quite a lot of thought compared with 28% of Latino Democrats.”

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