Giambra credited with Grisanti winning the 60th State Senate District seat
The two-time incumbent Senator Antoine Thompson to concede the race soon sources in the media rumored. Interestingly, former county executive Joel Giambra credited for ushering in Buffalo lawyer Mark Grisanti’s candidacy and successful campaign against Thompson. In a Donn Esmonde column last week he quoted Giambra as saying:
“Nobody thought it was possible,” Giambra told me by phone recently. “But I saw early on a cocky, arrogant incumbent [in Thompson] who was not well-liked by other African-American politicians, and who had trouble with his base [of support] because of his backing of gay marriage.”
This may be true for Mr. Giambra but other factors played into the success of Grisanti, a Democrat turned Republican who challenged Thompson in the general election. Whites seem to describe black politicians as “cocky” or “arrogant” similar to how Mayor Michael Bloomberg privately used the word “arrogant” to recently characterized President Barack Obama until the conversation leaked to the press though later he attempted to distant himself from the comment.
And Thompson is one of the most well-liked elected officials in the African-American community more so than Mayor Byron Brown. Some even have speculated he would win an election for Mayor of Buffalo in a race against Brown whose popularity in the African-American community dwindling obviously highlighted recently in the diverse columnist writing for the Challenger Newspaper for a variety of reasons the one that stands out the most alienated from black issues and concerns.
It’s highly unlikely as well that Grisanti won over Thompson “… who had trouble with his base [of support] because of his backing of gay marriage.” This reason contributed to the lost of the Puerto Rican Senator Hiram Monserrate twice unable to capture back his seat not to diminish the racism and discriminatory behavior of his colleagues in both the NYS Assembly and Senate gung-ho to oust him in the midst of a redistricting period to accommodate their own political agendas.
Grisanti ran for the seat once in the past but lost the political timing not the best for him, but driven and motivated to win one of his better points. As for the Giambra I covered this topic in a past blog posting attributing his role to ethnicity a seat Italians held for a long time in the past that had helped to launch their political careers to other elected offices similar to former Mayor Anthony Masiello and Nanula, as well as, obtain highly coveted and paid patronage positions such as Marc Coppola.
Thompson, it’s true had become arrogant but what politician is not “cocky” or “arrogant.” Certainly not traits just ascribed to the black elected officials with those hefty campaign treasure chests many have and leave office arrogance comes with the territory unless there is serious campaign financing reform laws.
Thompson had bad advice, upset the media that hammered at him until bringing him down, and the demographic of his district changed more white voters who Republicans did a very good job bringing out to the polls especially the senior citizens whom they had instilled the fear of the Obama god .
And Grisanti had a campaign strategy, funds, related to the media well, motivated and the advantages of a redistricting year in tandem with the Carl Paladino gubernatorial campaign that brought out the Italian voters and the help of the Republicans Party.
In the end Grisanti did his political homework and succeeded in an election year where he’ll help to decide the boundaries of the district to keep himself in office for a long time if he plays his political deck of cards right.