Antigay Democrat Defeated in N.Y.

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com September 14 2010 10:25 PM ET

New York state senator Bill Stachowski, one of eight senate Democrats who voted against the marriage equality bill last year, has conceded to his primary opponent Tim Kennedy. Two other efforts to defeat marriage equality opponents, in the Bronx and Queens, were not successful.

News of the Stachowski concession began to trickle into Twitter around 10 p.m. The defeated incumbent from Buffalo said, “It’s been a great 28 years.”

The Human Rights Campaign, which endorsed Kennedy as part of its Campaign for New York Marriage, released a statement upon his win Tuesday night.

”HRC’s Campaign for New York Marriage has been working in cooperation with Fight Back New York, Empire State Pride Agenda, Freedom to Marry and Marriage Equality New York to close the eight-vote gap blocking marriage equality in the New York state Senate,” said the statement. “As part of the campaign, HRC endorsed Tim Kennedy and provided direct contributions, staff resources and volunteers to his campaign. Unfortunately two endorsees — Charlie Ramos and Lynn Nunes — were not successful in their primaries today.”

Ramos had challenged state senator Ruben Diaz Sr. in the Bronx, while Nunes mounted a challenge to state senator Shirley Huntley in Queens.

Fight Back New York, which does not endorse candidates, had launched campaigns targeting both Stachowski and Diaz Sr. for their opposition to reforms including but not limited to marriage equality. The PAC sent an e-mail to supporters Tuesday night that hailed the Stachowski loss.

"Over the course of the past several weeks, you've helped Fight Back New York air a hard-hitting radio ad and drop 147,000 pieces of mail to thousands of targeted voters in Stachowski's district," said the message.

However, a general election victory for Kennedy in November and the future of marriage equality in New York remain uncertain. Democrats hold a slim 32-30 majority in the senate. Last year no Republican voted for the marriage equality bill, which failed by a 38-24 margin.

"The win sets up Kennedy for a tough general-election fight against Republican Assemblyman Jack F. Quinn III of Hamburg that could determine whether Democrats retain control of the State Senate," reported BuffaloNews.com.