Brabenec scoops United Monroe for NYS 98th Assembly.
Move undercuts John Allegro’s third-party run.
In a move bordering on opportunistic, incumbent Karl Brabenec submitted the required number of nominating petitions to claim the United Monroe line on November’s ballot for the 98th New York State Assembly district seat. The move by Brabenec undercut by hours the grass-roots group’s own petitions nominating John Allegro.
Brabenec, who is running in the September Republican primary against first-time candidate Allegro, appears to have successfully undercut the strategy of United Monroe to run Allegro on potentially two lines. The winner of the September primary could potentially be on the ballot twice in November with his choice of ballot lines.
The strategy behind the move appears to be to create confusion about the candidate actually supported by the Monroe-based grass-roots group. Said Brabenec in a press-release, “Regrettably, it has become increasingly clear that the leadership of United Monroe is more interested in amassing political power than serving the residents that they claim to represent. When leaders lose sight of their goal, the citizenry needs to act, and that is reflective by the nearly 2000 signatures that were collected.”
The move was not viewed positively by United Monroe Chairperson Emily Convers, who disavowed Brabenec’s position via the group’s Facebook Page. However, it appeared over the weekend that United Monroe was having trouble organizing to meet the petition requirements. Events run by United Monroe for voters to sign petitions were held, but mailers were issued for one only 9 minutes prior to event start time. Other events were publicized, one of which was outside of the 98th Assembly District on Sunday.
The misstep by United Monroe suggests that the group is not as organized as in the past. In 2013, the group reportedly camped overnight to ensure their petitions were submitted at opening time. This year, they ceded that to an opponent that appeared better organized. Convers described Brabenec’s strategy using words such as “morally bankrupt” and “desperate”. For his part, Brabenec issued the following comment via his Facebook page: “The response from residents and friends was overwhelming and sends a clear message that the citizens of the 98th Assembly District need me to continue to fight for them in Albany for another two years.” Questions and comments to Brabenec’s Facebook page on the issue were quickly removed, as typical of the Assemblyman.
For now, the move appears to leave first-timer Allegro out in the cold should he lose in the September primary. While Allegro has been known for his association with United Monroe and Preserve Hudson Valley, today’s move appears to show that he lacks the resources that Brabenec can muster for a major party primary.
The winner of the Republican primary will go up against the winner of the Democratic primary, a race that pits Monroe resident Krystal Serrano against former Rockland County legislator Aron Wieder.