Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Klein, as expected, gets himself a primary challenger

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- In a move that could have implications for the future of the coalition-style governing of the state Senate, G. Oliver Koppell made it official this morning with his announcement that he is challenging Senate co-leader Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat, in a primary race.
Koppell, a former state Attorney General and longtime member of the Assembly, is vowing to unseat Klein, whom he has accused of abandoning Democratic principles with the deal he cut to share power in the Senate with Republicans and a handful of breakaway Democrats.
Koppell, who also served from 2002 to 2013 on the New York City Council, has spent months ruminating over a run and gauging fundraising and political support to take on Klein, who is no slouch when it comes to raising money and the artistic stylings of Bronx (and part of Westchester County) politics.
In his announcement, Koppell said, "The moment Jeff Klein put Republicans in charge of the State Senate, he broke his word and betrayed the voters who elected him. We deserve better."
Koppell blamed Klein for the failure of "progressive'' measures, such as a stalled bill to provide annual, inflation-based increases in the minimum wage.
A number of Senate seats are already in play this fall, either in primary or general election contests. But a loss by Klein, the leader of the breakaway group of Democrats, would put tremendous pressure on other members of the group to re-join the regular Democratic conference and, depending on the numbers after the November elections, could oust Republicans from any control of the Senate.
UPDATE: Klein spokeswoman Candice Giove said: "Senator Jeff Klein looks forward to a spirited debate of ideas and is eager to address his record of legislative accomplishments and his vision for the people of his district and for the future of this state."

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

Subscribe

Advertisement