The Republican New York state senator who was the subject of a pornographic advertisement has easily won his primary bid, while two fellow Republicans who voted for same-sex marriage are in the fight of their political lives.
State Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) easily defeated his GOP primary opponent, attorney Kevin Stocker, by 20 percentage points, according to results posted on the Erie County Board of Elections website. Grisanti was one of the deciding votes on the 2011 same-sex marriage vote, following a 2010 campaign pledge that he would vote against the bill, which earned him the wrath of conservatives in his Erie County district. Sens. Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga) and Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie), who joined Grisanti in voting for the bill, will have to wait for absentee ballot results to see if they have won the primary.
The Albany Times-Union reports that McDonald trails Saratoga County clerk Kathy Marchione by 300 votes in the Albany-area district. Saland leads New York Stock Exchange official Neil DiCarlo by 42 votes in the Hudson Valley district according to the Poughkeepsie Journal. Absentee ballots were likely to decide both races.
Grisanti was the focus of a pornographic advertisement circulated via email earlier this week, attacking him for his switch on the gay marriage issue. The mailer was circulated by the "Committee to Save the Erie County Republican Party," a group connected to Matt Ricchiazzi, a Grisanti opponent, who said the ad was part of a design contest sponsored by the committee. Ricchiazzi said the mailer was not meant to oppose gay marriage but rather compare Grisanti to a prostitute.
Grisanti faces a competitive November election against Democrat Michael Amodeo, who defeated former Erie County Legislature chairman Chuck Swanick and former state Sen. Al Coppola in Wednesday's primary. Swanick, a Democrat turned Republican turned Democrat, will run as the Conservative Party candidate in the November election against Grisanti and Amodeo.
Around the state, the primary had few surprises, with incumbents and party-backed candidates largely winning. In Queens, Sen. Shirley Huntley, who was arrested on corruption charges last month, lost her bid to New York City Councilman James Sanders in a Democratic district.