Tarrytown– State Democrats nominated Senator Charles Schumer for a fourth term at a party meeting Monday in Westchester, where Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo praised the 65-year-old incumbent as “truly outstanding.”
At the Democratic Party’s lunchtime meeting in Tarrytown, Schumer spoke to his hopes for the future, including that he will become Senate majority leader and, in the event the Republican-controlled Senate does not relent in its opposition to an Obama nominee, “our madam president will surely nominate a person for the Supreme Court who is in the legal mainstream (and) will uphold fundamental rights and common sense precedents now so severely under attack by the right-wing.”
“Once again, we will have a government and a Supreme Court we can be proud of,” Schumer said.
State Democratic Committee members unanimously backed Schumer on Monday during a meeting in Westchester County.
“You could take this guy and you could give a seminar on how to run a campaign or be an elected official,” said Sheila Comar, the committee’s acting chair and leader of the Washington County Democratic Committee.
“Chuck proved that you could be great in constituent service and still be an effective Democratic senator, and keep your principles, and get things done,” agreed Jonathan Jacobson, who for over two decades chaired the Orange County Democratic Committee. “He’s done senator pothole 10 times over while forging ahead with Democratic values … it’s just going to be great when he’s majority leader, because then we’ll really get even more.”
The Brooklyn native also is poised to take over as head of the party’s caucus in the U.S. Senate Democrats next year following the retirement of Minority Leader Harry Reid after the election. Whether he will have the title of majority leader or minority leader depends on the outcome of November’s elections.
He told the local party chairs and other officials assembled he would place comprehensive immigration reform at the top of his agenda as majority leader. He also spoke to the need for a larger agenda focused on helping to grow the middle class while maintaining its current ranks.
“I want to be crystal clear, though, I’m not going anywhere,” Schumer said, adding that he intends to complete a 19th consecutive 62-county tour next year. “New York’s in my bones. People come to me, ‘Well when you become leader you’re going to have so much to do. Maybe you’ll forget us.’ No way. I can’t. It’s who I am.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also spoke about the national political picture at the meeting. He continued to deride Republican Donald Trump and also took shots at Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio over Republican immigration policies.
“You’re going to make America great again?” Cuomo said, using Trump’s campaign slogan. “You don’t understand what made America great in the first place.”
Schumer would seem to be on track for victory again. Fifty-three percent of voters said they would re-elect Schumer in a February Siena College poll. Thirty-seven percent said they would prefer someone else. That someone else may be Republican attorney Wendy Long, who challenged U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in 2012. Gannett reported Long assuredly will have the Conservative Party endorsement if she chooses to run, the Albany Times Union reported.