New York state party conventions: What to know

Both the Democratic and Republican parties in New York are holding their conventions this week, ahead of the state primaries.

Here’s what you need to know about the events:

Where and when are the conventions?

The conventions started on Wednesday and will conclude on Thursday. The Democratic convention is at Hofstra University on Long Island, while the Republican convention is at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in Manhattan.

What happens at the conventions?

The state party committees vote on candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller. The committees are composed of elected members representing all the Assembly districts in the state.

The candidates who get the majority of the votes will be the party’s designated nominees for the primary elections on Sept. 13. If any of the other candidates receive more than 25 percent of the votes, they also will secure a spot on the ballot. Candidates who don’t get more than 25 percent of the votes can petition to get on the ballot by securing 15,000 signatures from people in the party between June 5 and mid-July.

The committees also vote on resolutions at the conventions.

How to watch

Both parties are streaming the conventions on their Facebook pages. Here are the links to both:

New York State Democratic Party

New York Republican State Committee

The 2018 headlines

Cynthia Nixon fails to get 25 percent of the vote

Nixon attended the convention in her bid to keep Gov. Andrew Cuomo from a third term in office. Cuomo secured the party’s endorsement by winning 95 percent of the committee’s vote.

Nixon was endorsed by the Working Families Party during the weekend, which means her name will be on the ballot. She has also said she will collect the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot as a Democrat.

Hillary Clinton endorses Cuomo

The former presidential nominee said Cuomo, who served in President Bill Clinton’s administration as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is “not afraid to take on anyone who would hurt this state or our country.”

“Now, more than ever, we need leaders who will stand up for progressive values. . . . Most of all, we need leaders who believe in producing results,” she said in her keynote address.

The endorsement is one of the few Clinton has made since 2016.

Letitia James wins AG nomination

Also at the Democratic convention, the committee nominated James for attorney general, a position that suddenly became open when Eric Schneiderman resigned following allegations that he assaulted four women. Two other candidates — Leecia Eve, a former Cuomo aide, and Zephyr Teachout, who ran for governor in 2014 — failed to reach the 25 percent threshold.

James, the city’s public advocate, announced her candidacy just a week before the convention. She did not seek the WFP nomination, saying she was focused on securing the Democratic nod. Some political pundits, however, have speculated that Cuomo had influence on that decision since the WFP chose to nominate his opponent.

Republicans endorse Marc Molinaro

The Republican party nominated Duchess County Executive Molinaro as its candidate for governor. The last Republican to be New York governor was George Pataki, who served from 1995 to 2007.

“Are you ready to believe in New York again?” Molinaro asked in his speech, accepting the nomination. He promised a “bold property tax cut” and an end to “corporate welfare.”

Molinaro pitched himself as someone who knows what it’s like to struggle, having grown up poor with a single mother, contrasting himself with Cuomo, who comes from a powerful political family.

With Yancey Roy and Michael Gormley