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Rep. Michael Grimm, Cuomo up for reelection: races to watch 2014

The 2014 ballot won't have the cachet that comes from being a presidential election year or even a mayoral election year. But there are several races for key seats that represent a large swath of New Yorkers at the state and federal levels.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to easily overcome his challengers. Congressman Charles Rangel -- 22 terms in office -- once again faces a challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. And incumbent former FBI undercover agent-turned-U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm has been indicted on federal fraud charges, meaning the Republican Party could be on the verge of losing its only congressional member in the city.

Here are the races to watch for 2014, which will be updated through the campaign season.

Federal primary: June 24
Statewide primary: Sept. 9
General election: Nov. 4

Cuomo seeks a commanding reelection

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to easily win
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to easily win reelection to a second term in November, having socked away over $33 million for his campaign and consolidated his power in the Democratic Party. And let's face it: His tenure as governor has been marked by historic achievements, such as the legalization of gay marriage, that even without the deep pockets he would still roll easily through to the fall. Even small hiccups, like his decision to turn out the lights on his short-lived Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, have done little to bring down his solid approval ratings. His main challenger in November, so far, is little-known Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican.

Grimm up for reelection as his narrative swirls out of control

Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm has been indicted
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm has been indicted on federal fraud charges as he seeks reelection. While he's claimed he is innocent of the allegations, having a criminal case to shoulder while campaigning will certainly hobble him. This follows a spate of negative publicity in January when he threatened to throw a television news reporter from a balcony and break him in half "like a boy." The reporter didn't press charges, and Grimm apologized, but it certainly will play into the election. All of this bodes well for his main challenger: Democrat Domenic Recchia, a former City Councilman who held the finance chairmanship for several years. The 11th Congressional District includes Staten Island and south Brooklyn.

Rematch between Rangel and Espaillat in the 13th District

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat is making a second
Photo Credit: Patrick McCarthy

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat is making a second bid to unseat Charles Rangel from the 13th District seat that he has held for 22 terms. Their primary rematch is one of the most closely watched races of this year's election season. The last time around, Espaillat nearly edged out Rangel in the Democratic Primary with 1,086 votes. The 13th District includes upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

Corruption opens the 79th Assembly seat in the Bronx

A number of elected officials in the state
Photo Credit: Craig Ruttle

A number of elected officials in the state Legislature have been forced to prematurely depart office following corruption or sexual harassment scandals. In the Bronx, where corruption seems to be a sort of badge of honor for some politicians, the 79th Assembly District was left vacant after Eric Stevenson was convicted of taking $22,000 in bribes. A handful of little-known candidates appear to be gunning for the seat, including veteran Obama campaign operative Michael Blake. The 79th District includes the neighborhoods of Morrisania and East Tremont.

State senator seeks reelection amid corruption allegations

Some political observers were astonished when state Sen.
Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Some political observers were astonished when state Sen. Malcolm Smith announced, back in January, that he was going to campaign for reelection even as he faces bribery charges. Reports indicate he may have as many as two Democratic challengers, and both of them have little to no name recognition. Smith was first elected in the 14th District in 2000. In 2013, he was arrested by FBI and accused of scheming to bribe his way into the mayoral race. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, the allegations may not be enough to unseat him: Voter turnout in off-years is notoriously low and incumbents have rarely been defeated in the past decade. The 14th District includes Hollis, Springfield Gardens and Cambria Heights.


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