A coalition of 23 police unions announced endorsements of a slate of Republican candidates for state Senate in swing suburban districts after accusing Democratic incumbents of turning their backs on law enforcement.
The union leaders have criticized Democrats for passing a series of laws during their two-year tenure in charge of the Senate that are criminal-friendly and anti-cop, such as eliminating cash bail for most non-violent crimes and overhauling discovery rules in criminal cases
They also objected to approval of a law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic-led Legislature allowing for the release of disciplinary records of police officers
The Democrats wrested control of the state Senate from Republicans in 2018 during the blue wave mid-term elections and now control 40 seats to 23 for Republicans. The GOP had controlled the Senate for nearly 50 years, except for a two-year period from 2008 to 2010.
On Long Island, the unions endorsed Republican Alexis Weik over first-term incumbent Democratic Sen. Monica Martinez in Suffolk County.
The coalition also endorsed GOP rival Edmond Smyth over first-term Democratic incumbent James Gaughran in Nassau’s 5th District and Republican Dennis Dunne Sr. over incumbent Kevin Thomas in Nassau’s 6th District.
In Westchester’s 40th District, they’re backing former Republican County Executive Rob Astorino over Democratic incumbent Peter Harckham.
Meanwhile, in the Hudson Valley/Catskill 42nd District, the cop unions endorsed GOP candidate Mike Martuccio over Democratic incumbent Jen Metzger.
New York City Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, who also endorsed President Trump’s re-election, said, “The Democrats in the New York State Senate need to learn that their votes have consequences. It doesn’t matter if they claim to support police officers. It doesn’t matter if they put a blue line bumper sticker on their car. None of that keeps our communities safe.
“When it mattered, they betrayed their constituents and voted with the radical cop-haters and pro-criminal activists. The dangerous policies that the Senate Democrats supported are turning voters into crime victims. We will make sure that those voters know who is responsible.”
Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo cited passage of bail reform by Democrats for the united front to defeat them.
“The escalating crime rate, with wanton shootings and killings, especially of children, has proven that the so-called ‘bail reform’ and ‘criminal justice reforms’ hastily passed by the New York State legislature during this past year have had disastrous consequences for the citizens of New York City and State,” DiGiacomo said.
“We need to elect politicians who rank the safety and security of the City and State first on their agendas. We need to elect those who believe that preventing crime, and seeking justice for crime victims, far outweighs coddling criminals.”
Suffolk County PBA President Noel DiGerolamo said “radical New York City Democrats have taken control of Albany and made police — not criminals — public enemy number one.”
More endorsements of Republican challengers over Democratic Senate incumbents are in the offing, a spokesman for the law enforcement coalition said.
State Sen. Martinez responded, “I am proud of my record working with law enforcement agencies throughout Suffolk County … I am particularly proud of the millions of dollars I’ve secured throughout my public service career to keep our children off the streets and engaged in after school and summer programs, keeping our neighborhoods safe by achieving the lowest crime rates in Suffolk’s history.
“I will continue to work alongside the Suffolk County Police Department and all other law enforcement agencies and their officers to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”