The Rockland County Democratic Committee has not endorsed and will not actively support David Carlucci’s 2014 campaign for state Senate, the Rockland County Times has learned.
The decision was made due to his continuing alliance with Albany Republicans, party officials told the newspaper. The party is reportedly seeking a qualified primary candidate at this time.
The local committee’s lack of support for the incumbent senator who represents Orangetown, Ramapo and Clarkstown in Rockland County, as well as Ossining in Westchester County, became apparent when Carlucci was not officially nominated and not asked to speak at Thursday night’s Rockland County Democratic Party convention.
Explained Theodore V. Collins, executive director of the Rockland County Democratic Committee, “The Executive Committee of the Rockland County Democratic Party believes that the party cannot, in good conscience, support Sen. Carlucci as long as he is allied with the Republicans and refuses to support Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester to lead the Senate. In light of the overwhelming vote at this week’s Executive Committee meeting, Sen. Carlucci agreed not to seek the party’s support at the convention.”
Carlucci has had a rocky relationship with many fellow Democrats due to his membership in the five-member Independent Democratic Conference, a group that shares power in the state Senate with Republicans. The Democratic Party holds a majority of seats in the Senate, but due to the IDC, the party does not lead the electoral body as a majority party normally would.
Carlucci’s party disloyalty has been met with little reaction from the public, but party insiders have oft felt like a bride left at the altar since he took office in 2011.
The lack of a party nomination will not affect Carlucci’s ability to run as a Democrat, as he merely needs to go through the petition process to get his name on the Democratic Party ballot line.
Carlucci would not address the tension between himself and the party directly. He released the following statement: “I am looking forward to being re-elected as a Democrat and working hard in Albany for the people of Rockland and Westchester for another two years.”
State Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the IDC, is facing a primary from a challenger who appears to have the sympathy of the state Democratic Party Committee. Klein has managed, however, to maintain strong party support within his Bronx district.