4:50 pm Jul. 16, 20122
The campaign committee charged with helping Republicans keep their two-seat majority in the legislature’s upper house is defending three incumbents who are facing primaries: Stephen Saland in Poughkeepsie, Mark Grisanti in Buffalo and Roy McDonald in Albany.
All three voted for same-sex marriage and face primary opponents who are against it.
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee is also spending money on one non-incumbent who is facing a Republican primary this September: 27-year-old City Councilman Eric Ulrich of Queens, who is running against former Rudy Giuliani aide Juan Reyes. The SRCC gave $250,000 to Ulrich and Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif simply said in an email, “Eric Ulrich is our candidate for the State Senate and we support him.”
The winner of the primary would face a Democratic incumbent, Joe Addabbo, Jr., in a newly configured district.
Ulrich couldn’t get the support of the Queens County Republican organization, with which he has feuded. The Queens party was then set to back Reyes, but eventually fell into line with the Brooklyn Republican and Conservative organizations and backed Bob Turner, who eventually won.
So, it’s Reyes and Ulrich again, but this time Ulrich has a huge advantage in terms of institutional support.
Since that congressional stand-off, he has solidified his role as a rising star in the Republican Party, and was named Mitt Romney’s campaign chairman for New York City.
A Reyes spokesman, Gerry O’Brien, told me the SRCC’s heavy contribution to Ulrich shows he won’t be independent of the “Albany bosses” and that he’ll be a “yes man” for whatever they say.
O'Brien cited the American revolution, saying it wasn't fought "so someone a couple of hundred miles away” could determine local representation.
A spokeswoman for Ulrich, Jessica Proud, simply said the campaign was “proud” of the support they’ve received, and that they're eager to “communicate with voters about Joe Addabbo's failed record.”