April 19 special election set for Assembly seat

The governor has called for a special election on April 19 to fill the Assembly seat vacated by Sheldon Silver upon his criminal conviction last year.

Democratic and Republican insiders will select nominees to appear on the ballot at upcoming party conventions. With the district’s high percentage of Democratic voters, it is expected that whomever is chosen by the Democratic County Committee will fill the seat for the remainder of Silver’s term. A handful of candidates are already jockeying for support and raising money; others were waiting until the governor set the election date.

One thing that could inject some drama into the public side of this campaign is that April 19 is the same day as the presidential primary, with all the unusual politics of that race. The Working Families Party has endorsed Bernie Sanders, and is likely to campaign heavily for him in the WFP’s home city; could a candidate for Assembly get an outsider’s boost on the WFP line? (And who will Donald Trump endorse?)

Anyone who wins in April will be up for election again this fall for a full 2-year term. A regular party primary in September will precede the November election.