Today our movement took an important step forward. In some of the most hotly contested and closely watched races in the state, pro-LGBT candidates endorsed by the Pride Agenda claimed victory. This includes a flip from a Senator who voted against marriage equality to a candidate who has pledged support. Your tireless support helped us both defend the seats of our allies and bring new champions to office.
Some highlights from tonight include the following Pride Agenda-endorsed candidates who won their primary:
Attorney General – Sen. Eric Schneiderman (D), Open
New York State Senate
SD 16 (Queens) – Toby Ann Stavisky (D), Incumbent
SD 18 (Brooklyn) – Velmanette Montgomery (D), Incumbent
SD 21 (Brooklyn) – Kevin S. Parker (D), Incumbent
SD 30 (Harlem) – Bill Perkins (D), Incumbent
SD 31 (Upper Manhattan and Bronx) -- Adriano Espaillat (D), Open
SD 46 (Albany) – Neil Breslin (D), Incumbent
SD 58 (Buffalo) – Tim Kennedy (D), Challenger
SD 60 (Buffalo) – Antoine Thompson (D), Incumbent
New York State Assembly
AD 28 – (Queens) Andrew Hevesi (D), Incumbent
AD 35 (Queens) – Jeffrion Aubry (D), Incumbent
AD 39 (Queens) – Francisco Moya (D), Open
AD 42 (Brooklyn) – Rhoda Jacobs (D), Incumbent
AD 73 (Manhattan) – Jonathan Bing (D), Incumbent
AD 76 (Bronx) – Peter M. Rivera (D), Incumbent
AD 80 (Bronx) – Naomi Rivera (D), Incumbent
AD 82 (Bronx) – Michael Benedetto (D), Incumbent
AD 131 (Rochester) – Harry Bronson (D), Open
AD 144 (Buffalo) – Sam Hoyt (D), Incumbent
In a state where incumbents win their elections 98 percent of the time, we know we face an uphill battle when we challenge those who vote against measures like marriage equality and transgender civil rights. But we also know it is important to send the message to candidates of all political stripes that working toward equality for LGBT New Yorkers is the just and politically prudent thing to do. Even when our preferred candidate does not win outright, we bring accountability to those elected officials who fail to stand up for fairness by showing them that it will not be a cakewalk to their next reelection.
We've gotten this far thanks to you. You spread the word about our endorsements to friends and family, phone banked and walked districts in support of candidates, donated to the Pride Agenda's PAC and to candidates themselves. Thanks to your contributions, the Pride Agenda Political Action Committee made close to $50,000 of direct campaign contributions to Primary campaigns. And already this year, staff and volunteers of the Pride Agenda Foundation have knocked on over ten thousand doors and visited transportation hubs, farmers markets and other locations to identify supporters of marriage equality and transgender civil rights in strategic areas across the state.
We are grateful that you have added our community's strength to the campaigns of so many champions for LGBT equality and justice. We also appreciate the important efforts of our partner organizations, like Fight Back New York, the Human Rights Campaign, Marriage Equality New York and many others, who have brought significant resources to the fight for marriage equality here in New York.
And it's not over yet. Please renew your commitment to winning equality and justice in the 2010 General Election on November 2. Contribute to the Pride Agenda PAC or contribute your time and volunteer on a key race. Stay tuned to our 2010 Election Center for new endorsements and important information as we approach the November elections.