The ghost of Nathan Miller


Albany, NY - In the New York Governor's race, voters narrowly supported Democrat Ricardo Wagner, who ran a nostalgic campaign promising the same kind of government that his great-great-grandfather Robert F. Wagner Jr. had given New York City in the 1950s. Wagner won 48% of the vote on the Democratic and Working Families lines, while Republican James Rivington fell short with 46%. Conservative Party candidate Charles Griffin received 6% of the vote.

The race had been seen as an Upstate-Downstate battle until late in the race, when Griffin ran a series of ads questioning whether Rivington was "really from Upstate? Really real?" and briefly catapulted himself to 25% in the polls. While Griffin fell back quickly as the election grew closer, Rivington spent much of the rest of the campaign explaining just how much time he had spent on the family farm outside of Palmyra and why he had chosen to go to college in New York City, staying there for a decade while he began his medical career.

Wagner began the race burdened by the scandals of his predecessor, Burton McKinsey, under whom he had served quietly as Lieutenant Governor. His refusal to condemn several long-time friends after their indictment had raised concerns that he would continue his predecessor's practices, though Wagner's insistence that accounting errors rather than misconduct were at issue may have soothed nervous voters.

Rivington, in an unusual move, made his concession speech under a projected portrait of Nathan Miller, Governor of New York from 1921 to 1922, and the last Governor from Upstate. While congratulating Wagner for his victory, he called on "Upstate voters to recognize the damage they have done to themselves time after time, failing to support their own candidates of either party and ruining their ability to participate in New York's political conversation."


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This page contains a single entry by Simon St.Laurent published on December 9, 2007 8:00 PM.

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