Dems hit GOP state Senate candidate for missing meetings

The following is an enlarged version of the fourth item from my “Albany Insider” column that was cut for space from Monday’s print editions:
State Senate Democrats are accusing the newly minted Republican choice in an upcoming key Westchester County state Senate race as a “no-show” politician.
Senate Dems say Julie Killian missed over half the meetings and skipped over 80% of the votes taken while she was a selected member of the Westchester County Charter Commission.
“Killian’s only record is that of a no-show failed politician who is part of the Westchester Republican machine,” said Senate Democratic agent Mike Murphy.
But Killian consultant Michael Lawler said his customer missed the meetings of the charter commission because at the time she was also serving on the Rye City Council. He said Killian felt her job as a Rye councilwoman took precedence and said she was present at the charter commission meeting to vote on its final report.
“Julie Killian has ever taken seriously her responsibility to serve her community and has done so as both a volunteer and elected official,” he said.
The April 24 special election between Killian and Democrat Shelley Mayer, presently a state assemblywoman, to fill the seat vacated by Democrat George Latimer, who resigned in January to become Westchester County executive, is expected to be high-stakes as it could assist determine which party controls the state Senate.
The Democrats note the seat has been in Democratic hands for years and that Killian lost in her first run for Senate in 2016 by 11 percentage points to Latimer, who was an incumbent.
They say the Republicans should also be hurt by President Trump, pointing to the fact that Latimer defeated two-term incumbent Republican County Executive Rob Astorino by 14-points in November.
Democrats also question if big money pumped into Senate races on behalf of Republican candidates will be there given a recent scandal that is causing the deep-pocketed Families for Excellent Schools-Advocacy to shut down.
The Republicans “are going to have real problems in this special,” one Democratic insider said.
The GOP says the fact that Killian is a woman is useful in the current political climate. They also say Mayer is a flawed candidate.
Even though Killian lost to Latimer by 11 points, they say Latimer in his county executive race only won his district by 4 points despite beating Astorino overall by 14 points.
The Senate GOP is expected to go after Mayer, of Yonkers, for defending then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s handling of several sexual harassment incidents in the chamber.
A source said the Republican line of attack will also focus on the fact that while a counsel in the Senate, she worked for two leaders who ultimately went to prison and assisted create policies the GOP said hurt the suburbs like the creation of an MTA payroll tax and the elimination of a property tax rebate check from the state.

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