1,100 state Democrats call for Jay Jacobs to be removed as state party chair

1,100 state Democrats call for Jay Jacobs to be removed as state party chair
Hundreds of Democrats throughout New York signed a letter urging state and Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs to be removed from his position. (Photo by Luke Torrance)

Hundreds of Democratic officials throughout New York have signed a draft letter to oust state and Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs following an election year that saw party candidates fall far short of expectations.

This included the loss of four congressional seats – including two in Nassau County where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 100,000 – as well as the loss of state Senate and Assembly seats.

The letter criticizes Jacobs for failing “to commit the time, energy and resources necessary to maintain” Democratic control throughout the state while Democratic candidates across the country exceeded expectations.

“The writing is on the wall and has been for some time: Jay Jacobs is not fit to serve as chair of the State Democratic Party,” the statement says, and urges Gov. Kathy Hochul to “work with the party to elect a focused, determined, unifying party leader.”

Among the 1,100 who signed the letter were state senators Liz Krueger and Brad Hoylman, as well as the New York City comptroller, Brad Lander.

Jacobs said on Sunday that he had no intention of resigning, according to the New York Times.

“I am proud of the work we all did to bring out our vote,” Jacobs was quoted as saying. “Like many others, I am disappointed by losses in several of our congressional races,” he said. “My focus now is on beginning the work to win those seats back in two years.”

New York Democrats bashed the Democratic head for the number of closely contested races in a heavily Democratic state, including Hochul’s defeat over Republican Lee Zeldin by just short of 6 percentage points.

Democratic candidates for governor have won by an average of 14 percentage points in the past 20 years. Jacobs was appointed state Democratic chair by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Republican Congressional candidates George DeVolder-Santos and Anthony D’Esposito declared defeated Great Neck businessman Robert Zimmerman and former Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen in seats previously held by Democrats.

Santos received 142,017, or 54.2% of the votes in the race for the 3rd Congressional District, while Zimmerman, received 120,060 or 45.8% of the votes 

​​Zimmerman, a Great Neck resident who ran on the Democratic and Working Family Parties lines, received 22,594 votes from Queens voters compared to Santos, a Queens resident who received 21,746 votes.

Santos, who ran on the Republican and Conservative lines, received 120,271 votes from Nassau voters while Zimmerman received 97,466 votes.

The state’s 3rd Congressional District includes the entire Town of North Hempstead including parts of Floral Park, New Hyde Park, Garden City, Mineola and Westbury villages. It also stretches to more southern parts of Nassau County such as Hicksville and Massapequa.

D’Esposito, a former NYPD detective and Island Park resident, declared victory in the 4th Congressional District race against Democrat Laura Gillen, receiving 137,899, or 51.9% of votes, compared to Gillen’s 127,748, or 48.08%.

He ran on the Republican and Conservative lines while Gillen ran on the Democratic line. He thanked everyone who cast their votes for him to help flip a congressional seat that has been under Democratic control since 1997.

Both Zimmerman and Gillen were endorsed by the current Democratic representatives who hold their seats, Tom Suozzi and Kathleen Rice, respectively.

Former Republican state Sen. Jack Martins won back his old seat against incumbent state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-North Hills) last week. With all 264 election districts reported, Martins got 64,009 of the total 123,144 votes cast, enough for 52%. Kaplan secured 55,846 votes, or 45.5%.

Martins said at the Nassau GOP’s watch party at the Coral House in Baldwin that he is going to stand up for local communities and keep families safe.

“This year especially we all knew this was the year we were going to draw the line in the sand,” Martins said Tuesday night. “Right here in Nassau County we stood up and we’re going back to Albany because you and your voices made it happen.”

While Hochul defeated Zeldin by nearly 330,000 votes throughout New York, she did not receive much help from counties, including Nassau, outside of New York City.

Hochul, in Nassau, drew 44.6% of the 507,421 total votes cast and Zeldin claimed the larger share at 55.4% of the vote.

Encouraging registered Democrats to even cast their ballot appeared to be an issue this year. While more than 6 million registered Democrats were listed as active voters by the state’s election board, Hochul received just north of 3 million votes total and 2.7 million on the Democratic line.

Zeldin received just shy of 2.7 million total votes but received almost 2.4 million on the Republican line.

Election board statistics show that there are fewer than 2.7 million registered Republican voters throughout the state.

Suozzi, who ran a failed gubernatorial race losing to Hochul in the primary earlier this year, told Blank Slate Media earlier this year that he would have removed Jacobs from his seat in the Democratic Party if he was elected governor.

“Jay is loyal to the person in power,” Suozzi said in a previous interview. “He was with [David] Paterson, he supported Spitzer after my race, he was with Cuomo and now he’s with Hochul. If I’m the governor, he will no longer be Democratic chairman.”

Efforts to reach Jacobs for comment were unavailing.

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