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WASHINGTON – Nathan D. McMurray, the Grand Island town supervisor and party-anointed Democratic challenger to Republican Rep. Chris Collins in New York's 27th district, has raised far less campaign money so far than did four of the Democratic candidates who have dropped out of the race. McMurray raised $41,786 between Jan. 14 – the date he entered the race – and March 3…

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WASHINGTON — Here we go again. That's surely how many Americans greeted last week's news that U.S. forces, with their British and French allies, bombed Syria's chemical weapons facilities in retaliation for the rogue nation's poison gas attack on its own citizens a week earlier. A bit of war-weariness is understandable after 15 fitful years of American military effor…

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ALBANY – With attacks from coming from the left and right, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has seen his favorability ranking among New Yorkers slip into a tie with his worst-ever showing since becoming governor in 2011, a new poll has found. Meanwhile, according to Siena College, his Democratic challenger, activist and actress Cynthia Nixon, has cut into his otherwise large lead s…

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ALBANY — At the state Capitol, power takes many forms, but it can be most simplistically on display in three ways: title, salary and size of office. On Monday afternoon, Sen. Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat who recently gave up his four-men-in-a-room power role in Albany as part of a unity pact by warring Senate Democrats, sat at his desk in his new office. The walls in…

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Weekend efforts to coax Democrat Nathan D. McMurray out of his congressional race in favor of Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul have apparently failed. Two sources close to the situation said associates of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo placed a flurry of phone calls on Sunday exploring the switch, but McMurray said Monday he is staying in the race against Republican incumbent Chris Collins …

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ALBANY – The decision by leaders of the small but influential state Conservative Party to support Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro for governor is not causing his chief GOP rival to consider dropping out of the campaign. Not yet, anyway. “It’s obvious that Molinaro has the momentum," Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse-area Republican, said this morning after he…

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WASHINGTON — Rep. Chris Collins: bad guy. Get used to hearing that, because that's going to be just what Democrats will be saying about the Clarence Republican from now through Election Day. That's already what Collins' Democratic opponent, Nate McMurray, has been saying in recent weeks. And it's just what the Democrat charged with electing more House Democrats said Fri…

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A new political landscape is taking shape in New York State following the weekend endorsement of actress-activist Cynthia Nixon for governor by the Working Families Party, the left-leaning group that traditionally stands with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The fracture in the long-standing partnership between Democrats and the labor-oriented party creates the potential for Nixon…

Erie County

The staff comptroller gave $20,000 and counting. The human resources director, $23,000. Some $43,000 came from an agency lawyer. The Erie County Water Authority's appointed administrators give generously to politicians in need. By the end of March, 45 non-union managers and lawyers, along with their spouses, had given a combined $408,000 to local and state political …

The first test of the 2018 gubernatorial election could take place in Albany on Saturday at a meeting of the state’s Working Families Party, a tiny but influential band possibly poised to assume a major influence in November. The minor party, an amalgam of union and progressive interests that appeals to left-leaning Democrats, was considering an early choice between the…

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WASHINGTON — Strong voices guided Paul Ryan's political career, and in the end, drowned him out. Ryan's announcement Wednesday that he would retire as House speaker at the age of 48 at the end of his current term came as no surprise in Washington. For the better part of two years, Ryan's brand of optimistic, inclusive yet budget-balancing conservatism had fallen deeply …

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ALBANY – “Hard core politics” and “extraordinary pressure” from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo drove the timing of last week’s decision for warring Senate Democrats to unite, a move prodded by pressure the governor is feeling from his challenge by activist Cynthia Nixon, according to the Senate’s top Republican. “Did I think it was going to last longer? Sure. Was I hoping it was …

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WASHINGTON — It was, by Twitter standards, a benign tweet, the kind I'm trying to issue more often to keep readers in the loop about what our federal lawmakers from New York are saying. ".@SenSchumer warns @realDonaldTrump not to fire Rosenstein," I tweeted Tuesday, along with an image of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer's statement on the possibility that Pres…

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WASHINGTON — A $76 million renovation at the Buffalo VA Medical Center could be in the works soon, thanks to the bipartisan spending bill Congress passed recently, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Wednesday. The long-laid but previously unfunded plans at the Buffalo VA would include $30 million in renovations to the patient wards; $20 million for a new ope…

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ALBANY – Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon have a new issue to fight over: recreational use of marijuana. Nixon, the actress and activist who is challenging Cuomo in a Democratic primary for governor this year, on Wednesday released a video calling for New York to join a handful of other states that have relaxed marijuana laws. Nixon said regulating and taxing marijuana…