May 22, 2006 — Over the weekend, Marc Humbert, a veteran political writer with the Associated Press, reported that Democrats are poised to sweep every statewide office in New York state. The November election is still six months away, and a lot can change in half a year. But in the governor's race Eliot Spitzer holds a commanding 50-point lead over Republican candidates William Weld and John Faso. In the U.S. Senate race, Hillary Clinton leads all challengers by 2-to-1 margins. Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz predicted that Clinton will win re-election by "a landslide." It's a dramatic reversal for Republicans, who swept to power in New York state in 1994. The shifting political climate is being felt here in the North Country, as well. Democrats have won key elections from Plattsburgh to Saranac Lake to the St. Lawrence Valley. Brian Mann spoke with veteran Republican Assemblyman Chris Ortloff, who announced last week that he'll step down after twenty years in office. Ortloff says his decision is part of a larger pattern.
NOTE: Ortloff says he'll leave office as early as June. If confirmed by the State Senate, he'll take a six-year appointment with New York's state parole board.