How will the Benjamin indictment affect Hochul’s election chances?

By Emily Lewandowski

On scale of one to five, with one being no impact and five being devastating, the indictment of New York Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin is a three.

Benjamin resigned from office after charges in a criminal case involving illegal use of campaign contributions. He is facing charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and falsification of records. Charges of this nature do not reflect well on Benjamin’s character, but also do not speak well to the judgement of Gov. Kathy Hochul.

There are many variables in this situation. Since New York is so strongly Democratic, there is a high probability that a Democrat will win no matter who is running. This is why the Benjamin scandal might not be devastating.

However, Hochul is very wrapped up in both the Benjamin and Cuomo scandals. Neither reflects well on her character. Hochul could have trouble winning the primary, and even if she does, she will face a Republican candidate who will use both the Cuomo and Benjamin issues against her in the general election.

If there is a lot of backlash against the Democrats, due to the unpopularity of Hochul, Biden and Benjamin, a strong Republican force could push against the typically Democratic New York state government.

The Benjamin indictment could potentially be used as one more issue to put the nail in the coffin for Hochul.

Emily Lewandowski is a student in a Media and Democracy course at St. Bonaventure University.

Categories: Jandoli Institute, Politics

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