NEW YORK — A New York City contender for a state Senate seat has sent out a mailer saying his opponent in the Republican primary is “gay-friendly” and not a “real conservative,” another in a number of provocative advertisements using racial or anti-gay language that have been circulated in some campaigns leading up to the primary elections Thursday.
The mailer by Juan Reyes of Queens chastises New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich, saying Ulrich previously ran as a conservative but became “gay-friendly” once he got elected, and now again says he is a conservative.
The mailer says Ulrich compiled a liberal voting record, “began hobnobbing” with Democrats, including an openly gay council member, and hired gay staffers.
Reyes’ campaign said the mailer is aimed at what it says is Ulrich’s flip-flopping and is not about his choice of dinner companion or employees.
“If he was a weather vane, he’d be spinning rapidly by now,” campaign spokesman Gerry O’Brien said Wednesday.
The ad prompted former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to endorse Ulrich. The pro-gay rights Giuliani said Wednesday he hadn’t gotten involved before because Reyes worked in his administration, but the flier changed his mind.
“After seeing what his campaign has done, which is disgusting, Juan doesn’t belong in politics. I don’t know where he belongs, but he belongs someplace else,” Giuliani said.
He added: “I find these attacks, the gay-bashing attacks, childish, silly, and a real indication you don’t belong in public service.”
Other campaign ads this year also have included racial or anti-gay language.
In the state Senate primary pitting incumbent Democrat Shirley Huntley against New York City Councilman James Sanders Jr., a flier accuses the state attorney general of a “political lynching” for indicting Huntley on felony corruption charges.
Huntley is black and her Senate district in Queens is majority black. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is white. A Huntley spokesman said the campaign had nothing to do with the flier.
In western New York, an email attributed to The Committee to Save The Erie County Republican Party and sent to about 300 people included the image of what appears to be a mailer that uses anti-gay language and images.
The email is an apparent dig at incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti. Grisanti’s vote in June 2011 helped New York pass its same-sex marriage law. Grisanti’s opponent, lawyer Kevin Stocker, who opposes same-sex marriage, called the flier disgusting.
In the Bronx/Manhattan district where Sen. Adriano Espaillat is fending off a challenge from Assemblyman Guillermo Linares, Espaillat produced a flier that accused his opponent of betraying Latinos by supporting U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel instead of Espaillat when those two faced off in a congressional primary in June.
—Copyright 2012 Associated Press