By William Lewis
The 11th State Senate district of northeast Queens was represented by Republican Frank Padavan for 38 years, before his defeat by Tony Avella in 2010. This year Avella is being challenged by Republican Mark Cipolla, who is an attorney and comes from Hollis Hills. Two years ago Avella had no opponent in the general fall election, although he had a Democratic Party primary.
Cipolla thinks it is important for the Republicans to maintain control of the state Senate since the Democrats control the State Assembly and the governorship. He intends to make corruption and ethics in government major issues in the campaign.
He points out that the recent corruption criminal trials against the leaders of the state Senate and State Assembly negatively affect the image of our state government.
Cipolla believes strongly in political ethics in government. He will continue stressing this issue in candidates’ nights. The race will be Cipolla’s first political campaign. For Avella political campaigns have been his career. He began by serving on the staff of several elected officials, then served in the City Council and later ran unsuccessfully for mayor before winning a seat in the Senate. Cipolla thinks he has a chance to win the race, especially if the Republican slate does well.
As we proceed through the presidential campaign, one of the most important aspects of the race are the debates. These events will have a strong influence on the voters.
Looking at the historical background of the debates, the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 in Illinois stands out. Abraham Lincoln lost the race for U.S. Senate in 1858, but he did well in the debates and became known nationally as the result of his performance. That notoriety helped Lincoln get the Republican presidential nomination two years later.
In recent times since World War II, the Nixon-Kennedy debates are memorable. In 1960 there were four presidential debates scheduled. It was the first debate that set the tone for the rest of them.
During these confrontations Kennedy looked more presidential than Nixon. He seemed to have better answers for the questions and was more relaxed. It was after the first debate that Kennedy’s campaign gained momentum. It seemed to most political observers that the first debate was a great help to Kennedy’s campaign.
It can be said that it was the debates that helped win the presidency for Ronald Reagan. He impressed his audiences with his presidential style and articulate speaking. Reagan won the elections in 1980 and 1984 by wide margins.
As we view the forthcoming debates in the next few months, we can say that they will have a significant impact on the results of the presidential election. Democrat Hillary Clinton did well in her debates with Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump also did well in the debates with the other 16 Republican candidates. The debates will play a leading role in this campaign, as they have done in past campaigns. The three presidential debates this year may decide which candidate wins the race. The candidates will be putting a lot of preparation into these events.
As for the presidential race of 2016 itself, the race is the most unusual of races during the last century. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.