WXXI AM News

election 2020

Democrats have elevated Joe Biden to a nearly insurmountable delegate lead in the nomination process. But supporters of Bernie Sanders argue that Biden has largely been in the background during the pandemic, and they want Sanders to keep pushing. Biden has said he sees no point in debating anymore, and his camp wants Sanders to exit the race. Meanwhile, some Democrats are publicly wondering if there's an opening for New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

We talk about next steps during an unprecedented modern crisis. Our guests:

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s loss in the presidential primary stings for many voters who have long hoped to see a woman in the White House. There has been heated debate about sexism and misogyny in the campaign, and in the results.

Our guests discuss their reaction to another woman’s exit from the race:

  • Jen Lunsford, attorney with Segar & Sciortino, and current candidate for the 135th Assembly District
  • Tianna Mañón, political analyst and media specialist
  • Laurel Elder, professor of political science, co-chair of the Department of Sociology, and coordinator of legal studies at Hartwick College 

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race after falling short on Super Tuesday. He’s now supporting former Vice President Joe Biden, who leads the Democratic candidates in delegates. Bernie Sanders finished second in the delegate count; Elizabeth Warren did not win any states and announced Thursday morning she was suspending her campaign.

Our guests this hour share their reactions to the Super Tuesday results and discuss what’s next for the Democratic Party. Our guests:

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With Mike Bloomberg suspending his campaign for the Democratic nomination for President, it changes some plans in Rochester.

Mayor Lovely Warren, who endorsed Bloomberg last month, was originally scheduled to help supporters of the former New York City Mayor open a field office in Rochester on East Main Street on Thursday. That won’t happen now.

Joe Biden dominated in South Carolina based on the strength of his support with African American voters. Can that translate nationally? Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race after failing to build a diverse coalition of voters.

Our guests discuss the need for political leaders to address the needs of Black voters:

  • Bill Johnson, former mayor of the city of Rochester
  • Vince Felder, minority leader of the Monroe County Legislature
  • Natalie Sheppard, commissioner for the Rochester City School Board, and candidate for New York State Assembly
  • Samra Brouk, former nonprofit worker, and canidadate for New York State Senate
  • Robert Hoggard, former candidate for the Rochester City School Board, and doctoral student at the Warner School of Education

Nate McMurray is running once again for the 27th Congressional District seat previously held by Chris Collins. He’s running against State Senator Chris Jacobs, a Republican recently endorsed by President Trump.McMurray is a Democrat who has not stopped campaigning his since his narrow 2018 defeat.

Connections has offered equal time; this is McMurray’s first appearance this year, and we expect to be joined soon by Jacobs.

We sit down with supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar finished third in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, earning 20 percent of the vote. While experts say primaries in Nevada and South Carolina may be tough for her, Klobuchar’s supporters hope her recent success will lead to more strong showings.

This hour, we discuss her candidacy, her platform, and more. In studio:

  • Patty Kaptein, Klobuchar supporter
  • Gail Seigel, Klobuchar supporter, SUNY Buffalo research lab director, and founding member of the Rochester March for Science
  • Jacquie Billings, Klobuchar supporter, restaurant entrepreneur, and trustee of the village of Perry

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won big in Tuesday night’s primary in New Hampshire. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg – who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on ads – skipped the event, but continues to rise in the polls. A Quinnipiac poll released Monday shows him in third, behind Sanders and Joe Biden, respectively.

This hour, we’re joined by Bloomberg supporters who discuss his candidacy, his platform, and his chances for securing the nomination. We also hear from a Sanders supporter about the contest. Our guests:

  • Steven Barber, Bloomberg supporter
  • Jeffrey Clark, Bloomberg supporter
  • Karen Vitale, Sanders supporter, and co-founder of the Rochester Democratic Socialists of America

Democrats are trying to move on from the mess in Iowa, while Trump gloats about the dysfunction. What should the party do from here? Is this the end of Iowa’s first-in-line status?

We discuss those questions with our guests:

  • Jen Lunsford, attorney with Segar & Sciortino, and current candidate for the 135th Assembly District
  • Jeremy Cooney, former chief of staff for the City of Rochester, and Democratic candidate for the 56th Senate District
  • Patrick Coyle, field director for Citizen Action of New York

A Democratic candidate for the New York State Senate is switching races and is now eyeing an Assembly seat. 

Jen Lunsford is suspending her campaign for the 55th District Senate seat and is now running against Republican Mark Johns in the 135th Assembly District. The switch was a surprise to many, including Johns.

“I expected a challenger, but everybody thought she was running for the Senate seat, so something behind the scenes went on,” said Johns. “But I welcome whoever the challenger might be. Maybe they’ll have a primary, who knows?”