There is growing momentum to unseat New York State Sen. Shirley Huntley, who was one of eight shameful Democrats who voted against marriage equality when it was defeated in the Senate 38-24 last December. Huntley once boasted she "wouldn't take a million dollars" to vote for marriage equality and was one of five Queens legislators to oppose the bill. Huntley was also one of only two Black senators to vote against marriage.The other was rabidly anti-gay Ruben Diaz Sr..
Later today, the Empire State Pride Agenda and the Human Rights Campaign are expected to endorse pro-equality challenger Lynn Nunes, reports gay City News. Nunes who is challenging Huntley in the September 14 Democratic primary and is racking up support and cash
Nunes, a 25-year-old real estate broker, came within four votes of unseating 28th District City Councilman Thomas White, Jr., a 14-year veteran on the Council, in last September’s Democratic primary. Observers of this year’s Senate race ... said that Brooklyn Senator John Sampson, the Democratic Majority Conference leader, has pressured marriage equality advocates not to endorse Nunes. Others have pointed to efforts by Sampson to convince gay groups that Huntley can be brought around on the issue. Prior to last December’s marriage vote, however, the New York Times reported that the senator told the poet Maya Angelou, "If they gave me a million dollars, tax-free, I just wouldn’t vote for it." City Councilman Daniel Dromm, an out gay Nunes supporter from Jackson Heights, told Gay City News, “[Huntley's] campaigning against us on this issue.”
Nunes was earlier endorsed by the Lesbian & Gay Democratic Club of Queens, the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York City, and the Jim Owles club. In addition to Dromm, he has support on the City Council from Rosie Mendez, an out lesbian who represents Manhattan’s Lower East Side. [Sources say] City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s ... will endorse Huntley’s challenger in the near future.
Nunes also has more cash—$115,000 on hand versus $46,000 for Huntley, reports Gay City News.
"For those of us running against incumbents, we need to let the gay community know that we’re viable, we’re credible and we’re right on the issues," Nunes told The Advocate. “We don’t have time to waste."
The race in Queens' 10th Senate District could make a huge impact on equality legislation going forward. Among the other four "no" votes from the borough: Sen. Hiram Monserrate lost his seat in a landslide; Sen. Joseph Addabbo has no primary challenger; Sen. George Onorato has retired; and Republican Sen. Frank Padavan will face a pro-marriage equality candidate in November.