Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Behind Doorley's Run for DA

So here's how it all came down, and how Assistant District Attorney Sandra Doorley became the Democratic nominee for District Attorney.

Panic time last weekend at Monroe County Democratic headquarters.   Chairman Joe Morelle's chosen candidate, Judge Frank Geraci, threw in the towel.   He wouldn't give up his safe County Court seat to run for DA unless it was a sure thing.

Now Morelle had no other choice.   Geraci was out.   So was incumbent Mike Green, waiting for his federal judgeship to come through.   Morelle now had to approach Doorley.   All along, Doorley had wanted the nomination for DA.   With Morelle backing Geraci, she had settled for the consolation prize of nomination to County Court.

Give Morelle full marks for persuasive ability.   Doorley would now be off to a late-start against the Republicans' Bill Taylor, who has raised over $100,000 to date, has campaigned ubiquitously for almost two months and has three lines on the ballot in November -- Republican, Conservative and Independence.  Not insurmountable, but she has lost several months.

All of this represents further avoidable chaos at Democratic headquarters.   From the outset it had been clear to seasoned political observers that Doorley would be the Democrats' best candidate for DA.   Morelle wouldn't have it, preferring Geraci.   Now he has Doorley anyway, dealing with a late start and an opponent who's had the stage to himself during that time, building momentum and cash all the while.

Judge Geraci is a accomplished and respected jurist.   His decision not to run demonstrates a sharp political acumen as well.

Now with an actual, and highly plausible, candidate for District Attorney, Joe Morelle will have to redeploy to the DA's race funds that otherwise would have gone to his candidates for County Legislature.   He must give priority to the race that determines whether the party he chairs loses its sole remaining countywide office, and he knows he's going to lose seats in the county legislature, not take it over.   The money must come from somewhere.   And that means that, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, the County Legislature races now take a back seat to the DA race for the Democrats.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, again, as last night, I disagree. Morelle went to Green last week and asked him to step aside so the Gerace could get out of the closet. Green refused. The only thing that Morelle could do was try to cut a deal with Green for him to step down with the quid pro quo that Dorley would be the candidate. I suspect that Green will step down, allowing her to be named DA. There is a background check, but this deal has been in the works for 3 weeks, driven by Green. Green has been a Dorley supporter every step, and this is the only deal HE would do. Morelle got his ass kicked!

Philbrick said...

Maybe, but we haven't heard even a whisper to this effect.

If the plan is for Green to step down so Doorley can be appointed interim DA, they would have announced that this morning.

To be sure, if Green is confirmed to the federal bench before the election, he'll step down and Doorley will be appointed.

Once Green got past the Judiciary Committee stage, no one in politico-land expected that the eventual Democratic nominee wouldn't be running as an appointed incumbent.

Anonymous said...

This election cycle will cap a truly failed tenure as Chairman for Morelle.

Anonymous said...

Check out this story and see if it fits. The Working Families Party did not endorse in the race. Morelle assured Dorley that he had a plan to get her the line. He sent out notaries with petitions with a place holder. Then, the WFP committee on vacancies, selected Taylor! I would imagine that they (WFP) will not give Taylor the line, but, if they do, Morelle loses again, and, if they leave it blank, Morelle loses again! It seems like he cannot shoot straight! Strange at least...and WFTF was Morelle thinking?