Why a special election you ask? Well, unless you spent that last two months holed up in your bedroom watching Lost seasons one through six for clues on how the television series might end up (Spoiler alert: It turns out Sawyer and Kate are brother and sister and Jack is really the Man in Black's son!), then you probably know that State Senator, excuse us, former State Senator Hiram Monserrate was booted from office recently for conduct unbecoming to his office. Keep in mind this is Albany, so you know he did something really bad.
Depending on who you ask, Monserrate was either voted out of office by his fellow state senators because a) he pled guilty to misdemeanor assault in an incident involving his girlfriend, a broken glass, and a platform bed (the state senators' version), or b) because he is a political maverick who doesn't bow to the wishes of the political leaders in the state legislature like the panty-waisted "yes" men he was forced to serve alongside (Monserrate's version).
Either way, there is now a race to replace Monserrate, and one person who has been planning on challenging Monserrate all along, whether it be in a special election or a primary this September, is Assemblyman Jose Peralta. But out of nowhere - and we really mean left field - is former councilwoman Helen Sears, who lost her seat seeking a third term to Daniel Dromm, and is considering a run for the post. Now you are going to have to stay with us for this next part, dear readers, because this is where things start to get really hard to follow.
Unlike City Council special elections, of which the city has seen its fair share of recently due to various scandals, resignations, and jumps to other offices by City Council members, special elections in the state legislature are partisan, which means that only one candidate can run on a party line, unlike the city special elections, where five or six Democrats make up their own party affiliation and all land on the ballot.
Peralta is already, and has been for quite a while, the Queens County Democrats choice for their candidate. Which leaves Monserrate and Sears, also Democrats, scrambling to find some way to get on the ballot. Monserrate has chosen the "made-up" party line approach, running as the Yes We Can - Si Se Puede candidate. Despite the fact that nobody has ever heard of the Yes We Can - Si Se Puede party, Monserrate has managed to collect 5,500 petition signatures as of press time to get his name back on the ballot. That makes two.
While Sears hasn't officially declared that she is running - there are only rumors swirling in various published reports - she has apparently chosen to take a completely different approach, and by completely different we mean bizarre. According to the scuttlebutt, Sears isn't only considering running in the special election, she is also planning in running in a September primary and the subsequent general election. How could she do this? Let us try to explain.
In the March special election, she would jump party lines and run as a Republican. Regardless of whether or not she wins, she would then run again in a Democratic primary as a Democrat, despite the fact that she would technically be a sitting Republican state senator, that is if she runs and wins the special election.
This means she could technically lose the Democratic primary, and not be on the ballot in November as a Democrat. If she wins the primary, she would then be a sitting Republican state senator running on the Democratic line.
But let's say she loses the primary, no worries, she would just run again in November as a Republican. Is your head spinning yet? Good, because now we're going to explain the whole dual realities bit on Lost. Pads and pens ready!