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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Mitt Romney debate showing Romney energizes NY GOP

Candidate Mitt Romney's positive debate reviews last week gave New York Republicans reason to expect that they'll avoid a repeat of their Carl Paladino problem of two years ago.

As the Republicans' 2010 ticket-leader, Paladino gave a miserable performance against Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo for governor that was widely seen as a down-ballot drag -- damaging Harry Wilson's bid against Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and limiting the Republicans to a minimal State Senate majority.

State Senate seats are open again Nov. 6, but with Romney atop the GOP ticket. Democrats still have a growing enrollment edge, and presidential-year turnouts run higher than usual. It was amid the 2008 election of Barack Obama as president that Democrats won the Senate for a term.

But not all Republicans had feared in the first place that Romney would hurt their party's legislative or congressional candidates here.

"I don't believe we ever felt it would be a debacle in New York," state GOP spokesman Anthony Casale said Friday. "We have never felt that our down-ballot people would be in trouble because of Romney. We're just looking to get our base energized."

KEY COURT PICK:Cuomo appointed Randall T. Eng last week as the new presiding justice for the Appellate Division, Second Department, which covers slightly more than half the state's population in 10 counties -- including Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Kings and Westchester. Eng, born in Canton, China, becomes the first Asian-American presiding justice in New York's court system, according to a spokeswoman for the Office of Court Administration. Eng succeeds Gail Prudenti, from Suffolk, who was promoted in December to chief administrative judge of the whole state court system. After graduating from St. John's Law School, he began his legal career in the Queens district attorney's office.


EARLY DEADLINE: Because New York has an unusually long lead time for changing your party affiliation, this Friday will be the last day to do so for the 2013 primaries. In New York City the Democratic primary could be tantamount to election next year as Mayor Michael Bloomberg departs after three terms. Non-enrollees can't vote in a party's primary.


NYET: Cuomo has vetoed a measure sponsored by two Brooklyn legislators that would have required all city voting materials, including ballots, to be translated into Russian, officials said.


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