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New York Comptroller election, 2006

The 2006 New York Comptroller Election

took place on November 7, 2006 with the incumbent, Alan Hevesi winning against Republican challenger Chris Callaghan. Hevesi was plagued by scandals during the campaign involving misuse of state funds. Hevesi won the election, resigning a few days before his second term would have begun.


  • Democratic Party 1
  • Republican Party 2
  • Green Party 3
  • Libertarian Party 4
  • Socialist Workers Party 5
  • Right to Life Party 6
  • Comptroller election background 7
    • Nominee Alan Hevesi and the Democratic ticket 7.1
    • Nominee Christopher Callaghan and the Republican ticket 7.2
  • Newspaper endorsements 8
  • Opinion polls 9
  • Election results 10
  • Dates 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Democratic Party

Alan Hevesi is the incumbent Comptroller of the State of New York. A Democrat and former professor, Hevesi was first elected State Comptroller in 2002. Hevesi served two terms as New York City Comptroller from 1994 to 2002, when he was term-limited out of the office. He was being investigated for using a state employee as a chauffeur for his wife and failing to keep records or reimburse the State of NY by the Albany County District Attorney and was found to violate state law by the New York State Ethics Commission.[1]

Republican Party

George Pataki in 1997, and elected to a full term later that year. He was reelected twice.

Green Party

Libertarian Party

Socialist Workers Party

Right to Life Party

Comptroller election background

Nominee Alan Hevesi and the Democratic ticket

Alan Hevesi was the nominee of the Democratic Party for Comptroller. He served as Comptroller of New York City from 1994 to 2001 when he attempted a run for Mayor of New York City. Failing that, Hevesi ran for state Comptroller in 2002 defeating Republican challenger John Faso. In 2006, controversial allegations regarding Hevesi's tenure as Comptroller arose including admitted use of a state employee as a chauffeur for his wife and the purported use of state employees along the campaign trail.[2][3] At a commencement address he delivered at Queens College on June 1, 2006, Hevesi told his audience that Senator Charles Schumer was so tough he would "put a bullet between the president's eyes if he could get away with it." Several hours after his remarks, Hevesi apologized for his comments, calling them "beyond dumb," "remarkably stupid" and "incredibly moronic."[4]

On October 12, 2006, Albany County District Attorney David Soares' office acknowledged that it is officially investigating actions by Hevesi regarding the public employee hired to chauffeur his wife. If Hevesi is found to have violated state ethics laws, he could be fined or possibly removed from office.[5] On October 16, 2006, Hevesi yielded control over his office to longtime political consultant Hank Morris.

On October 23, 2006 the New York State Ethics Commission deemed that Hevesi's actions involving the chauffeur violated state law, finding that:[6]

  • Hevesi used two state employees as drivers
  • One of the drivers used a car owned by the state
  • There was a “low threat risk” against Hevesi's wife with no documented threats against her and only one against him – which they discounted as not serious
  • Hevesi never intended to reimburse the state

On October 26, 2006, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Eliot Spitzer withdrew his endorsement of Hevesi saying, "Recent developments in the Comptroller’s race are deeply troubling. The outcome of the Ethics Commission investigation presents information that compromises Alan Hevesi's ability to fulfill his responsibilities."[7]

On November 4, 2006, Hevesi was ordered to pay an additional $90,000. "Considering the record as a whole, I believe there is a preponderance of evidence that the comptroller knowingly and intentionally violated New York's public officers law," Kelley said in his 24-page report to Pataki.[8]

Nominee Christopher Callaghan and the Republican ticket

Christopher Callaghan was the nominee of the Republican Party for Comptroller. Callaghan was Treasurer for Saratoga County from 1997 to early 2006 when he resigned to begin his campaign for state comptroller. There were reports that state party leaders were trying to recruit Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef to run for comptroller against Treasurer Callaghan. Vanderhoef announced that he was not running for comptroller and instead announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor. Callaghan spent much of the summer travelling to the many county fairs throughout New York.

On September 21, 2006, Alan Hevesi admitted that he hired an employee of the state to drive around his wife after Callaghan made a public statement on the matter and called the "Comptroller's hotline."[9] Callaghan used the Comptroller's hotline during the campaign to call in misues of government funds specifically found in Hevesi's office.

Newspaper endorsements

Opinion polls

Source Date Alan Hevesi (D) Chris Callaghan (R)
Quinnipiac November 6, 2006 50% 38%
Marist [2] November 3, 2006 48% 36%
Siena November 3, 2006 39% 35%
NY1/Newsday November 2, 2006 48% 38%
Marist October 27, 2006 50% 38%
Siena October 26, 2006 39% 39%
Marist October 20, 2006 62% 22%
Quinnipiac October 18, 2006 54% 27%
Siena October 16, 2006 52% 25%
Zogby October 10, 2006 42% 23%
Quinnipiac October 4, 2006 59% 21%
Marist September 28, 2006 57% 27%
Marist September 8, 2006 57% 28%
Marist August 2006 60% 27%
Marist July 2006 57% 29%

Of voters polled in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady counties.

Election results

General election results [23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan Hevesi 2,193,602 56.37
Republican Christopher Callaghan 1,535,329 39.45
Green Julia Willebrand 108,165 2.78
Libertarian John Cain 38,483 0.99
Socialist Workers Willie Cotton 15,786 0.40
Total votes 4,134,973 100.00


  • A debate was held on October 25, 2006 by NY1.
  • The election was held on November 7, 2006.

See also


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  2. ^
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  5. ^,0,19756.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork
  6. ^
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  13. ^
  14. ^,0,4493204.story?coll=ny-editorials-headlines
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  22. ^
  23. ^

External links

  • Chris Callaghan's 2006 campaign website
  • New York State Office of the Comptroller
Preceded by
New York Comptroller election
Succeeded by
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