Senate District 15 - Republican Primary




Age: 27
City Council member since 2009
St. Francis College (BA)

Eric Ulrich is a rising star in the Republican Party in New York City who became involved at a young age in politics in Ozone Park. Ulrich has served in the City Council for three and a half years following his election in a 2009 special election, when he became the second youngest member ever elected to the City Council. He wants to become a state senator because he feels that he can better serve his community in the state legislature. Ulrich supports many of Citizens Union’s campaign finance reform proposals, most notably public matching funds at the state level, based on his positive experience with the city’s system. He believes he could work with his Republican colleagues to write a campaign finance reform bill. He supports second passage of a constitutional amendment creating an independent redistricting commission. Having worked at the Board of Elections in the City of New York, he questions the integrity of absentee ballots and believes that the Board is ineffective, partisan and should be abolished. Beyond reform issues, Ulrich argues that state education funding should be more fairly allocated to New York City schools and that the economy can be stimulated through public works projects. Ulrich believes he can be a strong voice in a Republican majority on behalf of New York City, referencing former Senator Frank Padavan as a model. He says he will be an independent senator voting his conscience rather than the party line, pointing to his support for paid sick leave and participatory budgeting as evidence of his independence and ability to work across the aisle. Ulrich acknowledges receiving a sizable portion of his campaign funds from Senate Republican campaign accounts. Citizens Union believes, however, that Ulrich can be an independent and effective state legislator. His record of pragmatism and bipartisanship position him to be an important voice for reform within the Senate Republican conference. For that reason, Citizens Union prefers Ulrich in the Republican primary.




Age: 44

Education:  Emory College (degree not reported)

Juan Reyes, raised in Forest Hills, believes that the people need someone who can effectively advocate for them in the legislature. He has worked in politics in many different capacities over the years. He has served as a general counsel under Mayor Giuliani, and as a staffer to United States Senator Bob Dole vetting Supreme Court Justices. He believes that his experience working in the United States Senate can help him become a truly effective New York State legislator. He believes that the system is broken and that he can help clean it up. Reyes strongly supports term limits. He argues that the “three men in the room” structure is ineffective and that power needs to be decentralized to rank-and-file legislators. He opposes public financing of elections, believing taxpayer money should not be used on elections. He is a strong supporter of redistricting reform, and would vote for second passage of the constitutional amendment creating a more independent process. He opposes certain important election reforms backed by Citizens Union, including election day voter registration, stating residents should treat voting more seriously than a daily trip to the subway. He does, however, support online voter registration. Reyes wants to make New York City more competitive with other large cities globally. He believes government spending should be done more wisely through intensive auditing and reserved for things like education and infrastructure rather than pork. Reyes states that he is his own man and points to his many small dollar campaign contributions as evidence of his ability to be an independent senator. While Reyes rightly recognizes many of the problems that ail Albany, he doesn’t grasp as well as his opponent changes needed to reform our state government.