clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Election Results From Supporters and Opponents of MMA

<! mediaid=3535172 AP: img hspace="4" border="1" align="right" vspace="4" alt="" src="" />With America moving on to the hangover phase of the election season, it makes some sense to take a look at the results of the men and women running for office who have had or could have some impact on the sanctioning of mixed martial arts around the country.

While New York assemblyman Bob Reilly seems to be the politician most fans connect with MMA for his vocal opposition of the sport, there are several others who have influential voices in the matter.

Below is a look at how they did.

Bob Reilly, NY Assembly
The longtime Assemblyman from the 109th district and the man most target as MMA's public enemy No. 1 in New York is locked in a tight race with challenger Jennifer Whalen that is still too close to call, according to the Albany Times Union. Reilly had been expected to narrowly win the contest, but any win would be even narrower than expected. Current vote totals have Reilly just 577 votes ahead, while according to the Times Union, possibly 2,700 outstanding ballots still remain uncounted.

Sheldon Silver, NY Assembly Speaker
While Reilly gets the lion's share of publicity for his anti-MMA stance, Silver has much more influence on legislation in the Empire State as the man who sets the state's agenda. Silver is described as the most powerful man in Albany and he won easily, going unopposed in the general election. Silver has never declared an official position on MMA, but is believed to be aligned with Reilly on the matter.

Andrew Cuomo, NY Governor
If anyone has a chance of breaking Silver's stranglehold on power in Albany, it is believed to be Cuomo. The son of former governor Mario Cuomo breezed to victory over Carl Paladino. New York political analyst Dr. Douglas Muzzio told MMA Fighting last month that the differing styles of Cuomo and Silver may lead to a collision, and various news reports have suggested Cuomo may try to remove Silver from his powerful position. Cuomo has also never stated a position on MMA, but Zuffa contributed to his campaign which may at least give them a sympathetic ear for the MMA movement in the state.

Steven Englebright, NY Assembly
Though a lesser known name to MMA fans, Englebright is actually the anti-Bob Reilly in the state, a fellow Democrat who is pro-MMA and sponsored legislation to sanction the sport in New York in each of the last two years. Englebright won re-election in the fourth assembly district, defeating Deborah McKee.

Harry Reid, Nevada Senator
Perhaps the most surprising national result was Reid holding off Sharron Angle despite Nevada's major economic woes. Few are likely happier about the result than the executives of Zuffa, who have become closely tied with Reid over the last few years. Recently, Reid has tried to influence New York legislators to sanction MMA while the UFC helped him with his reelection campaign, trying to get out the vote of the younger demographic. How close has Reid become with the UFC? Reid and Dana White actually voted together yesterday.

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Senate

The former state attorney general handily won his bid to capture a seat in the US Senate against former WWE CEO Linda McMahon. Interestingly, as Connecticut's former attorney general, Blumenthal was once asked to interpret the legality of MMA in the state and he determined statutes were specific only to boxing and would require a legislative change. In short, he determined MMA was illegal under current Connecticut laws. While McMahon has never actively taken a position on MMA, she's somewhat tangentially related as her family company is often seen as one of the UFC's rival companies. MMA remains unsanctioned in Connecticut.

Jeff Eldridge, West Virginia House of Delegates
Eldridge had been co-sponsor of a 2010 MMA bill seeking to sanction the sport in West Virginia. The bill was defeated, and later, so was Eldridge, a Democrat who lost in a District 7 primary. The bill co-sponsor, Republican Clark Barnes, remains on the state senate as his seat was not up for election during this cycle.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting