Democratic Candidates for Mayor (Source; Daily News)Tomorrow across New York City, primaries for mayor and Comptroller will be contested. We here at Manhattan Digest have put together a quick guide for your reference.
Democratic Primary for Mayor: There are nine candidates running for the Democratic nomination for mayor in New York City. Of those nine, four would be considered particularly credible for the purposes of winning the election or at the minimum securing a run off. They are:
Bill De Blasio: The current public advocate for the City of New York, De Blasio is the current front runner on the Democratic side polling at about 40 percent. His current platform focuses heavily on addressing the income inequality in the city and fighting the influence of corporate dollars in government. De Blasio is also known for having a strained relationship with current mayor Michael Bloomberg, who called De Blasio’s campaign “racist” for using his multi-racial family prominently in campaign advertisements. He has surged up the polls in the last few weeks, mostly at the expense of the next candidate…
Anthony Weiner: The former congressman from Brooklyn shocked the world with his announcement to enter the mayoral race this may, ending his personal exile from politics. Unfortunately, Weiner has been plagued by scandal and bad press, and is now currently running in a distant fourth. Weiner is running on not only his governmental experience, but also a plan to reform education and health care in the city. While he started in strong contention, the wheels began to fall off as soon as it was reported that the same infidelities that forced his resignation from congress persisted after he left.
Christine Quinn: Christine Quinn is the current speaker of the city council and the first openly gay speaker of the City Council in New York City history. Representing parts of Lower Manhattan, Quinn is not only running on her record, which touches all planks of the Democratic platform, but also with the endorsements of New York’s three daily newspapers (The Daily News, The New York Times, and The New York Post). On the other hand, opponents are bound to mention the sweetheart deal she made with Mayor Bloomberg to allow him to run for a third term in circumvention of the city’s term limits statute (voted in by the public in 1996). She is currently in a neck and neck race for second, with polls often showing about 20% support for her in the electorate.
Bill Thompson: Bill Thompson is the former comptroller of New York City and ran four years ago unsuccessfully against Michael Bloomberg, coming up just shy in the face of overwhelming spending by the opposition (an approximately 14 to 1 ratio). Thompson, who now resides in Harlem, is focusing predominantly on education reform, looking to improve schools in more impoverished areas and harness the minority vote in order to set up an inevitable run-off (as no candidate looks to be likely able to hit the 40 percent threshold required to stave off a run-off). His opponent’s main line of attack against him seems to be in regards to the some questionable investments and decisions made during his time as the head of the Battery Park City Authority.
Other candidates in the race include Sal Albanese, John Liu, and Erick Salgado, all of whom are polling in the low single digits.
Republican Primary for Mayor: As opposed to the complicated dynamics of the Democratic Primary, the Republican primary is a pretty straightforward two horse race for the nomination. The candidates include:
Joe Lhota: Former head of the MTA and Deputy Mayor for Operations under Giuliani, Joe Lhota brings a mix of public and private sector executive experience to his campaign for mayor. He is running on a mix of education reform, government reform, and maintaining a strong public safety system in the city. Lhota is however quite gaffe prone and can come off as brusque, aspects of his personality that Catsimitidis has had no issue attacking in the past. In spite of these public relations mistakes, Lhota is far and away the frontrunner in this race, polling at around 50 percent of likely voters.
George Catsimitidis A local grocery chain magnate, Catsimitidis is running for mayor on the twin pillars of education reform (with a very pro-STEM emphasis) and revitalizing small business. Catsimitidis is contesting Lhota by disputing that Lhota can bring in the funds necessary in order to run a mayoral race that will require large ad buys as election day nears, with Catsimitidis claiming that he is willing to spend as much as $19 million dollars (comparable to an average U.S. Senate Campaign) to secure a victory on election day. He’s been very willing to attack Lhota, prompting former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to call his ads “false, desperate, and just plain wrong” in ads backing Lhota. Catsimitidis is a distant second, with polls putting him at about 25 percent of the vote.
George McDonald is also running in the Republican primary but is a distant third at 5 percent of the vote.
Democratic Primary for City Comptroller: With one mayoral primary almost definitely going to a run-off and the other looking like a blowout, the race for city comptroller has become the one to watch, as it’s become neck and neck between two well known candidates.
Eliot Spitzer: The former governor of New York, Spitzer has also served as the former Attorney General of New York. He is running on both his record as a tireless public servant as well as his record in fighting for the public interest against powerful financial interests. Needless to say, his one major flaw remains the same scandal that led to his resignation for the governor’s mansion involving paying for prostitutes by credit card. However, unlike Weiner, Spitzer seems to have shown a greater degree of contrition and as a result is not facing the same PR issues as the disgraced congressman.
Scott Stringer: Scott Stringer is the former Borough President of Manhattan. He is running on his record of public service as well as a record of being a government watchdog against waste. He has the endorsement of New York’s three dailies (The Times, The Daily News, and The New York Post). The dynamics of the race, however, seem to view this election more as a referendum on Spitzer than anything else, and this is best shown by the relentless barrage of attack ads Stringer has placed on TV over the last few days.
Primary day is tomorrow September 10th across New York State. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. To find your polling place, please consult http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/html/voters/where.shtml.