Council Special Elections on the Horizon? (UPDATE)
August 6th, 2008
Five weeks and counting.
That’s how long we have until the primary, scheduled for September 9. And while the Senate and Assembly races may be the focus for now, these contests could spark a series of special elections for City Council seats if a few get to claim victory.
Seven term-limited members will make an appearance on the ballot next month, mostly for seats upstate, including: Michael McMahon for the 13th Congressional district, James Gennaro for State Senate in Queens, Miguel Martinez for an Assembly seat in Upper Manhattan, Joe Addabbo for State Senate in Queens (More on his race here), Hiram Monserrate for State Senate in Queens and Kendall Stewart who is running for State Senate in Brooklyn against Simcha Felder (and a few other non-council candidates).
(All of this information is available via our handy, dandy election tool: Who’s Running for What.)
This is just the beginning of the city’s political exodus — a result of term limits. If council members are victorious in all of these races, the city will see six special elections before next year’s city election primary in September.
Special elections, as we have reported extensively, usually give the incumbent — no matter how short-lived his or her tenure may be — an advantage when he or she goes to serve a full term. They often have far lower turnouts than regular contests, and carry an estimated cost of between $350,000 and $400,000.
For the council races that could become special elections, a total of 17 candidates have already emerged. The largest pool is for Gennaro’s seat, where there are four contestants.
New York City voters should expect at least one post-fall-pre-city-special-election next year, because Monserrate (who won party backing instead of Democratic incumbent John D. Sabini) is running unopposed. Only one Two candidates have emerged for that council seat, one being Francisco P. Moya .
UPDATE: I stand corrected. Moya is not the only candidate in the 21st City Council district. Julissa Ferreras, Monserrate’s chief of staff, is also running and is registered with the Campaign Finance Board here (Thanks to the reader below who pointed out my error).By Courtney Gross on August 6, 2008, 4:13 pm
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