on the pull-down menu and select your district
Recent Feature Stories:
The Nod of the Bosses... Scramble for the City Council...
Basic Training for Council Recruits... How They Stack up
on Term Limit... Dynasties... The Speech that Saved Term
What is Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
on Campaign 2001 is a guide to the political races in what
many are calling New York City's most significant campaign
season in modern history.
What is so significant about it?
the first time in memory, most political offices in the city
will be wide open to people who have neither money nor connections.
Why will the races be so open?
are two reasons. This year, a new law goes into effect that
limits the terms of New York City elected officials, forcing
the mass retirement of most incumbents in the city - including
the mayor, the comptroller, the public advocate, four of the
five borough presidents, and 36 of the 51 members of the City
Council. At the same time, a new campaign finance law kicks
in, which allows any candidate who agrees to certain restrictions
to collect four dollars of matching funds for every dollar
What does this have to do with this site?
a public service, Searchlight on Campaign 2001 has a separate
page for each race, including all the races for City Council,
that not only sorts out the candidates -- many of them new
and unfamiliar -- but also offers an opportunity to learn
about the issues, and the districts themselves.
Who is behind Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
on Campaign 2001 is a project of Gotham Gazette, a non-profit,
non-partisan, non-ideological (but non-boring) web site about
New York City news, policy and politics published by Citizens
Union Foundation, part of the oldest and largest good-government
group in the city (founded in 1897).
What's wrong with the way the regular press
covers the races?
is for you to decide. And one of our regular features, Campaign
Trail, helps you to decide. Campaign Trail provides succinct
summaries and links to campaign articles in the commercial
Who are we?
Click for larger image
x-Marty Markowitz, Dem 210,511 - 76 percent
Lori Sue Maslow, Rep 44,560 - 16 percent
Kenneth K. Fisher, Lib 10,595 - 4 percent
Robert Maresca, Con 5,756 - 2 percent
Paulo A. Nunes-Ueno, Gre 4,465 - 2 percent
Marty Markowitz 79,443
Jeannette Gadson 67,329
Kenneth K. Fisher 53,703
(Official Vote Count from the Board of Elections)
Golden (can't run in 2001)
For who has donated to these candidates see the Campaign
to Kenneth Fisher
to Jeannette Gadson
Robert Maresca has not filed
to Marty Markowitz
Lori Sue Maslow has not filed
Contributors to Paulo A. Nunes-Ueno
Previous Brooklyn Race
The Fisher King?
Profile of Brooklyn Borough President Candidate Ken Fisher. The first in a
series of articles on the candidates in the race (Daily News)
The Daily News endorses Kenneth Fisher
The New York Times makes endorsements in this race. Brooklyn:
Three candidates are vying to replace Borough President
Howard Golden, who has run Brooklyn's Borough Hall for almost
25 years. Jeannette Gadson, Mr. Golden's deputy, has vowed
to carry on his somewhat fatigued agenda. Kenneth Fisher,
a City Council member who clearly prefers wrestling with
more global policy issues, is an able person but not a good
fit for this job. Rather the position best suits State Senator
Marty Markowitz, an ebullient public servant who could provide
a refreshing boosterism for the sometimes beleaguered borough.
Mr. Markowitz used his Senate position to become a maestro
of constituent service, providing everything from summer
concerts to programs for senior citizens. His inclusiveness
has made him one of the most popular officials in his mainly
minority district. By hiring technical experts on complex
areas such as urban planning, Mr. Markowitz could free himself
to do what he does best, promote and help Brooklyn residents.
We endorse Marty Markowitz. (NY Times)
State Sen. Marty Markowitz picked up endorsements for borough
president yesterday from two of the city's major tenants
advocate groups. The Metropolitan Council on Housing and
the Tenants Political Action Committee endorsed Markowitz
on the sweltering steps of Borough Hall, calling the longtime
tenant organizer "Mr. Tenant." (Daily
City Councilmember Ken Fisher said yesterday that if he
is elected Brooklyn borough president, he will appoint himself
to the Board of Education. (Daily
The city's campaign financing program is helping even the race for Brooklyn
borough president. Councilmember Fisher has raised nearly $931,000 with
state Sen. Marty Markowitz raising $490,500 and former Deputy Borough
President Jeannette Gadson raising $250,000. But more than half of Fisher's
money came in donations of more than $250 and will not be matched.
City Councilman Ken Fisher, a candidate for Brooklyn borough president,
promised yesterday that fixing up the waterfront would be his top priority.
Fisher met with the Daily News Editorial Board and said that he supported
rezoning that would help Williamsburg change from an industrial area to a
residential and commercial neighborhood.
State Sen. Marty Markowitz rounded out the race for Brooklyn borough
president yesterday with an official announcement of his candidacy.
Jeannette Gadson officially announced for Brooklyn borough president.
Kenneth Fisher formally announces for Brooklyn borough president.
It has been a quarter century since the office of Brooklyn Borough President
changed hands. Finally, the Times says, we have a interesting race.
(New York Times)
The first Democratic debate in the Brooklyn Borough president's race last
Wednesday was missing one of the candidates - Flatbush state Senator Martin
Markowitz, who didn't show up until after Councilman Kenneth Fisher and
current Borough Hall aide Jeannette Gadson had left the stage. Their one
difference came on the state transportation bond voted down last November.
Fisher opposed the measure.
Today is the deadline for the deputy borough presidents of Staten Island and
Brooklyn to comply with an ethics-panel ruling that bars them from raising
money for campaigns to replace their term-limited bosses, unless they
resign. Jeannette Gadson of Brooklyn has taken a demotion to a non-policy
slot that pays less than her salary as deputy borough president of $120,707
a year, so that she can continue to raise money. James Molinaro of Staten
Island has apparently decided to keep his job, stop fundraising, but
continue as a candidate, spending the money he kept raising right until the
deadline. (Daily News)
Deputy borough presidents in Staten Island and Brooklyn, both running for
their bosses' jobs, are looking for a way around the recent ruling by the
Conflicts of Interest Board that they could not keep their current jobs if
they wanted to raise campaign funds.
Insider reports say that State Senator Carl Kruger is set to endorse
Jeannette Gadson and "deliver the blessing and the troops of a popular
elected official in a mainly white, Jewish section of the borough" to the
African-American candidate. It seems Marty Markowitz will not be in campaign
fighting shape for a while, as he fell and broke his leg on Feb. 5. "I took
a fall for Brooklyn," quipped Markowitz. "Instead of fundraising parties for
borough president, it will be cast parties." (Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill
The recent ruling by the Conflicts of Interest Board that bars appointed
officials, but not elected ones, from campaign fundraising unless they
resign, will affect several races: Brooklyn Borough President (where deputy
borough president Jeannette Gadson is a candidate and has been actively
promoted by her boss Howard Golden).
Real estate developers and other businessmen "who need a friend in City
Hall," as Bob Liff puts it, are the major contributors to Democratic
candidates, often giving to several candidates in the same race. For
example, both Red Apple supermarkets owner John Catsimatidis and publicist
Howard Rubenstein gave to all four of the leading Democratic contenders and
to both candidates for comptroller. Rubenstein also gave to two candidates
for Brooklyn borough president, and two for Queens borough president.
In a column that focuses on how much money various candidates have raised in
a slew of races, Bob Liff highlights the race for Brooklyn borough
president. Councilmember Kenneth Fisher, who has been raising money for
three years in anticipation of a run for mayor he decided to abort, now has
$622,945 for his race for borough president. Another candidate, State
Senator Martin Markowitz, reports having raised $179,463. Deputy Borough
President Jeanette Gadson, running with the backing of her boss Howard
Golden, has raised $120,834.
What is this?
Gotham Gazette's Searchlight on Campaign 2001 offers a comprehensive
look at what is being called New York City's most significant
campaign season in modern history. (See the left-hand column
for an explanation).
Districts of the Week
1 -- Lower Manhattan
Whoever wins the election in district 1 will represent immigrant
Chinese garment workers, as well as Wall Street traders living
in Battery Park City. There are several candidates hoping
to be the council's firsts -- the first Asian-American man,
the first Asian-American woman, the first gay Rhodes Scholar,
the first dot-com guru -- running against some politically
well connected opponents. Endorsements and fundraising will
play a big role in this race. But voter turnout could be the
main determinant of who will next represent district 1 on
the council. The key question is how many voters from each
community will come out on Election Day.
7 -- Washington Heights, Manhattan
The northern tip of Manhattan has become one of the most popular
places for new immigrants to call home. The northern tip of
Manhattan is a place that today's new immigrants call home.
The majority have come from the Dominican Republic, but also
from countries in South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia.
But it is not just new immigrants that are moving in. Students,
artists, and other Manhattanites looking for less expensive
rents and larger apartments have also moved north. Ten Democratic
candidates are competing for the 15,000 voters expected on
primary day. The winner who emerges from a crowded field of
candidates will have to balance the needs of the newcomers
with those who have lived there for years.
16 -- Highbridge, Bronx
The neighborhoods of district 16 are the city's poorest, with
the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest median household
income. But those who live there also point out that much
is positive and stable about the area, thanks in large part
to local organizations, not-for-profit agencies, and houses
of worship that help hold the neighborhoods together. Each
candidate for City Council believes that through his or her
connections to churches and local organizations, they can
help empower the community toward a better life. Helen Foster,
the current council member daughter, will face Michael Benjamin,
who has worked as an aide to several government officials
and Anthony Curry, a Bronx neighborhood activist.
20 -- Northeast Flushing, Queens
This year district 20 may elect the first Asian-American ever
to the City Council to an area which now has the second highest
number of immigrants from Korea and Taiwan in the city. There
are three Asian candidates in the Democratic race who have
each drawn big endorsements. Council Speaker Peter Vallone
endorsed Terence Park, City Comptroller Alan Hevesi endorsed
John Liu, and the New York Times recently endorsed Ethel Chen
The campaign has also drawn national and international press
25 -- Jackson Heights, Queens
Thirty-seventh Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens is one of
the most diverse streets in the world. Little India quickly
blends into Little Colombia, with vendors selling Latin American
food to Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, and
Uruguayans. And each summer, the Queens Pride Parade fills
the same street with rainbow banners. So it is no surprise
that this election year the district produced a diverse field
of candidates. A number of them, however, found out that getting
on the ballot is not an easy task, especially when the Queens
Democratic organization sends teams of lawyers to challenge
petitions. But five Democratic candidates survived and will
face off on September 11.
31 -- South East Queens
When a heavy rain hits southeast Queens, many residents in
neighborhoods like Springfield Gardens, Laurelton and Rosedale
head to the basement with a bucket in hand. And it has been
that way for the last 50 years. In the rush to build housing
in the area after World War II, developers overlooked the
need for storm drains in hopes that the city would eventually
build a city-wide sewer system. The plan never materialized
and the area has experienced "100-year rains" three times
in the last decade. The eight Democrats -- all with little
experience overseeing massive infrastructure projects--will
try to convince voters that they can finally solve the flooding
35 -- Central Brooklyn
The residents in council district 35 have some of the highest
incomes in Brooklyn and some of the lowest. They can play
in a famous park and a beautiful botanical garden, and live
in the city's most crumbling public housing. They can attend
one of the four institutions of higher learning in the district,
and the worst-scoring high schools in the city. Such juxtapositions
are a way of life for a district that includes the Brooklyn
Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Botanical
Gardens; mid dle-class African-American communities near Prospect
Park; immigrant communities from Haiti, Sierra Leon, Nigeria,
and Trinidad, and in Crown Heights, a mix of Hasidic Jews
and African-Americans. Seven Democratic candidates are campaigning
in hopes that they can bring some kind of unity, and attention,
to the area. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the neighborhoods
39 -- Park Slope/Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
The candidates in district 39 include a chief of staff for
an Assemblywoman, the husband of a member of U.S. Congress,
a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, an attorney and president
of the Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats, Senator Hillary
Clinton's campaign manager, the district manager of Community
Board 6, and a labor organizer. This is the race to watch
this year. The group of high-profile Democrats have raised
a lot of money, almost $1.4 million combined.
45 -- East Flatbush
In no place in the city are the effects of campaign finance
reform and term limits being felt more than in East Flatbush.
The seven Democratic candidates seeking to represent this
largely West Indian district come from a number of Caribbean
nations. Many have been working on politicians' staffs and
serving with community groups, clearly hoping someday to win
their own elected office. Term limits has presented them with
that opportunity, and they want to make the most of it. But
this race that usually draws only about 8,000 voters could
be decided by just a few votes. The candidates are attempting
to come up with anything that will separate them from the
49 -- North Shore, Staten Island
Staten Island has always been somewhat of a suburban stepchild
to New York City. When a 1998 survey asked New Yorkers why
they go to Staten Island, the top two responses were ''visiting
friends and relatives" and ''passing through.'' But in many
ways, the north shore has more in common with areas of Manhattan
and Brooklyn than with the rest of the Staten Island. The
top priority for all the candidates -- Jon Del Giorno, an
administrative manager for the Board of Elections, Mike McMahon,
an attorney and counsel to current Councilmember Jerome O'Donovan,
and Debi Rose, an administrator at the College of Staten Island
and the first African-American candidate in Staten Island
politics -- is to make sure that the island becomes more than
just a turn-around-point for the over one million tourists
who ride the free ferry from Manhattan each year.
for Party Affiliation
Dream Party (AMD)
Better Schools Party (BES)
Friends United Party (FUN)
Fusion Party (FUS)
Harmony Party (HAR)
Marijuana Reform Party (POT)
Natural Law Party (NLP)
Party of Ethics and Traditions (PET)
Reform Party (Ref)
Right to Life (RTL)
School Choice Party (Sch)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Working Families (Wor)
1 -- Deadline for candidates to join the Campaign Finance
program, qualifying for the four-to-one match of contributions.
5 - First day for candidates from the eight major parties
(Democratic, Republican, Indpendence, Conservative, Liberal,
Green, Working Families, and Right to Life) to circulate
petitions. Candidates running for City Council must collect
the signatures of at least 900 people living in the district
for which they are running in order to appear on the Primary
ballot. Candidates not running under these eight major parties
do not appear on the Primary ballot and have a separate
set of deadlines.
July 12 - Deadline for major party candidates to
July 10 - First day for unaffiliated candidates to
circulate petitions, in order to appear on the ballot in
the General Election. They must collect the number of signatures
equal to five percent of the total enrolled in that party.
August 7 - Board of Elections announces candidates
appearing on the Primary ballot.
August 17 - Last day for non-absentee voters to register
to vote in the Primary Election.
August 21 - Deadline for non-major party candidates
to file petitions to be included on the General Election
September 4 - Last day to postmark application for
absentee voting in the Primary
September 10 - Last day to personally deliver application
for absentee voting in the Primary Last day to postmark
absentee ballot for Primary
September 11 - Primary election; Polls open at 6:00a.m.
and close at 9:00p.m.; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered
by 9:00 p.m.
September 25 - Runoff Primary election for Mayor,
Comptroller and Public Advocate, if needed
October 12 - Last day to for non-absentee voters
to register to vote in the General Election
October 30 - Last day to postmark application for
absentee voting in the General Election
November 5 - Last day to hand-deliver an application
for absentee voting, or to postmark an absentee ballot for
the General Election.
November 6 - General Election; polls open at 6:00a.m.
and close at 9:00p.m. in NYC; Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered
by 9:00 p.m.