Campaign 2001 Feature
GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT ON CAMPAIGN 2001: FEATURE

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What is Searchlight on Campaign 2001?
Searchlight 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?
For 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?
There 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 they raise.

What does this have to do with this site?
As 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?
Searchlight 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?
That 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 press.

Who are we?
Masthead

 

Still Up For Grabs

By John Wolfson and David Schwartz

In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the streets are quiet, but the local race for City Council is noisy with nastiness, including accusations of extortion and nastiness. In Middle Village, Queens, voters must choose between a 23-year-old with a locally famous name but no political experience and a seasoned candidate who has been accused of corruption. And in Staten Island, a community activist who lost the primary by 100 votes hopes to make up that deficit in November and become a council member in January.

This year, when people are even less focused on politics as usual, most of what attention there is has gone to the mayoral race. The other races, everyone says, were in effect decided in the Democratic primary in September, since registered Democrats outnumber Republicans five to one in New York.

But Election Day promises a few City Council races in which the results are not known in advance. Indeed, there may be as many Republicans in the new City Council as in the old -- six, out of a total of 51.

Yes, there are other parties besides the Democratic and the Republican. Three Green Party candidates have qualified for matching funds from the city: Craig Seeman in District 33, Gloria Mattera in District 39 and Paul Graziano in District 20. The Greens may be building toward electoral success in the future, but are not considered to have a real shot at victory this time around. The Liberal, Conservative and Working Families parties, as well as some lesser known political groups, are also fielding candidates this year, but, with the exceptions of those listed below, few are seen as having much of a chance of winning.

DISTRICT 43
(Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst)
Registration: Democratic 47 percent, Republican 28 percent

Joanne Seminara received 50 percent of the vote to win the Democratic nomination in District 43. It was a strong showing against two opponents, to be sure. But her toughest task lies ahead.

On November 6, she is facing Martin Golden who is not only the incumbent Republican, but who four years ago beat Seminara for the seat.

What is different this year? That depends on whom you ask.

"Now, we've got his record to run on," Seminara said.

"We're going to beat her by even a larger margin," said Jeffrey Kraus, Golden's communications director.

According to Seminara, "Many people are unhappy with Golden's record in the council. . . .The streets are filthier than ever, there's virtually no sanitation enforcement." Further, she said district schools are very crowded and streets are congested. There is, Seminara said, "lots of double parking by restaurants in the area, one of which is owned by the councilman."

Golden himself would not make himself available for comment, but his aide said many of these charges are "just not true." For example, Kraus said, the councilman has arranged a second daily garbage pickup on commercial strips in the district.

"Seminara has basically run a mean-spirited campaign," Kraus said. "She has spent the last four years campaigning against everything Mr. Golden has done."

A controversy over the endorsement by a Republican political campaign highlights the nastiness of this campaign. The Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Organization endorsed Seminara, even though she is a Democrat. Seminara called the endorsement, "very significant. . .a considerable boost in my campaign."

According to Kraus, though, there is more to the story than a simple expression of support. He said that the Fiorello LaGuardia Republican Organization founder, Arnaldo Ferraro, approached Golden in May and said that if Golden did not secure a "six-figure" job for Ferraro, "'there would be trouble.'

"What Mr. Ferraro engaged in is called, in many parts of the world, including the United States, extortion. The councilman did not buckle under Ferraro's demands," Kraus said.

Ferraro, a former assemblyman and who is now Election Day operations coordinator for the Board of Elections, said his political club endorsed Seminara only because Golden has been an ineffective councilman.

"We look at the qualifications of the person," Ferraro said. "He hasn't fairly represented the entire district in providing services."

But Ferraro admits that he did approach Golden about a new job. "I do recall talking about moving my career ahead, but I never told him six figures," Ferraro said.

When asked if that was extortion, Ferraro said, "Tell him to take me to jail. There's no extortion. If anything, there's a request that he can accept or reject. Extortion, of course, comes with a threat. I never, never threatened."

DISTRICT 30
(Ridgewood, Middle Village, Glendale)
Registration: 51 percent Democrat, 25 percent Republican

Even by New York City standards, the District 30 race has taken some bizarre twists. Earlier this year, the Village Voice reported that Republican candidate Dennis Gallagher and his boss, incumbent Councilman Thomas Ognibene, took trips and gifts from a buildings consultant. The consultant was seeking various favors from the city buildings department and allegedly hoped that Ognibene and Gallagher could help him. No charges were filed against either man.

The Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Crowley, is the 23-year-old scion of a mini-political dynasty who initially signed up to run in District 26 but switched to District 30 at the request of the party establishment.

"I don't need to make it part of the campaign," Crowley said of the accusations against Gallagher. "I don't need to bring it up. The people of this district read the newspapers, they know what's going on." Pointing out that her cousin is U.S. Representative Joe Crowley and that both her parents were members of the City Council, Crowley said, "My family name has been out there for years. People know my name can be trusted."

"You know why there's no evidence I did anything wrong?" Gallagher said during an interview. "Because there's nothing there. Everybody basically sees through it and knows that it's a sham." Of his opponent, Gallagher said, "She's a nice young woman who has not been involved in politics before. She announced in (District) 26, now she's moved in here. She doesn't have the experience that I have."

Crowley, a decorative painter and home restorer, said she has lived in District 30 for six and a half years and that her son attends school there.

Obviously, this campaign has none of the serenity that defines District 30, a lush spot in southwest Queens known for its parks, flowers and cemeteries.

Prior to September 11, Crowley identified education, including curriculum reform, as the district's most pressing concern. Now, she lists rebuilding the city as her number-one priority. "I will use my experience working on construction sites," she said. "You're going to need a lot of cooperation and (construction) knowledge." She dismissed assertions that she lacks the experience to be an effective representative, claiming that she grew up discussing politics with her family. "I'm the 14th of 15 children," she said. "I think it would have been harder as a kid getting the potatoes passed than it would be getting a law passed."

Gallagher says his knowledge of the political process will enable him to "step right up and deliver services immediately. That's probably the biggest difference between my opponent and me," he said. Gallagher listed business redevelopment and reconstruction, schools and park space as his biggest priorities. "The attacks have really made my commitment to get elected even stronger," he said. "We can't let the terrorists disrupt the democratic process. Otherwise they win."

DISTRICT 49
(Northern Staten Island)
Registration: Democrats 54 percent, Republicans 23 percent

The real race in District 49, the only Staten Island district represented by a Democrat, pits the two top vote getters in the Democratc primary against one another. In that contest, Michael McMahon defeated Deborah Rose by fewer than 100 votes. Rose is now running with the Liberal Party's endorsement and has qualified for campaign matching funds. Republican Joseph Cammarata is the third candidate seeking to replace incumbent Jerome O'Donovan, who is running for borough president.

McMahon, an attorney and an advisor to O'Donovan, announces proudly that the Staten Island Democratic organization didn't back him in the primary. That support went to Jon Del Giorno, who came in third. "We ran an insurgency campaign," McMahon says. "That speaks to my independent spirit."

Rose, too, ran in the primary without the organization support. "They told me that the community of color wouldn't come out to vote in the primary," said Rose, who is black. "They were wrong." Instead, she said, the large primary turnout of black and Hispanic voters changed the political thinking on Staten Island. "All of the elected people and party people now know that they cannot ignore this constituency," she said.

The three candidates agree that growth has gotten out of hand on Staten Island. They have pledged that, if elected, they will try to enact zoning restriction and seek additional funding for the district's overcrowded schools.

The overcrowding, McMahon said, has stressed city services and changed the fundamental nature of northern Staten Island. "We're talking about existing property that is being torn down to build townhouses," he said. "These are communities that have existed for years."

Rose has called for a comprehensive development plan," while Cammarata advocates a citywide zoning effort. He believes construction permits for new housing should not be granted until enough school seats have been added for the new students who will live in those homes. Asked how he would implement such a plan, Cammarata said, "I don't know the exact answer to that."

While McMahon advocates building new schools, both Rose and Cammarata suggest that some existing structures be converted to schools, saving on constructio ns costs. McMahon said school construction might have to wait a bit because of the city's financial problems in the wake of the September 11 attacks. But, he added, "we do have to push forward with new schools. We must continue with our priorities, even after September 11."

DISTRICT 50
(Mid-Staten Island; parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach, Brooklyn)
Registration: Democrats 46 percent, Republicans 31 percent

Democrat Libby Hikind faces a daunting challenge in her campaign. A third grade teacher and the sister-in-law of Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, she is running in a district that, since it was created in 1991, has never elected a Democrat, and she is trying to defeat an incumbent, James Oddo, who was first elected in a special election two years ago. Like District 49, this area is growing more rapidly than almost anyplace in the state, and both candidates agree that some form of zoning reform is needed to slow it down. Schools are overcrowded, they say, and roads built years ago cannot handle the ever-increasing traffic.

But then the agreement ends. Hikind asserts that Oddo is beholden to area developers because he has taken campaign donations from them. According to the Campaign Finance Board, Oddo had raised about $65,000 through early August, about $12,500 of which came from two developers.

Noting that Oddo has spent 10 years with the council, first as a staff member and then as a member, Hikind said, "In all this time, there has been no downzoning. Where was he? How many houses did they build during his term?" If elected, she said she would use her discretionary funds to hold educational seminars on zoning and help pay application fees for communities that want to enact zoning restrictions.

Oddo insisted that he has fought against several development projects in his district. "I disagree, first and foremost, that I have received an inordinate amount of my money from developers," he said. "It makes for great campaign strategy, but when you get behind the spin, you see that it's just a campaign tag." He said two separate applications to enact zoning restrictions in six District 50 communities are set to be submitted to the city.

Oddo said his council experience will be a major asset with so many new members coming to the council in January. "Most of these folks aren't going to know where the men's and women's rooms are," he said. "Now they are going to have to deal with a $40 billion budget? After September 11? To do that with a veteran body was going to be a challenge. To do that with a neophyte body is going to be an incredible challenge."

DISTRICT 35
(Central Brooklyn)
Registration: Democrats 79 percent, Republicans 4 percent

James Davis scored one of the biggest upsets on primary day when he defeated organization candidate Letitia James by nearly 1,000 votes to become the party's nominee from the 35th District. But James thinks things could go her way on November 6.

Two other candidates out of a total of seven, Peter Williams and William J. Saunders, pulled a combined 2,300 votes during the primary. "Had those candidates not run, we would have been successful," James said. "They pulled their support from the same base I do, Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill and Fort Greene." She figures the bulk of those votes will go to her on Election Day.

Davis could not be reached for comment.

James, a former deputy state attorney general, said she can build the coalitions needed to bring economic redevelopment and educational reform to her district. "The unions are still with me," she said, "the elected officials are still with me."

Davis, a police officer who also worked as a minister, youth organizer and Democratic district leader, described his priorities during the primary campaign as improving community relations with police, combating graffiti and aiding senior citizens.

DISTRICT 19
(Bayside, College Point, Whitestone, Beechhurst)
Registration: Democratic 51 percent, Republican 25 percent

In recent elections, Republicans have fared well in northeast Queens. Republican Michael Abel, the present term-limited councilman, was first elected in 1991. Last year, Rick Lazio carried the area against Hillary Clinton in his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid. In 1997, Mayor Giuliani won about 80 percent of the vote there, and Republican Frank Padavan has been the state senator representing part of the district for almost 30 years.

Now, Dennis Saffran, a lawyer in Governor Mario Cuomo's administration and then head of a local political group focused on anti-crime and quality-of-life initiatives until he resigned to run for council, is looking to be the next Republican to come out of the predominantly white, upper-middle class district.

Opposing him is Tony Avella, who is State Senator Toby Stavisky's chief of staff and president of the College Point Sports Association. Avella beat five opponents with only 30 percent of the Democratic vote in the primary. One of those opponents, Jerry Iannece, remains on the Liberal party line for November and said, "I'm still campaigning. Not as hard as before, but I'm still campaigning." Avella, meanwhile, expresses confidence that, if he runs on the issues, he can win.

"There's no such thing as a Democratic or Republican pothole or broken streetlight. People see the need to get things done. Who has the experience, who knows how to get things done? I think I've demonstrated those qualities," Avella said.

Saffran counters that during Avella's time as president of the College Point Sports Association, three contractors were charged with dumping tons of construction debris on a baseball field that was being refurbished. "At a minimum, this brings up serious, serious questions about negligence and managerial competence on my opponent's part," Saffran said.

Avella says that he did not hire the contractors and showed leadership by getting the city to pay for the cleanup and getting the construction plan back on track.

Despite September 11, both candidates maintain that the top issues facing the district remain better enforcement of zoning codes and improving the schools.

"There are many illegally converted houses. A one- or two- family home is changing into two-, three- or four-family home. It's a big problem here because it really puts a strain on our infrastructure, our resources," Saffran said.

Although the district's test scores are among the best in the city, Avella said improving education and retaining teachers are major issues. He is concerned that teachers will leave city schools to go to nearby Nassau County, where teachers are better paid.

While both candidates recognize that city revenue will be down, neither was able to suggest what city services could be cut after the attack of September 11.

DISTRICT 32
(Ozone Beach, Howard Beach, the Rockaways)
Registration: 57 percent Democratic, 22 percent Republican

Getting around District 32, geographically one of the city's largest, can be tough. Construction on the Marine Parkway Bridge often clogs traffic, the Green Bus Line doesn't accept Metrocard transfers, some areas have no bus service at all, and the A train to Manhattan can take an hour and a half or more from some neighborhoods. Not surprisingly, transportation has played a major part in the District 32 campaign to succeed Republican Al Stabile.

"It's probably quicker to get from Nassau County to Manhattan than it is from parts of Far Rockaway to Manhattan, and that's not fair," Democrat Joseph Addabbo said. "There are areas in this district that are untouched by a bus line; that's not fair." Addabbo, the son of a deceased U.S. representative from Queens, called for subsidized ferry and express-bus service to Manhattan.

On her campaign Web site, Republican Joann Ariola concurs that transportation is one of the district's handful of key issues. "I recently worked on getting $300,000 into the city budget to subsidize the Gateway ferry," she said this summer. "It costs $13, so if we can get it subsidized it would be more affordable." Ariola, the former chief of staff for Stabile, could not be reached for comment.

Like candidates across the city, Addobbo, who is a real estate attorney, and Ariola both see education as a key issue. Addabboo called for more local control of schools, while Ariola is especially concerned about school overcrowding.

Although Democrat Addabbo is prominent in the community, Ariola has said "I have a wonderful chance" of getting elected, adding, "Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one, we have an extremely conservative district."

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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

District 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.

District 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.

District 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.

District 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 coverage

District 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.

District 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 problems.

District 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 themselves.

District 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.

District 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 pack.

District 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.


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Links You Can Use

Government sites
NYC Campaign Finance Bd.
NYC Board of Elections
NYC Voter Assistance Comm.
NY City Council
Federal Election Comm.

Local non-partisan sites
SavvyVoter.org
NYVote.com
Votesmart
NYPIRG
NY League of Women Voters
Common Cause New York

National non-partisan sites
Ctr. for Responsive Politics
Common Cause
DemocracyNet
League of Women Voters

NAACP Voter Empowerment
Vote Smart

E-Voting
Election.com

Political consultants
Amer. Assc. of Pol. Consultants

Prime New York

Media
Gotham Gazette
The Empire Page
Campaigns and Elections
Legislative Gazette

Political columnists
Andrea Bernstein
Joe Conason
Mario Cuomo (radio)
Rudy Giuliani (radio)
Clyde Haberman
Nat Hentoff

Joseph Mercurio
Joyce Purnick
John Tierney
Michael Tomasky

Political parties
Conservative
Democratic
Green
Independence
Liberal
Republican
Right to Life
Working Families
Communist
Libertarian
Marijuana Reform
Natural Law Party
Socialist
Taxpayers Party

Political clubs and groups
Blueprint Camp. Finance Reform
DL21C
Central Queens Greens
The Jefferson Democratic Club of Flushing
NY Young Republican Club
Stonewall Democratic Club
Village Independent Dems.


Abbreviations for Party Affiliation

American Dream Party (AMD)
Better Schools Party (BES)
Communist (Com)
Conservative (Con)
Constitution (CST)
Democratic (Dem)
Friends United Party (FUN)
Fusion Party (FUS)
Green (Gre)
Harmony Party (HAR)
Independence (Ind)
Liberal (Lib)
Libertarian (LBT)
Marijuana Reform Party (POT)
Natural Law Party (NLP)
Party of Ethics and Traditions (PET)
Reform Party (Ref)
Republican (Rep)
Right to Life (RTL)
School Choice Party (Sch)
Socialist Workers Party (SWP)
Working Families (Wor)


2001 Election Calendar

June 1 -- Deadline for candidates to join the Campaign Finance program, qualifying for the four-to-one match of contributions.
June 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 file petitions.
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 ballot.
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.

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