Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Elections

Elections

  • Jabari Brisport, Democratic Socialist on Verge of Upset Primary Win in Brooklyn, Eyes Journey to Albany

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    Jabari Brisport marching (photo: @JabariBrisport)


    This year’s Democratic primary for Brooklyn’s 25th State Senate District mostly flew under the radar, but was one of the most interesting races in the city, with an energetic activist and teacher, Jabari Brisport, backed by the Working Families and Democratic Socialist of America-New York City, taking on Assemblymember Tremaine Wright, whose district overlaps with part of the Senate district and who had the backing of the retiring senator, Velmanette Montgomery, among many others in the political

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  • Where Key Primary Races Stand as Absentee Ballot Counting Begins

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    Jenifer Rajkumar mails her absentee ballot (photo: @JeniferRajkumar)


    Primary elections in New York looked much different in 2020 than in previous years. This was the first time that primaries for the State Legislature and Congress were consolidated into one day, but more importantly, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the universal accessibility of absentee ballots meant that those mail-in votes could prove decisive in several hotly-contested races in New York this year. (The pandemic also meant that the Democratic presidential primary was postponed to also coincide with

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  • Can Shaun Donovan Win the 2021 Mayor's Race? Campaign Pitch Charts Path

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    Shaun Donovan (photo: Shaun Donovan for NYC)


    As the 2021 mayoral election begins to heat up, with rumors of more candidates jumping into an incredibly consequential race, former Obama and Bloomberg aide Shaun Donovan’s campaign is making a confident pitch to potential supporters and donors that he has a viable path to victory.

    While Donovan, a Brooklyn native with a long history as a public servant but never in elected office, has not officially declared his candidacy, he’s been taking many of the essential steps toward launching a run.

    If he does run, one challenge will

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  • With Distributed Absentee Ballots Vastly Outnumbering In-Person Vote, Impact of Mail-In Ballots Could Be Dramatic

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    The absentee vote could trump the in-person vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Elections is reporting that over 765,000 absentee ballots were distributed to voters before primary day, June 23, vastly exceeding a tally of in-person votes in the Democratic presidential primary, which came to 471,000, with 96% of election precincts reporting.

    The number of absentee ballots returned is not

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  • Board of Elections Misses Deadline for Planning Ranked-Choice Voting Implementation

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    Ranked-choice voting is coming soon (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Elections missed a City Charter-mandated June 1 deadline to issue a report on how it will implement the new voter-approved ranked-choice voting system in 2021, advocates and elected officials said Friday.

    At a press conference hosted by good government group Common Cause New York, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said the report is essential to adequately prepare for the new voting format next

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  • 2020 Primaries: Winds of Change Shifting Latino Politics in New York City

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    Ritchie Torres (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    As this month’s primary election results seem to be proving, the winds of change are blowing and are shifting the direction of Latino politics in New York City. Has a new era of leadership in Latino political representation arrived?

    In the Bronx, Ritchie Torres seems to be ahead with a comfortable margin, defeating Michael Blake, long-time politico Ruben Diaz, Sr., and many others in the 15th Congressional District. In these pages ...

  • Max & Murphy Podcast: One Year to the 2021 Mayoral Primary

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    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    June 24, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: One Year to the 2021 Mayoral Primary

    Political strategists Rebecca Katz of New Deal Strategies and Neal Kwatra of Metropolitan Strategies joined the show to discuss some of the initial results of 2020 primaries in New York and to look ahead to the 2021 mayoral primary, which is just one year away. Katz, fresh off helping to lead Jamaal Bowman to an upset win the New York's 16th Congressional District primary over Rep. Eliot Engel, broke

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  • The 2021 New York City Mayoral Race, One Year to the Primary

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    City Hall on inauguration day (photo: mayor's office)


    It’s election day, and all eyes on the 2020 party primaries in New York, though the results won’t be clear for at least one week. But one year from now, New Yorkers will cast their ballots in another primary election, one that will likely determine the slate of leadership of New York City for the next four years, including the next mayor. With Mayor Bill de Blasio term-limited, the stage is set for a fierce competition, which may not really take off until just after this year’s presidential election but

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  • After 28 Years in Office, Jeff Aubry Faces Tough Assembly Primary from Disgraced Former Senator Hiram Monserrate

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    Assemblymember Jeff Aubry (photo: State Assembly )


    This story was first published by the Queens Daily Eagle 

    Eleven years have passed since Queens Assemblymember Jeff Aubry led the successful effort to repeal the state’s Rockefeller drug laws and address the brutal impact of the War on Drugs on communities of color. Since

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  • A Pandemic and A Primary in the Most Impoverished Congressional District in the Country

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    Ritchie Torres looks at Ruben Díaz Sr. (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    New York City has had very limited success in the voter turnout department for congressional elections in recent years. For the 2018

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  • Insurgent Campaigns Try to Replicate Major 2018 Voter Turnout Jump in Very Different Circumstances

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    Jamaal Bowman's congressional campaign attempts to capture some 2018 magic (photo: Bowman campaign)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    After a massive wave of voters shook New York’s 2018 primary elections and subsequent state government, this year’s primary

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  • Voter Turnout in New York City Was Cratering; Then Came 2018

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    Alessandra Biaggi on the 2018 campaign trail (photo: @Biaggi4NY)


    This story, and the series it is a part of, has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.

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    On the night of September 13, 2018, a wave crashed through New York state politics.

    For years, pressure had been mounting on the members of the Independent

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  • Could Coronavirus Exodus from Manhattan Impact Competitive Tri-Borough Congressional Primary?

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    Suraj Patel campaigning (photo: Facebook)


    Wealthy Manhattanites, more than others, fled New York City when the coronavirus pandemic erupted here, according to New York Times data reporting. Now, it’s unclear how that exodus might affect voting behavior in party primary elections happening this month, like in New York’s 12th Congressional District, where much of incumbent Representative Carolyn Maloney’s support has historically been in parts of Manhattan home to many of

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  • Long-time Incumbent Faces Two Challengers from the Left in Western Queens Assembly Primary

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    Assemblymember Cathy Nolan at the Amazon 'HQ2' announcement (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Long-time Queens Assemblymember Catherine Nolan faces two challengers in this month’s Democratic primary in her first reelection campaign since coming out in support of the controversial deal that would have brought a massive Amazon campus to Long Island City.

    Nolan has represented the 37th Assembly District, which includes Long Island City and parts of Astoria, Sunnyside, Maspeth, and Ridgewood, since 1985. The district is 39% white, 36%

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  • WATCH: Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and Challenger Grace Lee Debate in Lower Manhattan Democratic Primary

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    Yuh-Line Niou, left, and Grace Lee during their debate


    Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and her Democratic primary challenger, Grace Lee, met for a debate on Monday, June 15, hosted by Manhattan Neighborhood Network and moderated by Gotham Gazette's Ben Max. The primary for this Lower Manhattan State Assembly seat is happening this month, with early voting ongoing through June 21; primary day on June 23; and all eligible voters allowed to vote by absentee ballot. Watch the debate:

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  • Challenges for Challengers: Coronavirus Crisis May Make It An Especially Tough Year for Insurgents to Overcome Incumbents

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    Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas campaigns in bid to unseat Assemblymember Michael DenDekker (photo: @votejgr)


    The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, a trend that may extend to party primary elections happening this month, where already-disadvantaged challengers to incumbents could face even more daunting odds, experts say.

    Primaries for seats in both houses of the state Legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, and more, including Queens Borough President, are being voted on this month, and many races feature incumbents trying to hold

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  • Self-Funding Community Activist Challenges Progressive Star Incumbent in Lower Manhattan Assembly Primary

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    Challenger Grace Lee, left, and Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou


    An intense Democratic primary is unfolding in Lower Manhattan, where incumbent Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, a staunch progressive, is facing a challenge from business owner and activist Grace Lee, who is partially self-funding her campaign.

    While the two candidates don’t appear to disagree on much politically, the race looks like a test of whether a well-financed challenger seizing on hyper-local issues can motivate enough voters to overcome a broadly popular incumbent. Meanwhile, the

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  • Queens Democrats Set to Vote for Next Borough President: What to Know About the Race and the Candidates

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    Left to right: Democrats Richards, Crowley, Constantinides, Yin, Miranda


    This story was published in partnership with the Queens Daily Eagle

    Early voting begins today -- Saturday, June 13 -- for the Democratic primary for Queens Borough President, a race that was triggered when the previous officeholder, Melinda Katz, was elected the borough’s district attorney last year and took office in January.

    As much as borough presidents hold largely

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  • Race, Representation, and Community Roots in Focus in Central Brooklyn Assembly Primary

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    The two Democratic candidates in Brooklyn's 56th Assembly District


    With incumbent Assemblymember Tremaine Wright of Brooklyn seeking a promotion to the State Senate, the 56th Assembly District is an “open” seat for the 2020 election. The two candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in this month’s primary, Justin Cohen and Stefani Zinerman, represent differing policy approaches, campaign styles, and backgrounds. As no other candidates have filed to run in the deep blue district, the winner of the Democratic primary will be unopposed in the general election and

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  • Community Activist Takes on 47-Year Incumbent in North Brooklyn Assembly Race

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    Assemblymember Joe Lentol (photo: @assemblymanjoe)


    Emily Gallagher, a local community board member, is the first person in a decade to challenge New York State Assemblymember Joe Lentol, who has represented North Brooklyn’s 50th Assembly District for 48 years. Her rallying cry has been less to change the policy priorities of the district’s representative, and more to inject new blood into the Assembly, despite Lentol’s progressive track record.

    While Gallagher has been amassing more support than is often typical of a primary challenger to a well-liked incumbent,

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  • How 2021 Mayoral Candidates Have Responded to the Coronavirus Fallout and Cries for Police Reform

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    New York City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has slowly turned the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and has just begun the first phase of reopening its economy. But despite the last few weeks of success in curtailing the public health crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership has left many frustrated and looking elsewhere. He has been criticized for providing too little clarity and few plans to the public about various health, social, and economic pieces of the city’s larger recovery puzzle, often proving reactive

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  • Race to the Left in Western Queens Assembly Primary

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    Assemblymember Simotas, right (photo: @AravellaSimotas)


    Since Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s historic campaign to win her 2018 primary against incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley, many progressive challengers have tried to use her playbook: a grassroots campaign with an uber-progressive platform where a candidate makes up for what they lack in political experience with robust canvassing and a promise of change.

    And in Queens’ 36th Assembly District, which includes most of Astoria and all of Ditmars Steinway and overlaps somewhat with

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  • WATCH: Democratic Primary Challengers Debate in New York's 12th Congressional District

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    Left to right: Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Suraj Patel, Pete Harrison, Lauren Ashcraft


    The Democratic primary in New York's 12th Congressional District features incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney and three challengers: Suraj Patel, Peter Harrison, and Lauren Ashcraft. All four candidates were set to debate Monday night, but Maloney canceled the day of the debate due to illness. Her three challengers met to discuss a variety of issues and strategies in a debate hosted by Empire State Indivisible and moderated by Gotham Gazette's Ben Max. Watch the debate below.

    All Democratic

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  • Competitive Queens Primary in District Ravaged by Coronavirus Strikes Familiar Themes

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    Assemblymember Michael DenDekker (photo: @mgdendekker)


    A Queens State Assembly member faces stiff competition this primary election cycle, and for the first time in his 12-year legislative career.

    Assemblymember Michael DenDekker, who represents parts of Jackson Heights, East Elmhurst and Woodside in Assembly District 34, is aiming to survive four Democratic challengers for his seat in this month’s party primary election. The race follows a larger trend that accelerated in 2018, with one or more challengers running from the left, and often promising to bring more

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  • WATCH: Clarke Debates Democratic Primary Challengers in New York's 9th Congressional District

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    Left to right: Yvette Clarke, Adem Bunkeddeko, Isiah James, and Lutchi Gayot


    Representative Yvette Clarke is facing four challengers in this month's Democratic primary in New York's 9th Congressional District, which includes a large swathe of central and southern Brooklyn. Clarke and three of those opponents -- Adem Bunkeddeko, Isiah James, and Luchi Gayot -- met for a virtual debate on the evening of Sunday, June 7. The debate was hosted by South Central Brooklyn United for Progress; Pakastini American Youth Society; Brooklyn Movement Center; and Greater Prospect Heights Mutual Aid; and

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