Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Elections

Elections

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    Council Member Cohen (left) passing out masks in his Bronx district (photo: @AndrewCohenNYC)


    Bronx City Council Member Andrew Cohen’s recent nomination for a Supreme Court judgeship at the Bronx Democratic Party’s judicial convention in August means that the already-underway contest to replace him in the Council will likely move up from a June 2021 primary to a February or March 2021 special election, assuming Cohen assumes his judgeship in January. The special election in Council District 11, along with contests for soon-to-be-vacant seats in Council Districts 15 (Ritchie

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  • Bronx Democrats Heastie Diaz Jr Crespo

    Bronx political leaders Heastie, Diaz Jr., Crespo (photo: Bronx Borough President's Office)


    To say the Bronx political landscape is changing is simultaneously both a trite observation and a vast understatement. The once-vaunted Democratic machine in the borough is currently leaderless and has lost many of its longtime fixtures in recent years, with more on their way off the political stage. This comes at a time when progressive and anti-establishment forces are gaining momentum across the city, though in some ways less so in the

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    City Council Member Donovan Richards (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    August 19, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Donovan Richards on Police Reform, Jobs & His Vision for Queens

    City Council Member Donovan Richards, very likely the next Queens Borough President, joined the show to discuss how he plans to operate as borough president and what's next as he chairs the Council's public safety committee.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

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    "Every Vote Counts" (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    While New Yorkers have come to expect challenges in the voting process, they’ve also come to expect "unofficial election night results" rolling in in the hours after polls close -- a tradition that sometimes entails staying up late to find out the winner of a close race, or waking up the next day to a new leader-elect who had been only a hopeful when voters went to the polls.

    But with the unprecedented volume of mail-in ballots for the June primary this year, some races took

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  • Myrie Senate

    State Senator Myrie in the Senate chamber (photo: State Senate)


    After June saw drastic shifts in how voting in New York is conducted, elections administrators, state legislators, and watchdogs have a long list of changes they want to see enacted before the general election this fall. But above all they want clarity from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Many of the key players in New York City and State elections testified Tuesday at an oversight hearing held by both houses of the Democrat-controlled Legislature examining the June primary, its successes and

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    Inspecting voting equipment (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris)


    The June 2020 primaries in New York were an unusually thick morass of bureaucratic challenges as the city and state election systems shifted to a mostly-mail-in format amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

    In New York City more than 80,000 mail-in ballots were disqualified on technical grounds -- a full fifth of the 400,000-plus ballots cast that way and a tenth of the total. Tens of thousands of ballots were either sent out late by the New York City Board of Elections or never delivered to voters who

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  • City Hall

    City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter, Mayor's Office)


    With the 2021 party primary elections less than a year away, more than a dozen candidates have either declared or are openly exploring a campaign to become the next Mayor of New York City. But while that long list includes some prominent current elected officials, a few former public servants and several lesser known contenders, it contains few Republicans.

    By all indications, there will be a fiercely fought Democratic mayoral primary as a crowded slate vies to replace outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio, a

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    Bronx Democrats (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    The Bronx’s political landscape is undergoing major shifts, full of electoral upsets and unexpected political departures. While Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie remains one of the most powerful elected officials in the state, the borough’s Democratic County Party that he has been leading, in essence, for many years is faltering amid election losses and retirements from politics, all setting the stage for what will be an immensely important 2021 New York City election cycle with a great

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    Voters cast many absentee ballots (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Over a month after the June primary, the New York State Board of Elections has certified the results, which show a relatively large voter turnout aided in part by the pandemic-induced expansion of absentee balloting. Almost all of the primaries in New York City were among Democrats, including a number of hotly-contested races for the House of Representatives, both houses of the State Legislature, Queens Borough President, and more.

    The elections saw several

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    School Board elections may soon change across NY (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    On May 25 in White Plains, U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel ruled that the at-large system used for electing the nine members of the East Ramapo School Board denied the district’s Black and Latino voters effective choice in its elections, violating §2 of the Federal Voting Rights Act (VRA). Under an at-large system every voter votes to fill each board position, allowing a disciplined majority to control all seats. A majority of the East Ramapo district’s voting population is

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    Shaun Donovan at the podium (photo: Spencer T Tucker)


    August 5, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Shaun Donovan Explores a Run for Mayor

    Shaun Donovan, a former top aide to President Barack Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, joined the show to discuss his likely candidacy for Mayor of New York City in the 2021 election.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand ...

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    Sochie Nnaemeka of the NY WFP (photo: @sochiesays)


    August 5, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Sochie Nnaemeka on the Working Families Party's Big Wins & Future Challenges

    Sochie Nnaemeka, director of the New York Working Families Party, joined the show to discuss the party's endorsements and successes in the 2020 New York primaries, and what comes next.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand ...

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    Juan Ardila (photo: campaign website)


    First-term City Council Member Bob Holden, a conservative Democrat from Queens known for controversial statements and criticism of the de Blasio administration, is facing a 2021 challenge from Juan Ardila, a first-generation immigrant and Maspeth native who says Holden is failing the 30th Council District.

    Ardila, the son of a Honduran-Cuban mother and Colombian father, says he is running to fight for working class families in a district plagued by rising costs of living, lack of mass transit, limited employment opportunities,

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    The 2021 elections have begun (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Running for office is an exciting endeavor and the already-underway 2021 New York City election cycle will be filled with new candidates, but the thing no one talks about is the difficulty of deciding to run for office or being a first-time candidate when it comes to quitting your job. Very few people can afford to leave their jobs behind without having to worry about paying for basic living expenses, such as rent, food, transportation, and health insurance. This barrier disproportionately

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  • 7 press conf regard

    Council Member Ritchie Torres (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    With City Council Member Ritchie Torres declaring victory in the Bronx’s 15th Congressional District Democratic primary and all but assured to advance to Congress at the start of next year, a special election to replace Torres in the City Council’s own District 15 looks likely for sometime in February or March of 2021. The race in the heavily-Democratic Council district is already shaping up to be hotly-contested, with community leaders, the son of a state senator, and at least one member

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  • participate electoral college

    Electors to the Electoral College voting in Albany (photo: governor's office)


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of the

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    New York City voters will have a lot to decide in 2021 (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Gotham Gazette will be an integral part of a major new project led by its parent organization, Citizens Union Foundation, aimed at educating voters in advance of the historic, immensely-important 2021 New York City elections.

    In 2021, New York City voters will elect a new Mayor and Comptroller, at least four new Borough Presidents, and dozens of new City Council members. The rest of city government will also be on the ballot, including seats where incumbents

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    Emily Gallagher with campaign supporters (photo: @em4assembly)


    Community activist Emily Gallagher ran a successful insurgent Democratic primary campaign like few others: one with no endorsements from elected officials, no support from ascendent lefitist groups the Working Families Party or New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America, and relatively little money compared to her opponent, a 47-year incumbent State Assembly member who had not even faced a primary challenge for a decade.

    Gallagher, who has lived in North Brooklyn’s Assembly

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    Phara Souffrant Forrest (photo: @phara4assembly)


    Leftist organizations like the Working Families Party and New York City branch of the Democratic Socialists of America are piling up wins in the June primaries, with absentee ballot counting near an end and a wide array of candidates they supported — many of whom are challengers to incumbents — on the verge of winning seats in Congress and the New York State Legislature.

    The wins shatter preconceived notions that incumbents are heavily favored to win, conventional wisdom that was deeply

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    State Senator Andrew Gounardes in Albany (photo: @sen_gounardes)


    Pro-NYPD and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed, sometimes violently, in Southern Brooklyn last weekend, a conflict emblematic of the changing and complicated politics in traditionally moderate to conservative neighborhoods that have been home to leftward political movement, partially due to an influx of new residents.

    One marker of the changes was the 2018 election of Democrat Andrew Gounardes in State Senate District 22, where he defeated long-time

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  • in person voting pandemic

    In-person voting during a pandemic (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    We should never have to decide between public health and democracy. We must have both.

    We hoped that voter suppression was a thing of the past, and yet it is still present not just in the South but in the South Bronx and across the country.

    We are witnessing a public health and democratic crisis that must be addressed immediately—otherwise, lives will be taken as electoral gains are also stolen.  

    In short, the coronavirus crisis has cast a light on the deteriorating health of

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    Voting during a pandemic (photo: @NYCVotes)


    Ahead of a special state legislative session set for next week, a coalition of election reform advocates is backing ten bills that would change or codify elements of the now widely-used absentee voting process before the fall general election.

    The agenda, released Thursday by the Let NY Vote coalition, comes amid party primary elections where the voting is over but the counting

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  • runners first ave

    Who's running? (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The party primaries for New York City’s 2021 elections are rapidly approaching. All of city government will be on the ballot next year, with most of the seats “open” due to term limits while some incumbents seek reelection. Two of three citywide elected officials -- the mayor and the comptroller -- are term-limited out of office, as are four of the five borough presidents, and most of the 51-seat City Council.

    While a lot will change between now and November of 2021, when many races will ultimately be

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    The State Assembly (photo: @NYSA_Majority)


    For some time, a lack of Democratic control in the New York State Senate prevented progressive legislation from becoming law. But even after the chamber flipped from red to blue through the 2018 elections and a long list of Democratic priorities were acted on, some bills that once passed the State Assembly when Republicans held the Senate are now having trouble reaching that chamber’s floor, leading to frustration that multiple insurgent campaigns capitalized on in this year’s primary

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  • 5 candidates

    (l-r) Dan Quart, Alvin Bragg, Tahanie Aboushi, Janos Marton, Eliza Orlins


    With the 2021 Democratic primary for Manhattan District Attorney now under a year away, five candidates for the office participated in a forum hosted by the New York City Program Council and Columbia Law School’s Black Law Students Association. Manhattan’s current District Attorney, Cy Vance, has not yet said if he will seek reelection next year as the borough’s top prosecutor and law enforcement officer, but he was a frequent target of his potential opponents during the event.

    The

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