Gotham Gazette

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Gotham Votes 2013

Gotham Votes

After 17-Day Recount, A Winner In Central Brooklyn Council Race

There's a winner in the race to replace Brooklyn City Councilman Albert Vann: District leader Robert Cornegy Jr. eked out a win over Kirsten John Foy for the 36th district seat that includes the historic neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The result came in on Friday after a 17-day recount. Cornegy, who was endorsed by Vann and other Brooklyn politicians, won by a 68-vote margin.

In a statement, Cornegy said he was "deeply humbled and honored" by the win, The Daily News reported.

Campaign Trail: Weekend Update

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota needs to "persuading an overwhelmingly Democratic electorate to pick a leader who cites Barry Goldwater and Margaret Thatcher as his intellectual forebears." (The New York Times)

Lhota criticized the plan for an Upper East Side waste transfer station. (The Daily News)

Republican comptroller candidate John Burnett is "a dose of the real thing." (New York Post)

More than two weeks after the primary, the Board of Elections finishes counting the ballots. (NYT)




Squadron, James Face Off At Final Public Advocate Debate

The two Democratic candidates for the office of public advocate — the job currently held by mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio — are scheduled to face-off tonight in a televised debate.

Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia James and Sen. Daniel Squadron will try to convince voters to cast their ballots for them during the run-off on Oct. 1. James edged out a win against Squadron during the primary on Sept. 10, with 13,539 votes separating the two.

Read more: Squadron, James Face Off At Final Public Advocate Debate

Campaign Trail: Weekend Roundup

GOP mayoral candidate Joe Lhota has raised more money from business and finance sectors than rival Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio. (Newsday)

Despite his long resume, Lhota faces "long odds" in the race to be the next mayor. (The Associated Press)

De Blasio's name changes. (New York Daily News)

EDITORIAL: Maybe a de Blasio administration can redo the Willets Point plan. (New York Daily News)

EDITORIAL: End of ethnic politics in the race for mayor? Not so fast. (The New York Post)

A Tainted Outcome In Bronx Assembly Race?


ALBANY, N.Y. — Victor Pichardo was a relative outsider with an unblemished reputation who entered the race to replace disgraced former Bronx Assemblyman Nelson Castro with a promise of a fresh start for the district. When the polls closed on primary night, he was narrowly winning by 82 votes.

It didn’t take long for the image of an untainted fresh start to be attacked. A day after the votes came in on Sept. 10, opponents complained that Pichardo's presumed narrow win at the polls had been tainted by at least one broken voting machine and his mother’s presence as a poll worker at one of the busiest polling sites in the district. Then Pichardo was accused by his former treasurer of running his campaign in an improper manner.

Read more: A Tainted Outcome In Bronx Assembly Race? 

Campaign Trail Update: Lhota Wants Debates In 5 Boros

GOP mayoral candidate Joe Lhota challenges Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio to weekly debates. (Daily News)

Quinnipiac poll: More confirmation that Bill de Blasio in the lead for the mayor's race. (Politicker)

Report: Vallone wins the 19th district. (Queens TimesLedger)

City Council speaker race heats up. (The New York Times)

Some Council members want to limit the powers of the next speaker. (

Campaign Trail: De Blasio Drums Up Endorsements

Bill and Hilary Clinton have endorsed Bill de Blasio for mayor. (The Huffington Post)

De Blasio also received the endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

... And the backing of the union that represents Central Park carriage horse drivers. (Daily News)

The Board of Elections official vote tally for machines and emergency ballot shows slight increase for de Blasio. (The Wall Street Journal)

Board of Elections Counting Process At Heart of Thompson Concession

The City Board of Elections’ status reclaimed its place as the political punching bag of choice today when former Democratic mayoral nominee Bill Thompson accused the board of making its final count of the votes too slowly.

Currently in the middle of certifying the results of last week’s primary, the Board expects to sift through the 67,000 valid absentee and affidavit ballots till Friday.

“Today, almost a week after the primary, we still don’t know the outcome of the election,” Thompson said even as he conceded to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

The board’s Executive Director Michael Ryan, however, argued that the body is not to blame for any campaign’s ills or strategies, and that the count was exactly where the board anticipated it would be long before.

“We’re exactly where we expected to start right before election day,” Ryan said, adding that New York State election law dictates that the board does not start counting the affidavit ballots until the Monday following election day.

Read more: Board of Elections Counting Process At Heart of Thompson Concession

Thompson Concedes to de Blasio as Cuomo Calls for Party Unity

Less than a month ago, Bill Thompson called Bill de Blasio “Bill de Bliar” for being disingenuous about the public advocate’s record on term limits and positions on stop-and-frisk.

This morning, the two raised grasped hands with Gov. Andrew Cuomo in front of City Hall as Thompson bowed out of the heated race to become the Democratic nominee for mayor.

“Today, I’m proud to stand next to a great New Yorker and throw my full support behind him,” Thompson said as he pointed to de Blasio and asked his own supporters to do the same.

He said that de Blasio would carry forward a progressive vision to City Hall.

“Bill de Blasio and I want to move our city forward in the same direction,” Thompson said. “We share the fundamental same views and values. This is bigger than either one of us.”

Read more: Thompson Concedes to de Blasio as Cuomo Calls for Party Unity

Cuomo Enters Mayoral Race as Thompson Drops


"Does Cuomo make a call to Thompson and suggest he backs off to protect de Blasio?" asked Doug Muzzio, Baruch professor of political science, on Wednesday morning as Bill de Blasio celebrated his first-place finish in the Democratic mayoral primary while Bill Thompson's campaign struggled to deal with the fact that he couldn't be sure whether de Blasio had netted the 40 percent of the vote he needed to avoid a runoff. 

Today we might have an answer of sorts to Muzzio's question. Although we don't know the dealings behind it--Thompson, de Blasio and Cuomo all gathered at the steps of city hall today. Thompson conceded, de Blasio thanked him, introduced Cuomo and Cuomo endorsed de Blasio. "Bill is going to lead this city in the great, progressive Democratic traditions," Cuomo said of his long-time friend. Cuomo told reporters Thompson's decision to concede the race was his own. 

It seemed otherworldy for one reason--Cuomo has avoided the mayoral race all year. Cuomo was loathe to discuss Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer's bid for comptroller or to get involved in the policy sparring that took place.

Read more: Cuomo Enters Mayoral Race as Thompson Drops 

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