Residents choose de Blasio

De Blasio, Lhota, Mendez, Brewer top in primary

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and staffer Anna Pycior campaign for Gale Brewer outside Stuy Town on Tuesday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and staffer Anna Pycior campaign for Gale Brewer outside Stuy Town on Tuesday. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

After a long and contentious primary season and a race with more Democrats than can be counted on one hand, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio climbed to the top of the pack in the election on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, it was still unclear whether or not de Blasio, who at times during the campaign lagged in fourth place behind City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former City Comptroller Bill Thompson and former Congressman Anthony Weiner, would avoid a runoff with Thompson.

According to election results from the New York Times, de Blasio won all of the districts in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, as well as most of the surrounding districts except for some in the Flatiron area and Gramercy, which went to Quinn. The Republican primary was only slightly more split, with former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota winning all of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village districts except two.

The race was too close to call between de Blasio and Thompson on Tuesday night. While various news sources put de Blasio slightly over the requisite 40 percent at around midnight, Thompson said that he would continue his campaign until all of the ballots were counted, which could take days. As of Wednesday morning, the Board of Elections said that de Blasio had 40.13 percent of the vote with Thompson at 26.16 percent.

Quinn, the longtime frontrunner, conceded on Tuesday night with only 15 percent of the vote and disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner ducked out early in the vote-tallying with less than five percent.

On the Republican side, however, the New York Times reported just after 11 p.m. on Tuesday night that Lhota won with 52 percent of the vote and 79 percent of the precincts reporting over businessman John Catsimatidis.

City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez’s race was one of the first City Council contests called, and she was declared the winner on Tuesday night. According to the Board of Elections, Mendez received 81.25 percent of the vote, with challenger Richard Del Rio getting 18.75 percent. City Councilmember Gale Brewer won the primary for Manhattan borough president, and since there is no Republican challenger, she will take the seat. Brewer won the election with 39.57 percent of the vote with City Councilmember Jessica Lappin coming in second with 23.71 percent. WNYC reported just before 11 p.m. that there would be a runoff on October 1 for public advocate, between City Councilmembers Letitia James and Daniel Squadron.

Due to recent district changes, voting has been a somewhat confusing process for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village residents who weren’t sure where their correct polling place was and in Tuesday’s primary, there was still confusion about where some residents should be going to cast their vote.

A sign in Stuyvesant Town, where one polling place was eliminated, points voters in the right direction. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

A sign in Stuyvesant Town, where one polling place was eliminated, points voters in the right direction. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association sent an email to residents on the morning of the election, notifying voters that there were no polling sites at the Asser Levy Recreation Center or at 17 Stuyvesant Oval. A sign outside the recreation center informed voters that the polling place had moved to 360 First Avenue in Peter Cooper Village.

A representative for the BOE said that the polling site at Asser Levy was moved, not due to any district changes, but because all voting sites have to comply with ADA accessibility and they were unable to rectify the inaccessibility at that location. No information was available about why the site at 17 Stuyvesant Oval was no longer open.

According to the rep, the BOE sent a letter to all registered voters in August informing them of the change, but a number of confused residents showed up at Asser Levy anyway, saying that they never got notification about the different location.

Poll worker Al Becker noted that the district changes have caused a lot of confusion about where to vote in recent elections but he said that this Election Day seemed to be going relatively smoothly, especially compared to last year when the elections were so soon after Hurricane Sandy. “But you can’t even really make the comparison because after the hurricane, everything was a mess,” he added. “After Sandy, everything was totally abnormal.”

Becker, who has worked at about 10 primary elections and was the site coordinator at the 360 First Avenue location, said that the turnout looked “pretty okay” for a primary by late morning and while he said that the area has more registered Democrats than Republicans, he couldn’t tell at that point what voter turnout was like for each.

Out of the handful of residents that T&V spoke to at the polls on Tuesday morning outside the polling place at 360 First Avenue, all were Democrats and most were supporting de Blasio. One of the major issues that motivated Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper residents to the polls for the election was, unsurprisingly, affordable housing.

“Affordable housing is always the top issue,” said Stuyvesant Town resident John, who declined to give his last name. “I don’t want another hands-off mayor if Stuyvesant Town is going to get sold.”

One Stuyvesant Town resident, a Democrat who didn’t want to be named, said that she’s unhappy with the direction in which Bloomberg has brought the city, not only in terms of housing but also with the growing income inequality in general.

“You don’t close a hospital and cede the rights of it to a real estate developer for condos,” she said, referring to the fate of St. Vincent’s Hospital. “You maintain that hospital. Spending has been slanted towards the people who have money. (Bloomberg’s administration) has been encouraging the real estate sector to create more developments, but with none of it for the middle and low-income people.”

John said that he felt similarly and this is why he voted for de Blasio. “He’s the only person in the race who is addressing income inequality,” he said.

Peter Cooper Village resident Michelle Mackey found the election “unexciting,” saying that she was unenthusiastic about all of the candidates. She ultimately went with Thompson, noting that she was unsure about de Blasio’s platform. “He wants to raise taxes for the rich,” she said. “I don’t know what that would mean for me.”

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4 thoughts on “Residents choose de Blasio

  1. THE RESULTS OF THEDEMOCRATIC MAYORIAL PRIMARY

    There was an article in today’s NYT attempting to explain why early frontrunner Christine Quinn lost by such a large margin to Mr. de Blasio (and Thompson)? Her being a lesbian and her gender were prominently mentioned.

    It had very little in the calculus of her fall, I’ll bet that the real reasons were her appearance of great ambition (i.e., as in Macbeth) her neediness and a poor campaign design.

    Bill de Blasio of course benefited from Ms Quinn’s fall from grace. But, it was the TV ads that his son did which put him over the top. (Thomson, a black got fewer votes than de Blasio.

    We’ve come a long way — but, also regressing as we look to the Congress in D. C.

  2. Quinn lost her own district. As a commentator on NY1 pointed out, she didn’t take care of her base there by dealing with noise and construction problems, and the closing of St. Vincent’s. Also, a vote against her was a vote for a change from Bloomberg–lots of people are still angry about the overturn of term limits. Those are just a couple of reasons. And when you start out ahead, it’s very likely that at least one of your competitors will catch up to you.

  3. The lesson from this primary election is that our politicians need to take care of their constituents, because if they take their base for granted they will pay the price. Also, any narcissism will be severely punished on election day.

    Chris Quinn lost Greenwich Village and Chelsea by 15 points to de Blasio because she assumed her own district would vote for her, in spite of St. Vincent’s closing, her crush on Bloomberg, and many other quality of life issues she neglected to address. In the end even the gay vote wasn’t there for her because she wasn’t there for them. She narcissistically assumed she could do whatever she pleased and her base would follow. They followed de Blasio instead.

    Bill Thompson lost Harlem by 10 points and the total black vote citywide to de Blasio because he spent the last four years between elections actually acting a lot like Bloomberg; becoming an investment banker, summering in the Hamptons and eating at his favorite sushi restaurant on Irving Place. Even though his daughter lives in Stuy Town he could no longer connect with middle class people, and he just assumed his base would be there for him. It is telling that his biggest support was in the white portions of Staten Island, so maybe it’s time for him to change parties.

    John Liu won the Asian vote in Elmhurst and Chinatown and everywhere else, because he paid attention to his base and was always there for them. Hopefully he will use his skills to broaden his appeal in the future, if so he will be the one to watch next time around.

    Anthony Weiner proved that narcissism is not an endearing quality, and being a lying, perverted, unhinged narcissist is even less attractive. He was the biggest loser as he went from the early frontrunner to the punchline of a joke no one is laughing about anymore. He didn’t need an election as much as he needed a marriage counselor. Like many I was willing to forgive and support him at first, but his atrocious handling of his personal affairs and his arrogant treatment of the press reminded me more of a Tea Party candidate than the progressive he used to be.

    In the end Bill de Blasio was the only one who got it, on stop and frisk, on affordable housing, on our Bloomberg fatigue, and on taxing the rich to fund our schools. Bloomberg thinks the solution to all our problems is more Russian Billionaires, and that higher taxes will just scare them away. As if the rich have ever been scared away by the high price of living that they themselves helped create.

    Are the rich really going to leave NYC and the multi-million dollar condo they just bought over a few thousand dollars in extra taxes? Where are they going to go, back to Russia? Or New Jersey? How’s the view of Central Park from over there?

    Bill De Blasio won because he gives us hope for a fairer city, with his smart interracial family, and with his progressive agenda, which is why he he won big on his opponent’s turf.

    But he also won because of his stark contrast with another narcissist named Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s last gasp insult of accusing de Blasio of racism for using his son Dante in the best campaign ad in decades reminded us all why we are tired of the billionaire who thinks he knows better than everyone just because he has more money. Democracy isn’t about telling people what to do, it’s about honest representation of the people, listening and caring about them, and imposing their will on society and not your own. That’s why de Blasio won this round and will be the next Mayor of NYC.

  4. Re: Comment by “Giovanni” (above)

    I have subscribed to T&V since moving into PCV in 1976. And, I always read the letters to the editor and now also those which appear on the blog. In the past many of the comments were of little or no value or quality. Many dealt with the animals who share with us PCV/ST — first pigeons and squirrels — then, often concentrating on issues relating to the introduction of dogs to many apartments.

    Then, yesterday, I came across your commentary on the recent Democratic primary for mayor. It was simply the finest entry ever to appear during the past about 35 years. It was thoughtful, well-reasoned and written as by a professional op-ed columnist.

    I would suggest that editor Sabina Mollet use this in the coming T&V print edition

    Kudos!

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