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With One Election Over, NYC Contemplates Another

An Election that was bitter, unconventional, divided the Country and left half the voters deeply depressed is over.

The next Election has already begun for New Yorkers but, if the insiders are right, it is going to be a placid affair ending with the easy re-election of an incumbent.

I do not see such a scenario.

The New York City Mayoral Campaign traditionally begins as soon as the Presidency is decided, there are about nine months until the Primaries and 51 weeks until the General Election.

The political outlook could be treacherous for Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose approval ratings bounce around the low 40s; incumbents with less than half the voters on their side usually are vulnerable.

Instead, the Political Experts say, he could coast to re-election. They argue the key number is the 53% of Democrats who continue to support the Mayor, and his continued strength among African-American voters, in most polls.

He’ll have a lot to say in speeches and ads. He can take credit for a booming economy with rising wages, and can remind voters he is fulfilling his 2013 Campaign Priorities of an ambitious affordable-housing plan, higher wages across the City and Universal Pre-K to reduce inequality. He has established an accommodation with most of the business community, and the real estate sector is firmly behind him.

I have met him and his wife, but I did not vote for him.

Comptroller Scott Stringer has emerged as the most talked about challenger. Some new hires may be evidence that he is building a Campaign team. He has intensified his criticism of the Mayor and his Administration in recent months, laying the groundwork for a Campaign based on the idea that de Blasio is mismanaging the City. Of course, Stringer was a candidate for Mayor in 2013 until dismal showings in polls persuaded him to try a different race. His backbone for a run is unclear.

Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries is on many wish lists for a candidate. He has mostly downplayed the possibility. Scuttlebutt this fall was that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand would be interested in joining the Clinton Administration in a top post, clearing the way for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to appoint Jeffries to the Senate. With that road foreclosed, maybe Jeffries would reconsider a Mayoral race. He could challenge the Mayor for Minority voters, tap into continued unhappiness with police policies and, as an advocate of Charter schools, benefit from millions of dollars from Charter supporters through a Political Action Committee.

Some feel it isn’t possible for a significant independent or Republican challenge. Successful efforts like that have won only when the City is in crisis, Rudy Giuliani or by spending $100 million on a Campaign, Michael Bloomberg. In 2017, any such person would be saddled with an inevitable association with Donald Trump, who is toxic to City voters.

The City may be doing well but it would benefit from a strong candidate who could challenge the Mayor’s priorities and competence. Rivals have only about two months to decide whether to run.

Billionaire John Catsimatidis (R) says he’ll decide by the end of January whether to mount a run against Mayor de Blasio. “I am seriously looking at it,” the 2013 Republican Mayoral contender and grocery store magnate said adding that if he decides to pull the trigger he would run as a Republican and a Liberal. “I believe in helping people,” Catsimatidis said. “I’m a law and order person. I believe our streets have to be safe. I believe our people from the inner city have to be helped.”

Catsimatidis lost the Republican nomination in 2013 to former MTA Chief Joe Lhota, who went on to lose to de Blasio.

One of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top aides, Kevin Sheekey (D), is also considering a run. “You know, if you stop 100 people on the street and ask them, ‘Tell me about Kevin Sheekey,’ how many of those hundred people will respond to the name?” he said.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker


This post first appeared on The Independent View, please read the originial post: here

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With One Election Over, NYC Contemplates Another


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