Tuesday’s primary election might not have a high-profile Mayor’s race. And unlike 2013 or even 2009, there don’t seem to be any movements or trends across New York City that will drive votes. But there are nevertheless some consequential City Council races (in addition to the Brooklyn District Attorney race we profiled two weeks ago).
What’s in the offing?
Manhattan District 2 (Lower East Side, East Village, Kips Bay): Rosie Mendez is term-limited. Ronnie Cho, Carlina Rivera and Mary Silver are seen as the leading candidates in a field of seven. While there may not be huge policy differences between the candidates, the winner is likely to become prominent in the Council.
Manhattan District 4 (Upper East Side, Midtown, and Stuy Town): Dan Garodnick is term-limited. In the crowded field of nine candidates, Keith Powers is seen as the frontrunner, especially after receiving the Times and Daily News endorsements, while Bessie Schachter and Marti Speranza are strong competitors. Rachel Honig and Jeff Mailman are also running real campaigns.
Manhattan District 6 (Upper West Side): Incumbent Helen Rosenthal is facing a stiff challenge from Mel Wymore, who lost to Rosenthal in 2013 and would be the first trans person on the City Council.
Manhattan/Bronx District 8 (East Harlem and the South Bronx): Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is termed-out. She’s endorsed her former staffer, Diana Ayala, but insiders give local Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez a slight edge.
Manhattan District 9 (Harlem): Incumbent Bill Perkins, a former State Senator, won a special election to the seat earlier this year. His special election opponents Cordell Cleare and Marvin Holland are seen as the strongest challengers.
Bronx District 13 (Pelham Bay and the Northeast Bronx): James Vacca is term limited. Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj is seen as the front-runner and is not participating in the campaign finance program, allowing him to raise and spend far more than any other Council candidates. John Doyle, a former aide to Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein, and progressive activist Marjorie Velazquez are running strong campaigns against him but may split the anti-Gjonaj vote.
Bronx District 14 (West Bronx, Fordham, University Heights): Conservative pastor Fernando Cabrera faces a progressive challenge from Randy Abreu. However, the Bronx Democratic Party is pulling for Cabrera and a third candidate, Felix Perdomo, is attacking Abreu, which might push Cabrera over the finish line.
Bronx District 18 (Soundview and Parkchester): Anabel Palma is termed-out. State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., a fiercely conservative pastor and father of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., is the favorite. Rumors suggest that Diaz would create a Conservative Caucus in the City Council. Progressive opponents are generally supporting Amanda Farias though Elvin Garcia is also in the race.
Queens District 20 (Flushing): Current Councilman Peter Koo faces a challenge from Alison Tan, wife of local Assemblyman Ron Kim.
Queens District 21 (Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona): Julissa Ferraras-Copeland is retiring. Assemblyman Francisco Moya is locked in a tight fight with former Senator Hiram Monserrate. Monserrate was expelled from the Senate after an assault conviction and then later served prison time on corruption charges.
Queens District 28 (Jamaica and Richmond Hill): Ruben Wills was convicted on corruption charges in July and so the seat is vacant. Gov. Cuomo endorsed Adrienne Adams, who might be a favorite for the seat but Richard David and Hettie Powell are also in the running.
Brooklyn District 35 (Fort Greene, Crown Heights, and Bed-Stuy): Incumbent Laurie Cumbo is facing off again against 2013 opponent Ede Fox in a race that hinges on development and gentrification. Cumbo is seen as generally pro-development while Fox vehemently opposes the Bedford Armory development proposal.
Brooklyn District 38 (Red Hook and Sunset Park): Current Councilman Carlos Menchaca, a leading progressive, has made a number of enemies, at least in part for opposing new development. His leading challengers are former Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, who he defeated in 2013, and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz.
Brooklyn District 40 (Flatbush and Prospect Lefferts Gardens): After several years of mostly undistinguished service, incumbent Mathieu Eugene faces a serious challenge from Pia Raymond, who has actually raised and spent more than Eugene. That almost never happens and should be a big warning sign.
Brooklyn District 41 (Bed-Stuy, Ocean Hill and Brownsville): Darlene Mealy is termed out and nine candidates are running to succeed her. Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Henry Butler, and Deidre Olivera, and Cory Provost have the most formidable campaigns.
Brooklyn District 43 (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights): Vincent Gentile is termed out and running for District Attorney. Progressive Justin Brannan, a former aide to Gentile, is the frontrunner but Palestinian-American Rev. Khader El-Yateem, an avowed socialist, is his biggest competition. District Leaders Kevin Peter Carroll and Nancy Tong are also in contention. This is one of the few competitive general election races and Republicans also have a primary between Robert Capano, Liam McCabe and John Quaglione.
Staten Island District 49 (North Shore): The current Councilmember, Debi Rose, has faced repeated health issues. Local activist Kamillah Hanks is running against her, assailing the incumbent for not doing enough or being responsive to the district’s needs.