It’s time to study up on your ballot options, find your poll site and vote tomorrow (11/6) in what is regarded as one of the most consequential midterm elections in history. Our traditionally blue state registered 108,801 Democrats and 5,077 Republicans between Nov. 1, 2017 and Nov. 1, 2018; the youth vote is also expected to increase, unlike recent midterm elections.
Here’s a rundown on the federal and state candidates, and the three local ballot initiatives.
Proposal 1: Campaign Finance
The initiative seeks to reduce the influence of large political donors by matching donations from NYC residents with city funds. The current $6 to $1 rate would increase to an $8 to $1 rate.
Contributions to the mayor would be capped at $2,000, down from the current $5,000. Contribution caps to city council members would be reduced to $1,500, down from the current $3,950. The measure would apply to all 2022 candidates.
Proposal 2: Civic Engagement
Did you know that New York has an abysmal voter turnout rate due to voter suppression? To increase and fortify the state of democracy in NY, a Mayor-appointed Civic Engagement Commission would be created by summer 2020 to help the participatory budgeting initiative while supporting grassroots organizations.
Proposal 3: Community Boards
The Borough Presidents appoint members to NYC’s 59 community boards.
Starting in April 2019, this proposal could impose a four-term limit on community board members. Board members could run again after taking at least one term off. The diversity of board members would also be emphasized.
New York Governor
The turd sandwich of a Gubernatorial race is putting progressive voters in a conflicted position. Corporate shill Andrew Cuomo (D) is running for his third–term in NY with pipe dreams of the Whitehouse, after spending a whopping $26.5 million to fend off progressive primary opponent Cynthia Nixon, all while his inner circle racked up guilty charges.
New York State Attorney General
After Eric Schneiderman’s disgraceful exit as NY attorney general earlier this year, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James (D) aligned with Gov. Cuomo and defeated her progressive opponent Zephyr Teachout in the primary election.
James is positioning herself as the person to take on Trump’s corruption, given his businesses have operated out of New York for decades. Will she also take on Albany corruption and support a new Moreland Commission?
Kirsten Gillibrand (D) defeated Wendy Long (R) in 2012 with over 70 percent of the vote and is running for her second full term in the U.S. Senate.
As one of the most progressive Senators, she has moved further to the left in the age of Trump; after adopting a corporate PAC-free campaign model, strongly supporting Medicare for all and the #MeToo movement in Washington D.C., Senator Gillibrand is a potential 2020 presidential candidate.
Her opponent, Chele Chiavacci (R) is a former Goldman Sachs employee. A Republican hasn’t been elected to represent New York in the Senate since 1992.
New York’s 12th Congressional District
After defeating ‘new blood,’ tinder swiping, progressive Sanjay Patel in the primary election, Rep. Carolyn Maloney is all but guaranteed to be re-elected tomorrow. Her longshot opponents are Eliot Rabin and Scott Hutchins (G).
New York State Comptroller
Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is running for reelection and won the 2010 and 2014 elections after being appointed to the vacated seat in 2007. His Republican challenger Jonathan Trichter criticized the relative performance of New York’s $209 billion pension fund while Green Party candidate Mark Dunlea would divest the fund from fossil fuels and create a public bank; Libertarian Cruger Gallaudet is also running.
New York State Senate District 26
Incumbent Brian Kavanaugh (D), a former six-term Manhattan assemblyman who won the seat during a Jan. special election, is facing his first general election against opponents Anthony Arias (R), and Stuart Avrick (C).
Kings County Judges
The judicial races have scant details available as City Limits explains:
The options can be pretty limited: On this year’s ballot, there are only Democrats running for court seats in Manhattan, while in Brooklyn the Republican, Democrat and Conservative lines for a number of judicial seats are all occupied by the same name. And let’s face it: Few of us (including a certain veteran metro reporter) can keep straight the difference between Supreme Court and Civil Court.