Primary race nears its end
Cyril Josh Barker | 9/5/2013, 11:08 a.m. | Updated on 9/5/2013, 11:08 a.m.
From a roller coaster ride in the polls that have put several candidates in the number one spot to mudslinging among the candidates and hours of pounding the pavement, the moment of truth is just days away in New York City politics.
Down to the wire and trying to get every vote that they can, the five Democratic mayoral candidates are doing everything they can to get the top spot. Voters hit the polls for the primary election on Sept. 10.
Bill Thompson, Anthony Weiner, John Liu, Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio have all done what they can to win, and soon it will be up to the voters. Poll numbers released this week show de Blasio as the frontrunner without the need for a runoff. The numbers are being disputed by all of his rivals.
In their final televised debate on WNBC this week, the candidates discussed several issues but notably used the opportunity to dog pile de Blasio on his polices and ability to become mayor.
This holiday weekend, the candidates were in full force at the West Indian Day Parade garnering votes in Brooklyn along the parade route. While Thompson was showcasing his pride in his Caribbean background, Weiner made headlines (and gained YouTube hits) over his attempt to reach out to West Indian voters through a fake Caribbean accent and loud soca music.
Rounding out the race, Thompson unveiled his five-point plan to support public school teachers and got the endorsement from Newsday.
“A great education is the key to expanding opportunity in every community, especially when it comes to helping our people get good-paying jobs,” said Thompson. “When I’m mayor, I’ll stop demonizing teachers, and instead, fight day and night to help the educators of New York.
De Blasio earned the endorsement of Harlem District Leaders Theresa Freeman and William Allen this week. Still riding on his phrase, “A Tale of Two Cities,” to describe in equalities in New York, de Blasio said, “Together, we can make this a city where every New Yorker has access to great schools, quality health care and safe streets no matter where they live.”
While the polls haven’t been favorable to her recently, Quinn is touting her endorsements from three city newspapers. This week, she announced that if she’s elected, she plans to break ground on the largest expansion of middle class housing since the Mitchell-Lama program in her first 100 days in office.
Since being taken down from the top spot in the polls, she’s been especially vocal against de Blasio.
“While Bill de Blasio was keeping a list of worst landlords and dialing for dollars off that list, legislation I passed helped turn bad properties into clean, affordable places to live for New Yorkers trying to make it,” continued Quinn. “That’s the difference between us, Bill de Blasio talks about fighting for tenants and then turns to slumlords for campaign contributions.”
Liu, who just earned the endorsement of the Sierra Club, has been noted as the only candidate who would completely end the NYPD practice of stop-and-frisk.
“In New York City, we have the enviable challenge of continued sustained growth. It offers us the opportunity to be a model for urban sustainable development and environmental stewardship for the next century,” he said.
Weiner, whose campaign was tainted by his previous sexting scandal when he was a congressman and more recently by the revelation of another sexting scandal, was once a frontrunner but quickly was sent back. While providing political theater, he remains close to the bottom.
In his final week of campaigning, he’s capping off his “Keys to the City” ideas. His latest is cutting the city’s child hunger problem by placing “grab and go” food stands in public schools.
“Much of the challenge of fighting child hunger is first defeating the stigma of getting help,” Weiner said. “By making fresh fruit and nutritious food available in a less formal setting that evokes the corner hot dog cart, we can make eating well more acceptable to peers.”