8 Reasons Why You Should Care Enough To Vote In Tomorrow's Primary Elections
Ah, election season! The savage attack ads; the punny support buttons; the sweet, slightly vinegar scent of the voting booth... Sure, Nov. 6th is that "big" "national" election day, buttomorrow are the state and local primary elections, and that means there's a whole slew of state assemblymen and committee members pandering for your vote. And while state and city elections might not be as sexy as the electoral college (or a Will.I.Am hologram, for that matter) local lawmakers tackle a lot of important issues you should care about, like green spaces, public transportation and area job creation. Here's a rundown of who to watch out for when you head to the polls—note that you need to be registered with one of the main political parties and should check your polling site before you go:
Lincoln Restler vs. Chris Olechowski—Democratic State Committee, District 50
This is a big one: Incumbent Restler's done a lot of good in his district, which encompasses Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Fort Greene—he and his New Kings Democrats group have been fighting hard over the past few years to free Brooklyn from political corruption and bring the party back to basics. In the two years since Restler's held his seat, he's been involved in a number of important initiatives, like extended G train service and been an outspoken critic ofscandal-ridden Brooklyn Democratic Party Boss Vito Lopez. Restler's big challenger, Chris Olechowski, has been tied to Lopez in the past and is expected to a solid Hasidic voter basedue to his connections with a prominent Williamsburg Rabbi.
William Boyland, Jr.—State Assembly, District 55
Incumbent Boyland Jr.'s faced a number of fun corruption charges, like allegedly soliciting bribes from FBI agents, paying off an aide, etc., but with eight challengers on the ticket, including six Democrats to split the vote, he might just pull through. It's so on.
Olanike T. Alabi, Walter T. Mosley, III, Martine Guerrier—State Assembly, District 57
Now that Hakeem Jeffries has won the battle for Brooklyn's 8th Congressional District over City Councilman Charles Barron, it's time for a new Assemblyperson to reign over his former Fort Greene and Clinton Hill district. All three Democratic have garnered big name endorsements, and at this point the Assembly seat seems to be anyone's game.
Barbara Jaffe vs. Rita Mella—Manhattan Surrogate's Court Judge
Surrogate court judges preside over the estates and assets and guardianships of those who have recently died, and the position has been marked by corruption in the past. Jaffe and Mella, both Civil Court judges, will face off for the seat.
Brian Kavanagh v. Juan Pagan—State Assembly, 74th District
Kavanagh's district encompasses a core part of Lower Manhattan, like the LES, East Village, Stuy Town, Gramercy and Murray Hill, and he's been a strong advocate of affordable housing, tenant rights and gun control since being elected in 2006. Challenger Juan Pagan ran against Kavanagh during that last primary election.
Nily Rozic vs. Jerry Iannece—State Assembly, 25th District
This assembly seat is open thanks to outgoing Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and the two contenders look like they'll have a tight election. Rozic, the former assembly chief of staff, has picked up quite a few big endorsements including a nice one from the Times, while community board chairman Jerry Iannece has a stronger following among other Democrats in the borough.
Naomi Rivera vs. Adam Bermudez, Irene Rukaj and Mark Gjonaj—Democratic State Assembly, District 80
Ah, the sweet smell of corruption! Rivera's fighting off accusations and an investigation into some illegal alleged nonprofit fund activities and getting boyfriends jobs on district payrolls and at non-profits; there's discussion among the party that one of her three opponents may be able to take her down.
Mark Grisanti vs. Kevin Stocker—Republican State Senate, District 60.
Grisanti was one of the few Republican Senators who voted for the legalization of gay marriagelast year (and was the subject of an anti-gay attack ad as a result); challenger Stocker says he hasn't come to a conclusion about gay marriage either way, but has called Grisanti out on changing his previously anti marriage-equality vote. And two other Republican pro-gay marriage bigwigs, Steve Saland and Roy McDonald, (there were four statewide who managed to sway the vote altogether, including Grisanti) are up for re-election as well.
There you have it, folks! Let the wild rumpus democratic process begin!