After a long summer with not one, but two primary elections, the November 8 midterm election is now around the corner.
There are big-ticket races to be voted on by all New Yorkers, like that for governor — a face-off between incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, that’s only heated up as the date draws nearer. There are races for comptroller, attorney general and the U.S. Senate.
And then, in the city, there’s the opportunity to vote on four new ballot measures — no political parties or candidate names involved. Proposal 1, the statewide “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022,” would reap over $4 billion for environmental ends. “It is very much an investment in our future,” said Carter Strickland, New York State director for the Trust for Public Land, during a virtual town hall hosted by NYS Senator Liz Krueger.
The second proposal to appear on the ballot asks voters to decide whether to “add a statement of values to guide government.” “Right now, New York City does not have a preamble — an introductory statement, a statement of values,” said Harold Miller, executive director of the Racial Justice Commission. “This statement of values talks about a city that we aspire toward, a just and equitable city for all New Yorkers.”
The third proposal, if passed, would mandate the creation of a “Racial Equity Office” and other related measures, while the fourth calls for the city to adopt a new calculation to determine the “true cost of living.”
In Manhattan, a number of closely-followed local races will draw to a close in voters’ own backyards.
A Smaller Field For Congress
In Downtown’s NY-10, what began as an overly-crowded race has since dwindled to include a mere three candidates. Only one Democrat — Levi Strauss & Co. heir Daniel Goldman — remains, despite early inklings that primary runner-up Yuh-Line Niou could have continued her bid on the Working Families Party line.
Goldman’s platform has centered on his involvement as lead counsel in the first impeachment inquiry against former President Donald Trump. Now, a statement from a spokesperson for his campaign suggests that Goldman feels confident in the final stretch of the race. “He looks forward to delivering results for everyone in District 10 and realizing the progressive vision of the voters who have put their faith in him as their next representative in Congress,” the spokesperson said.
It’s not an entirely done deal; Goldman is up against Republican Benine Hamdan, a Brooklynite whose Lebanese parents immigrated to the U.S. Her platform includes bolstering city infrastructure against the effects of climate change and strengthening NYPD efforts to combat crime. “The people from #ParkSlope #BoroPark and #SunsetPark,” she tweeted in mid-October, “are not safe and they deserve better than @danielsgoldman who only brags about impeaching President Trump. They care for their safety and for their wallets and for simple quality of life.”
Steve Speer will appear as a third candidate on the ballot, running on the “Medical Freedom Party” line.
A New Battle And A Familiar Challenge, For NYS Assembly
In the Lower East Side NYS Assembly District 65, left open by Niou, it’s Democrat Grace Lee against Republican Helen Qiu. Lee won the Democratic primary with just under 50% of the vote — and with a platform focused on developing “climate resiliency,” funding public schools and championing affordable housing. “I am grateful and ready to serve,” Lee, a mother and small business owner, tweeted after the summer primary. She’s won endorsements from politicians including U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.
Qiu, with a background in engineering and as a Christian pastor, intends to fight against the teaching of critical race theory in schools, slash taxes and be “tough on crime” if elected, according to her campaign website. In a video posted to Twitter in mid-October, showing a swarm of NYPD officers responding to a scene in which her “campaign office was blockaded by a homeless man,” according to Qiu, she called out her opponent. “We must reject firmly crime-softie Grace Lee,” she wrote.
In Assembly District 74, incumbent Democrat Harvey Epstein is facing a challenge from Republican Bryan Cooper; Epstein won in the same matchup, including one other opponent, in 2018.
An Unusual NYS Senate Match-Up
In NYS Senate District 27, which covers nearly all of Downtown Manhattan, Democratic State Senator Brian Kavanagh is angling for a win in newly-drawn territory, this time against opponent Eric Rassi, a “Medical Freedom Party” candidate.
Kavanagh, who’s represented the former District 26 since 2017, currently chairs the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development; he’s secured funding for affordable housing, passed legislation this year to convert “under-used hotels” into “permanent affordable housing” and penned the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures that took effect statewide during the pandemic.
Rassi, according to his campaign website, has long worked as an activist and most recently “spearheaded NYC efforts to expose Covid as [a] deliberately engineered ‘terrible tragedy’ and worldwide coup.”
“He looks forward to delivering results for everyone in District 10 and realizing the progressive vision of the voters who have put their faith in him as their next representative in Congress.” A spokesperson for Daniel Goldman’s campaign