The Battle for Chin’s Council Seat Continues

Christopher Marte (Photo via The Villager)

Margaret Chin barely squeaked by to win the Sept. 12 Democratic primary race for the 1st district New York City Council seat, where she serves constituents in Chinatown, Lower Manhattan and parts of Greenwich Village. Now she will face her closest challenger, Christopher Marte, who lost by just 222 votes, as well Aaron Foldenauer, in the general election. Marte will run as the Independence Party candidate and Foldenauer as the Liberal Party candidate. Lincoln Anderson of The Villager caught up with Marte.

Marte, 28, said his strong showing in the primary gives him confidence that he really could pull off a win.

“I think what we saw in the primary is the majority of people voted against our councilperson,” Marte told The Villager Wednesday. “I think our job over the next five weeks is to get the message out, to elect a councilperson who’s going to communicate to the community, hold town halls and push back on overdevelopment.”

Before the primary, Chin was vulnerable and Marte, notes the Villager, had received endorsements from many of the area’s leading local Democratic clubs, including Village Independent Democrats, Downtown Independent Democrats and Village Reform Democratic Club. Foldenauer says Marte failed to capitalize on the disaffection with Chin, a two-term incumbent.

Foldenauer further said the low turnout in the Democratic primary was because the “activists” supporting Marte failed to get out the vote.

“Less than 20 percent of registered Democrats turned out in the Democratic primary,” he said. “Had the ‘activists’ supporting Marte done their job in getting out the vote, Chin would have easily been defeated.

“In fact, some of Chris Marte’s mailers were hitting mailboxes a day or two after the primary, which demonstrates elementary dysfunction inside his campaign,” Foldenauer added. “Had Marte and his backers gotten the basics right, Marte could have easily picked up the additional 200 votes he needed.”

Foldenauer bills himself as the “anti-establishment” candidate. Do either he or Marte have a chance of unseating Chin in November? Go to The Villager to read what one political consultant in the city has to say about the likelihood of success for third party candidates – and why young voters may be key.

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