Highlights of the 2017 NYC Primaries

Carlos Menchaca addresses a New York Immigration Coalition briefing, with Suzanne Robinson Davis of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Family Health Center standing behind him. (Photo by Alex Ayala for Voices of NY)

Could the Sept. 12 NYC primary elections have the lowest turnout in the city’s history? It’s a possibility, says New York Jewish Life, as the only competitive races appear to be for City Council seats. Reporter Aaron Short highlights seven Democratic primaries to keep an eye on. Below are a few of them:

  • Queens: District 20 (Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill)

Incumbent Peter Koo is being challenged by Community Board 7 member Alison Tan. Short writes:

Koo has picked up the governor’s endorsement but the race will likely come down to who can mobilize voters and appeal to a slice of white, African American, and Latino residents in Flushing. “In emerging communities there’s always factionalism, and when there’s factionalism anyone can become a victim,” said [political consultant Hank] Sheinkopf. “Incumbents are only ejected if there’s a strong anger that’s localized.”

Read more on Koo, Tan and the District 20 race from Queens-based publications.

  • Manhattan and the Bronx: District 8 (El Barrio/East Harlem, Mott Haven, Highbridge, Concourse, Longwood, Port Morris)

In the race to replace Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, her deputy chief of staff Diana Ayala is facing off against Bronx Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez.

The race has led to a political rift in the Bronx, with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. backing Ayala while Bronx Democratic Party Chairman Marcos Crespo backs Rodriguez.

Read more on Ayala and what district residents are hoping for from the new council member, from El Diario.

  • Brooklyn: District 38 (Red Hook, Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace)

In his re-election bid, incumbent Carlos Menchaca faces Sara Gonzalez – who he defeated in 2013 as one of the few candidates to unseat an incumbent – Chris Miao, Felix Ortiz, Delvis Valdes, and Green Party candidate Carmen Hulbert.

Ortiz has high name recognition in Sunset Park and Red Hook, while Menchaca’s allies, including Brooklyn Rep. Nydia Velázquez, have been asking for support for his campaign.

Read more on Menchaca, Miao and Ortiz from Brooklyn-based and ethnic publications.

Go to New York Jewish Life to check out other heated Council primary races which include a Brooklyn candidate who “broke her word,” a Bronx candidate who has spent more than $700,000 on his campaign, a Queens candidate who received a bomb threat, and a Queens candidate who is a formerly disgraced state senator.

For more stories on the Sept. 12 city primaries, visit City Limits, Gotham Gazette and Kings County Politics

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