The best contests of Tuesday’s election
ALBANY, NY (AP) – The drama and high stakes of last year’s presidential election may be missing, but New Yorkers are still making important decisions Tuesday in the election to choose mayors, prosecutors , county leaders and other local posts.
New York voters will choose a new mayor. In Buffalo, a mayoral race between a moderate and self-proclaimed socialist drew attention as the latest fight over how Democrats should best tackle the plight of the poor and the working class.
Voters across the state will decide whether to change the state’s constitution to pave the way for electoral and environmental reforms promoted by advocacy groups and the Democratic-led legislature.
Here’s a look at the top contests:
RACE OF THE MAYOR OF BUFFALO
Community activist India Walton is the only candidate on the ballot after her victory in the Democratic primary, but she still faces a vigorous writing challenge from incumbent Mayor Byron Brown.
Walton shocked the four-term mayor during the Democratic primary in June. But Brown refused to resign. Some polls have shown him a favorite in the general election, but it’s not clear whether enough supporters will write his name on their ballots.
Walton would be the first female mayor of Buffalo and the first to identify as a Democratic socialist.
Brown would become the first person to win a major race as a written candidate in the state and – if he gets a fifth term – the longest-serving mayor of Buffalo.
The results of the race might not be known right away. The compilation of written votes will not begin until several days after the election.
NYC MAYOR’S RACE
Former New York City Police Captain and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a Democrat, is widely favored over Republican Curtis Sliwa in Tuesday’s race to become the next mayor of the Greater city in United States.
Adams, who is said to be the city’s second black mayor, showed up as a moderate in a crowded primary field.
Sliwa, founder of the 1970s anti-crime Guardian Angel patrol, called for the hiring of 3,000 more police officers and attempted to portray Adams as a disconnected elitist.
Adams is committed to tackling public safety and inequality and making government more efficient.
VOTING AND REDISTRIBUTION
New Yorkers are voting on several proposed changes to the state’s constitution, including two that could make voting easier.
A proposed constitutional change would remove the requirement that people must register to vote at least 10 days before an election.
Another change would allow the legislature to make postal voting permanent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the state allowed all voters fearful of the virus to vote by mail, but Democrats want to make this permanent.
Before the pandemic, you had to be sick or away from the city to vote by mail.
Another ballot measure would alter New York’s process of drawing congressional and legislative district boundaries. Republicans and some electoral rights groups say the referendum gives too much power to Democratic supermajorities.
New York could also join a handful of states that have passed constitutional amendments giving people the right to a healthy environment.
A measure on the ballot would approve the addition of the “right to clean water, clean air and a healthy environment” to the New York state constitution.
Pennsylvania adopted the country’s first such law in 1971.
Supporters say the amendment will force the government to consider environmental effects early on in policy making and allow New Yorkers to sue when it doesn’t.
Republicans and the New York Lawsuit Reform Alliance say New York will see a flood of costly lawsuits.
THE MANHATTAN DA RACE
Civil rights lawyer and former federal prosecutor Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, will become Manhattan’s first black district attorney if he wins Tuesday’s competition with Republican lawyer Thomas Kenniff.
Bragg is heavily favored in a part of town where Democrats outnumber Republicans considerably.
The winner will succeed retired District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and deal with high-profile cases, including the prosecution of the company of former President Donald Trump and his long-time CFO for tax evasion.
Bragg pledged to improve transparency and trust and to seek alternatives to prosecution for certain small-scale offenses.
Kenniff, a former prosecutor, says he will be a “more traditional” crime-fighting prosecutor.
BOROUGH PRESIDENT OF STATEN ISLAND
Former United States Representative Vito Fossella is trying to make a political comeback in a race for the partly ceremonial office of Staten Island Borough President.
Fossella left Congress in 2009 following a drunk driving arrest in 2008 and revelations he fathered a child during an extramarital affair in Virginia. At the time, he was the only New York Republican in Congress.
It received key endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who remains popular in parts of the Republican-leaning borough.
Fossella competes with businessman Mark. S. Murphy, Democrat and Conservative Party candidate Leticia Remauro.