MetroFocus: June 21, 2021

NEW YORK CITY PRIMARY ELECTION 2021: A VOTER’S GUIDE

This year’s primary is one of the most consequential for a city rising out of a pandemic. From congestion pricing to marijuana laws and gun crimes- quality of life and public safety are issues that are paramount to New Yorkers as they head to the polls. Tonight our Frontpage Forecast features a panel of Big Apple reporters who’ll break down the primary from the issues to candidate platforms and even how to rank choice vote. With The City reporter Rachel Holliday Smith and Gotham Gazette Senior Reporter Samar Khurshid, tonight is all about having your voice heard. 

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS METRO FOCUS.

METRO FOCUS IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR III, ILL VIA A PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER PETERSON FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND BY JODI AND JOHN ARNHOLT.

DR. ROBERT C AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF THE METRO FOCUS FRONT PAGE FORECAST.

I AM JACK FORD.

AND WE ARE JUST HOURS AWAY FROM ONE OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION DAYS IN RECENT NEW YORK CITY HISTORY.

TOMORROW NEW YORKERS WILL HEAD TO THE POLLS TO CAST THEIR BALLOTS FOR MAYOR, COMPTROLLER, PUBLIC ADVOCATE AND OTHERS, INCLUDING CITY COUNCIL AND THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

AND IN A CITY WHERE DEMOCRATS FAR OUT NUMBER REPUBLICANS, TOMORROW'S VOTE WILL GO A LONG WAY TOWARDS DECIDING WHO LEADS NEW YORK OUT OF THE PANDEMIC.

AND MANY VOTERS WILL ALSO EXPERIENCE RANKED CHOICE VOTING FOR THE FIRST TIME.

SO TO HELP US BETTER UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES, THE CANDIDATES, THEIR PLATFORMS AND EVEN JUST HOW TO VOTE, WE'D LIKE TO WELCOME IN A SPECIAL REPORTERS ROUND TABLE FOR THIS EVENING.

RACHEL HOLIDAY SMITH IS A REPORTER FOR THE CITY, A NONPROFIT NEWS ORGANIZATION.

AND SAMAR IS A SENIOR REPORTER FOR THE GOTHAM GAZETTE.

AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO HAVE BOTH OF YOU JOINING US TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION.

SO LET ME START WITH BEFORE WE GET TO WHO FOLKS WILL BE VOTING FOR, LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE HOW.

I MENTIONED THIS RANKED CHOICE VOTING.

LET ME ASK YOU TO PROVIDE A LITTLE BIT OF A TUTORIAL FOR US HERE.

AS TO HOW THAT WORKS AND THEN THE IMPACT IT COULD HAVE ON THIS WHOLE PROCESS.

RACHEL, I'LL JUST START WITH YOU HERE.

GIVE US A SENSE OF WHAT THIS MEANS, THE MECHANICS OF HOW THIS WORKS.

YEAH, SURE.

SO IT IS PRETTY SIMPLE FOR VOTERS.

THE MORE COMPLICATED PART IS THE BACK END WHERE THE COUNTING COMES IN.

BUT IT IS RANKING BY REFERENCE UP TO FIVE CANDIDATES.

YOU GO ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE.

YOU VOTE FOR ANYBODY YOU CAN STAND IN THE OFFICE, ANYBODY YOU THINK YOU COULD BE HAPPY WITH DOING THE JOB.

VERY CRITICALLY AN EXPERT ON RANKED VOTING TOLD ME YOU SHOULD NEVER VOTE FOR ANYONE YOU HATE, EVEN IF IT'S A STRATEGY OR YOU THINK THAT WILL KNOCK SOMEBODY ELSE OUT.

SO YOU JUST RANK ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE.

AND I THINK FOLKS THINK, OH, IT'S GOING TO BE MORE COMPLICATED.

IT'S GOING TO CONFUSE PEOPLE, BUT REALLY THE COMPLICATED PART OF IT IS REALLY THE COUNTING, WHICH IS BOARD OF ELECTION HAS TO WORK ON AND HANDLE.

FOR VOTERS, IT IS JUST RANKING UP TO FIVE.

WHO DO YOU LIKE?

I LIKE THAT NOTION OF BEING ADVISED IT IS PROBABLY NOT A GOOD IDEA TO EVER VOTE FOR WHO YOU HATE.

IT SHOWS US HOW ODD THIS TIME IS, THAT WE WOULD BE CONTEMPLATING OF LET ME VOTE FOR WHO I REALLY DESPISE.

I HAVE HEARD THAT A LOT FOR ALL THE CANDIDATES RUNNING FOR MAYOR BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO CAME OUT IF I REALLY DON'T LIKE ONE PERSON, SHOULD I RANK THE PERSON I PREFER MORE TO KNOCK OUT THE PERSON I REALLY DON'T LIKE.

I HAVE HEARD MANY TIMES FROM EXPERTS, BECAUSE NEW YORK IS NOT THE FIRST PLACE THAT IMPLEMENTED THIS, THAT YOU REALLY SHOULD JUST GO BY YOUR PREFERENCE.

AND ANYONE WHO YOU LIKE IN OFFICE AT ALL, EVEN IF IT'S JUST A LITTLE BIT, THAT'S WHO YOU RANK, NOT ANYBODY WHO YOU DISLIKE INTENSITY.

HOW ABOUT THAT BACK END THAT RACHEL MENTIONED?

ONCE YOU GO IN THERE, YOU DO YOUR RANKINGS.

HOW, THEN, DOES THIS ALL GET SORTED OUT?

SO THE WAY IT GETS SORTED OUT IS THEY COUNT THE FIRST CHOICE VOTES FIRST.

THE PERSON WHO HAS THE LEAST FIRST CHOICE VOTES GETS ELIMINATED.

AND THEN THE SECOND CHOICE VOTES FOR THAT CANDIDATE.

THE VOTERS CHOICES AFTER THAT GET REDISTRIBUTED TO THE OTHER CANDIDATES AND IT KEEPS GOING AND GOING AND GOING UNTIL IT ELIMINATED ALL CANDIDATES BUT TWO.

AND THEY HAVE TO CROSS THAT 50% THRESHOLD TO DECLARE VICTORY.

NOW, IT SEEMS MORE COMPLICATED IF YOU HAVE TO START GAMING OUT AT HOME ON YOUR OWN, BUT YOU DON'T NEED TO.

THAT'S WHAT THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IS FOR.

AND THE RESULT IS THAT, WELL, ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS THAT WE WON'T SEE ELECTION RESULTS ON ELECTION NIGHT.

IT MIGHT TAKE A COUPLE OF WEEKS, ESPECIALLY SINCE THEY ALSO HAVE TO COUNT ABSENTEE BALLOTS, WHICH DON'T GET COUNTED UNTIL AFTER ELECTION DAY.

AND THEN ONE OF THE POSITIVE THINGS THAT WE -- YOU KNOW, WE SORT OF CAN EXPECT FROM OTHER ADMINISTRATIONS THAT HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE IS VOTING LEADS TO MORE WOMEN, MORE PEOPLE OF COLOR GETTING ELECTED INTO OFFICE BECAUSE IT EXPANDS THE POWER OF THE VOTE.

IT MAKES IT MORE EQUAL.

IT GIVES PEOPLE MORE, NOT LESS AS SOME HAVE ARGUED.

LET'S TALK NOW THAT WE ESTABLISHED THIS FOR OUR FOLKS, HERE IS HOW YOU WILL GO AHEAD AND DO THIS.

LET'S TALK ABOUT AT THE TOP, AND THAT'S THE MAYOR ONES.

WE HAVE SEEN THE MOST RECENT DEBATES INVOLVED EIGHT DIFFERENT CANDIDATES, THE LEADING EIGHT.

LET ME GIVE A QUICK LIST OF THEM.

ERIC ADAMS, FORMER COUNSEL TO THE MAYOR, MAYA WILEY, ANDREW YANG, SCOTT STRINGER, RAY McGUIRE, FORMER NONPROFIT EXECUTIVE, DIANE MORALES AND SHAWN DUNN.

GOT A LOT OF PLAYERS THERE WHO HAVE BEEN TRYING DESPERATELY TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES FROM THE OTHERS IN THIS MIX.

LET'S START BY FOCUSSING FOR A MOMENT, IF WE CAN, ON WHAT THE ISSUES, THE MAJOR ISSUES THAT THE POLLS ARE TELLING US, THE CITIZENS OF NEW YORK CITY ARE MOST CONCERNED ABOUT.

RACHEL, WHAT ARE WE HEARING ABOUT THAT?

YEAH.

I THINK THE REAL CLEAR ISSUE THAT PEOPLE ARE CARING ABOUT THE MOST IS CRIME AND VIOLENT CRIME SPECIFICALLY AND POLICING.

AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT THAT IS THE THING THAT THE CANDIDATES HAVE THE MOST DISTANCE ON AS WELL.

IT'S SOMETHING THAT THEY HAVE TALKED A LOT ABOUT AND HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON.

WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS YOU CAN SEE A CLEAR SPLIT BETWEEN THE PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATES AND THE MODERATE CANDIDATES.

YOU KNOW, MAYA WILEY HAS SAID SHE WILL CUT $1 BILLION FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND SHE'S STUCK BY THAT AND SAID, YOU KNOW, THE DEFUND MOVEMENT IS SOMETHING I HAVE THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT AND I BACK.

AND THEN YOU HAVE FOLKS LIKE RAY McGUIRE, CATHERINE GARCIA, CERTAINLY ERIC ADAMS AND ANDREW YANG WHO HAVE DISTANCED THEMSELVES A BIT FROM THAT AND SAID, HOLD ON.

LET'S TAKE A MORE MEASURED APPROACH.

WE HAVE SEEN IN POLLS THAT PEOPLE ARE REALLY THINKING A LOT ABOUT CRIME.

IT'S CERTAINLY VIOLENT CRIME HAS GONE UP IN THE CITY IN THE LAST YEAR.

I SHOULD ALSO SAY IT'S GONE UP ALL ACROSS OTHER CITIES IN THE NATION.

NEW YORK IS NOT ALONE IN THAT.

BUT I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF LONG-TIME NEW YORKERS, FOLKS WHO HAVE LIVED HERE THROUGH THE BATTLE DAYS, FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM WHO THINK WE DON'T WANT TO BACKSLIDE AND GO BACK TO THOSE TIMES.

AND I THINK THE MORE MODERATE CANDIDATES ARE BANKING ON THOSE TYPE OF VOTERS WHO DON'T WANT TO SEE THE BUDGET OF THE NYPD CUT COMPLETELY OR TO HAVE REALLY RADICAL CHANGES THERE.

LET ME FOLLOW UP ON THAT.

OF COURSE, EVERYBODY IS SAYING WE WANT TO COMBAT RISING CRIME.

YOU KNOW, THERE IS NOBODY WHO IS TAKING AN OPPOSITE STANCE ON THAT.

BUT THE HOW TO BECOMES ESSENTIAL HERE.

AND HOW TO BRINGS US TO THIS WHOLE NOTION OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

SO AS YOU LOOK AT THESE CANDIDATES AND AS YOU LOOK AT THE -- ONCE AGAIN, THE POLLS, WHATEVER THEY'RE WORTH, WHATEVER THE POLLS TELL US ABOUT WHAT THE VOTERS THINK ABOUT THE IDEA OF FUNDING POLICE, WHAT ARE YOU SEEING THEN WITH REGARD TO THOSE CANDIDATES IN REGARD TO THAT CONCEPT?

WELL, THE WAY THE DIFFERENT CANDIDATES HAVE DESCRIBED IT, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE GOT ON ONE END ERIC ADAMS WHO WANTS TO REVIVE THE ANTI-CRIME UNIT AND MAYBE THE ANTI-GUN UNIT.

YOU HAVE ANDREW YANG WHO WANTS TO GO ON A RECRUITMENT DRIVE.

ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU HAVE MAYA WILEY AND DAN MORALES.

WILEY WANTS TO CUT $1 BILLION AND DAN MORALES WANTS TO CUT IT BY $3 BILLION.

VIOLENCE PREVENTION, YOU KNOW, MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT, JOBS, GOING AFTER SORT OF THE ROOT SOCIAL CAUSES OF CRIME RATHER THAN ADDRESSING IT AS TALK.

EVEN ANDREW YANG HAS COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS.

HE SAID, YOU KNOW, THE CLEARANCE RATES FOR MURDERS AREN'T THAT HIGH, ARE REALLY LOW.

SO THE COPS -- THE POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN FUNDED AND, YOU KNOW, THIS IS WHAT MAYA AND DAN'S ARGUMENT IS.

THE POLICE ALREADY HAVE THE FUNDING, AND VIOLENT CRIME IS STILL GOING UP, SO WHY DON'T WE THINK ABOUT DIFFERENT WAYS OF USING THAT FUNDING, INSTEAD OF RELYING ON THE OLD, TIRED SYSTEM THAT'S GOTTEN US THIS FAR.

YANG AND ADAMS SAID IF YOU MAKE ANY CUTS, CRIME IS GOING TO GET WORSE.

BUT THERE IS NO DIRECT EVIDENCE OF THAT, YOU KNOW, AS RACHEL SAID.

IT'S BEEN A NATIONAL INCREASE IN CRIME.

OVERALL CRIME IS STILL DOWN A COUPLE OF POINTS IN NEW YORK SINCE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC.

I'D SAY BY ABOUT 2.2% OR SOMETHING.

IT'S THE SHOOTINGS THAT HAVE GONE UP.

IT IS THE MURDERS THAT HAVE GONE UP THAT HAVE PEOPLE SO CONCERNED.

WHAT ABOUT THE ISSUE OF HOMELESSNESS?

AGAIN, IT APPEARS THAT THAT'S ONE OF THE TOP CONCERNS THAT THE VOTERS HAVE.

YEAH.

SO, RACHEL, I'LL BOUNCE BACK TO YOU AS WE START OUR TENNIS MATCH HERE BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU.

WHAT ARE WE HEARING ABOUT THAT AS AN ISSUE AND WHAT ARE WE SEEING IN TERMS OF THE CANDIDATE'S POSITIONS?

YEAH.

IT'S BEEN A REALLY BIG THEME THIS LONG CAMPAIGN SEASON.

AND WE HAVE HEARD A LOT OF QUESTIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, HOW TO USE ALL THE EMPTY HOTELS IN MIDTOWN.

MAYBE WE COULD USE THAT FOR HOUSING.

IT REALLY IS A CONVERSATION ABOUT HOUSING, RIGHT, TO SOLVE HOMELESSNESS A LOT OF THE CANDIDATES ARE FOCUSSING ON HOUSING.

WE HAVE HEARD A BIG CHANGE IN THE NARRATIVE ABOUT WHERE TO INCREASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

A LOT OF THE CANDIDATES ARE NOW SAYING, WELL, INSTEAD OF PUTTING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN POORER NEIGHBORHOODS, LET'S TRY TO REZONE SO WE COULD ACTUALLY PUT THEM IN RICHER AREAS WHERE DEVELOPERS ACTUALLY WANT TO BUILD.

YOU KNOW, WE'RE ALSO HEARING, YOU KNOW, FROM ANDREW YANG MOST RECENTLY ABOUT, YOU KNOW, HOW TO TACKLE MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS.

HE WAS SAYING LET'S UP THE NUMBER OF PSYCH BEDS IN THE CITY.

SCOTT STRINGER WHO IS, YOU KNOW, ALSO A CANDIDATE WHO HAS HAD SOME TROUBLE IN HIS CAMPAIGN SO FAR BUT IS STILL IN THE RUNNING WAS SAYING THAT'S NOT ENOUGH.

WE'VE GOT TO DO MORE.

WE CAN'T JUST PUT IN PSYCH BEDS.

BUT I SEE IT AS A SPLIT BETWEEN -- I MEAN, IT SOUNDS SO CRUEL TO SAY THIS, BUT PEOPLE WHO ARE SAYING LET'S CLEAN UP THE HOMELESS PROBLEM AND PEOPLE WHO ARE SAYING LET'S TRY TO ACTUALLY CREATE SERVICES TO DEAL WITH THOSE FOLKS AND NOT HAVE THEM IN THE STREET BECAUSE THAT'S REALLY WHERE WE'VE SEEN THE BIG CHANGE DURING THE PANDEMIC IS THERE ARE FEWER PEOPLE ON THE STREET IN GENERAL.

THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THERE ARE UNHOUSED AND USUALLY UNWELL.

AND IT IS CAUSING SOME REAL CONCERNS IN NEIGHBORHOODS.

BUT, YOU KNOW, CLEANING IT UP AND JUST PUTTING THEM SOMEWHERE ELSE AND, YOU KNOW, SWEEPING THEM UP IS SOMETHING THAT IS NOT A LONG-TERM SOLUTION.

SO WE'RE HEARING THAT A LOT IN SORT OF HOW DO YOU COPE WITH THIS VERY COMPLICATED PROBLEM.

AND I SEE IT AS A HOUSING CONVERSATION, WHICH IS SOMETHING THE CANDIDATES TALK ABOUT ALL THE TIME.

THERE ARE DIFFERENT PLANS FOR HOUSING, YEAH.

AGAIN, ONE OF THE GREAT CHALLENGES FOR ALL OF THESE CANDIDATES IS SEPARATING THEMSELVES, GETTING PEOPLE TO SAY HERE IS THIS PERSON.

I KNOW WHO THEY ARE AND I KNOW WHAT THEY THINK ABOUT THESE ISSUES.

WITH REGARD TO THIS, THIS NOTION OF HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS, DO YOU GET A SENSE AS A REPORTER THAT THESE CANDIDATES ARE ABLE TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES AND TO GET THEIR MESSAGE OUT THERE SO THAT PEOPLE CAN SAY, OKAY, I LIKE THIS PERSON BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE.

I'M NOT PLEASED WITH THIS PERSON BECAUSE OF THIS ISSUE.

WHAT ARE YOU SEEING?

AGAIN, IT COMES DOWN TO THE MODERATE PROGRESSIVE SPLIT.

SOME OF THE CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN VERY OUTRIGHT.

DAN MORALES SINCE HAS SAID, YOU KNOW, APPROACHING HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT FIRST.

YOU KNOW, HOUSING FIRST MODEL WHERE WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, POLICING THE HOMELESS AS SOME PEOPLE ARE, YOU KNOW.

AND THEN ON THE OTHER END, YOU'VE GOT AS ANDREW YANG SAID IN THIS MOST RECENT DEBATE WHEN HE WAS TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, HOMELESS PEOPLE HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS, YES, THEY HAVE RIGHTS, BUT WE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE SAFE.

IT'S THE KIND OF LANGUAGE THAT, YOU KNOW, PAINTS HOMELESS PEOPLE AS DANGEROUS, THAT, YOU KNOW, DOESN'T LOOK AT THE COMPASSION, OR AT LEAST THAT'S HOW VOTERS MIGHT SEE IT.

SOME VOTERS ARE QUITE ANGRY WITH THOSE STATEMENTS.

AND THAT'S KIND OF -- IN OTHER WAYS, THE CANDIDATES ARE MOSTLY INDISTINGUISHABLE BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL TALKING ABOUT THE SAME THINGS, INVESTING IN SUPPORTIVE HOUSING, INVESTING IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING, CREATING -- YOU KNOW, INVESTING CAPITAL FUNDS AND INVESTING MORE HOUSING.

SO THE SOLUTIONS ARE ALL SORT OF THE SAME.

IT IS SORT OF HOW THEY HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT IT THAT SETS THEM APART.

WHAT ABOUT THE POLLS?

YOU'RE REPORTERS.

YOU ARE OUT THERE.

YOU ARE ON THE GROUND TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEEN THINGS.

WE HAVE SEEN IN THE LAST DECADE OR SO AT EVERY LEVEL OF ELECTIONS, WE HAVE SEEN POLLS TELLING US CERTAIN THINGS AND THEN WHEN THE REALITY SHOWS UP, I DON'T WANT TO SAY IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT WE SAW IN THE POLLS, BUT IT'S FAIRLY REMOTE FROM WHAT WE SAW IN THE POLLS.

YOU DID A PIECE RECENTLY TALKING ABOUT ANDREW YANG AND WHERE HE WAS IN POLLS AND HOW THAT HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY.

IS THERE ANY VALUE TO THESE POLLS?

I MEAN, YOU KNOW, FOR US, THEY'RE JUST ONE AMONG THE MANY METRICS THAT WE USE TO JUDGE THE RACE.

THIS YEAR PARTICULARLY REFLECTS -- NOT ONLY FOR US, EVEN FOR THE POLLSTERS BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER HAD THE RANKED CHOICE VOTING CITY-WIDE ELECTION BEFORE.

THERE HAS BEEN SOME STEADY COUNCIL ELECTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN RUN IN THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS.

BUT WE DON'T KNOW HOW IT'S GOING TO TURN OUT.

NONE OF US CAN SAY DEFINITIVELY THIS CANDIDATE IS DEFINITELY GOING TO WIN.

THIS CANDIDATE IS DEFINITELY GOING TO LOSE.

WE USE THE POLLS TO GIVE US ONE GLIMPSE INTO WHAT VOTERS MIGHT BE THINKING.

LIKE YOU MENTIONED, ANDREW YANG EARLY ON SEEMED TO HAVE A LOT OF -- HE WAS IN THE LEAD.

HE ALSO HAD GOOD NAME RECOGNITION.

IN THAT TIME, WE HAVE SEEN THAT SHIFT AWAY FROM SUPPORT OF ANDREW YANG.

CATHERINE GARCIA GOT A LOT OF MOMENTUM AFTER THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ENDORSEMENT, SCOTT SPRINGER AND DAN MORALES, THEIR CAMPAIGN SAW SOME STUMBLES AND WE SAW THE NUMBERS REFLECTED IN THE POLLS AS WELL.

SO IF THE POLLS MATCH WHAT'S HAPPENING, THEN IT IS A GOOD INDICATOR THAT MAYBE THEY'RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK.

BUT NO ONE CAN SAY DEFINITIVELY WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

THAT COULD MEAN ONE TAKES THE OTHER'S SECOND CHOICE VOTES.

THIS COMES BACK TO WHAT WE SAID AND WHAT RACHEL MENTIONED ABOUT, IS THIS GAMING GOING ON HERE?

TRYING TO MOVE THE NEEDLE ONE WAY OR ANOTHER HERE.

JUST A REMINDER FOR OUR VIEWERS, FOR OUR SPECIAL EDITION OF THE METRO FOCUS FRONT PAGE FORECAST FOCUSSING ON THE PRIMARY ELECTIONS TAKING PLACE TOMORROW.

AND ONCE AGAIN OUR GUEST RACHEL HOLIDAY SMITH AND SAMAR, SENIOR REPORTER FOR 'GOTHAM GAZETTE'. AGAIN, A REMINDER FOR OUR FOLKS OUT THERE, YOU KNOW, WE DON'T HAVE THE TIME AS MUCH AS WE WOULD LIKE TO TO FOCUS ON EVERY SINGLE CANDIDATE, EVERY SINGLE ISSUE.

THIS IS JUST SOMETHING TO HELP YOU GET A SENSE OF THIS.

OBVIOUSLY YOU NEED TO GO OUT THERE AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE YOU GO UP AND CAST YOUR BALLOT.

BUT THIS IS ALL EXTREMELY HELPFUL.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE COMPTROLLER RACE.

THE COMPTROLLER IS ONE OF THINGS BEFORE WHERE NOBODY THINKS ABOUT OR TALKS ABOUT UNTIL IT IS UP FOR ELECTION.

WE HAVE FREQUENTLY HERE TALKED TO SCOTT STRINGER AS THE COMPTROLLER.

YOU HAVE TO LEARN SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY DO AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT THEY DON'T HAVE THE POWER TO DO.

YOU KNOW, CREATE POLICY, YOU KNOW, BIG OVERARCHING POLICY.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE RUNNING FOR THIS, THIS OFFICE.

HOW DID THEY DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES?

AND WHAT KIND OF ISSUES CAN THEY ATTACH THEMSELVES TO TO TRY TO DISTINGUISH THEMSELVES FROM?

YEAH.

IT IS AN INTERESTING DILEMMA FOR THEM BECAUSE THE COMPTROLLER IS ESSENTIALLY AN OMBUDSMAN IN A WAY, A CHECK OF THE MAYOR IN A LOT OF WAYS.

THEY HAVE SERIOUS OVERSIGHT ABILITY.

THEY AUDIT.

THEY DO ALL CITY CONTRACTS.

THEY DO SETTLEMENTS FOR THE CITY.

EVERY LAWSUIT THAT HAS A SETTLEMENT, THEY SIGN OFF ON IT.

BUT I THINK THAT WE'RE ALSO SEEING THE PROGRESSIVE MODERATE SPLIT IN THE COMPTROLLER'S RACE A BIT.

SO YOU HAVE GOT MICHELLE CARUSO CABRERA WHO IS NOT A WELL KNOWN NAME, BUT STHE IS A FORMER FINANCIAL JOURNALIST WHO PUT HERSELF OUT THERE AS, HEY, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO VOTE FOR A LIBERAL IN THE COMPTROLLER RACE, MAYBE VOTE FOR ME.

I HAVE MORE OF A MODERATE STANCE.

BUT WE HAVE SOME HOUSEHOLD NAMES IF YOU ARE A -- WELL, I SHOULD SAY IF YOU HAVE WATCHED POLITICS A LOT, THEY'RE HOUSEHOLD NAMES.

BUT WE HAVE COREY JOHNSON, WHO WAS THE SPEAKER OF THE CITY COUNCIL, IS THE SPEAKER OF THE CITY COUNCIL WHO GOT IN THIS RACE A LITTLE LATER BECAUSE, IF FOLKS REMEMBER, HE WAS GOING TO RUN FOR MAYOR, DROPPED OUT OF THAT CITING MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS OVER THE PANDEMIC AND GOT INTO THE COMPTROLLER RACE.

WE HAVE BRAD LANDER WHO IS PUTTING HIMSELF OUT THERE AS THE PROGRESSIVE CHOICE.

HE'S SOMEONE THAT GOT ENDORSEMENTS FROM ELIZABETH WARREN, AOC.

HE'S, YOU KNOW, SAYING I'M GOING TO HOLD THE MAYOR ACCOUNTABLE AND PUSH FOR PROGRESSIVE STUFF, POLICIES.

BUT, AGAIN, THE COMPTROLLER CAN ONLY DO THOSE THINGS INSOFAR AS THEY CAN BRING UP ISSUES AND SAY, HEY, THIS AGENCY ISN'T SPENDING MONEY CORRECTLY.

THAT WOULD BE WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IF THEY REALLY WANT TO TARGET THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND SAY THEY'RE SPENDING MONEY BADLY.

THEY SHOULD DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

BUT THEY CAN'T SET POLICY THEMSELVES.

AND THEY COULD TAKE THE POSITION OF JUST RUNNING THE NUMBERS AND SAYING WE'RE BEING WASTEFUL HERE.

THIS IS HOW WE NEED TO CUT, YOU KNOW, SPENDING.

OR THEY COULD SAY THIS POLICY IS NOT UP TO SNUFF AND WE'RE GOING TO GO AFTER THIS WAY OF DOING THINGS.

SO I THINK IT REALLY DEPENDS WHO -- YOU KNOW, WHO WINS AND HOW THEIR ATTITUDE IS BASED ON WHO WINS IN CITY HALL.

I MEAN, IF SOMEONE WHO WINS IN CITY HALL, YOU KNOW, IS MATCHED WITH A COMPTROLLER WHO IS QUITE -- LET'S SAY A REAL MODERATE MAYOR GETS IN THERE AND THEN A COMPTROLLER WHO IS QUITE LIBERAL AND QUITE AGGRESSIVE IN THAT WAY, IT COULD BE A REALLY CONTENTIOUS ADMINISTRATION OR THEY'RE MORE EVENLY MATCHED AND IT IS A CIVIL ADVERSARY RELATIONSHIP.

SO IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THAT SHAKES OUT.

LET ME ASK YOU TO JUMP BACK A SECOND TO THE MAYOR RACE.

I DIDN'T MENTION THE REPUBLICAN RACE HERE.

OH, RIGHT.

AND A FAIRLY, WE'RE TOLD, A HOTLY CONTESTED RACE.

WHAT ABOUT THAT?

WELL, I MEAN, YOU KNOW, REPUBLICANS, AGAIN, THE CANDIDATES ARE ALMOST INDISTINGUISHABLE.

PEOPLE KNOW CURTIS BECAUSE HE'S JUST -- YOU KNOW, HE'S KIND OF BEEN THIS BIG PRESENCE IN CITY POL POLITICS, USUALLY APPEARS AS A THORN IN THE GOVERNOR'S SIDE.

I THINK PEOPLE RECOGNIZE, YOU KNOW, IMMEDIATELY THE GUARDIAN ANGELS.

I DON'T KNOW IF THE NAME RECOGNITION WILL HELP HIM.

I DON'T KNOW IN TERMS OF POLICY, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT THAT FAR APART.

AND WHAT'S UNFORTUNATE FOR THE REPUBLICAN IN THE RACE IS THAT, AS YOU HAD MENTIONED AT THE START OF THIS SHOW, VOTER ENROLLMENT, DEMOCRATS HAVE ALMOST 8 VOTERS TO EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE CITY.

SO NO MATTER THEIR SHOWING TOMORROW, THEY ARE ALL BUT SURE WHO WILL BE IN NOVEMBER.

SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT'S NOT GREAT FOR DEMOCRACY, THAT'S THE MAJORITY.

NUMBERS ARE WHAT THE NUMBERS ARE.

THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE HAVEN'T HAD REPUBLICAN MAYORS IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT TIME AND PLACE OBVIOUSLY DRIVE ALL OF THIS.

LET ME ASK -- THERE IS SO MANY OTHER RACES GOING ON AND CLEARLY WE CAN'T TOUCH ON THEM ALL.

WE HAVE ABOUT THREE MINUTES LET FOR OUR CONVERSATION HERE.

LET ME GO TO THE MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE BECAUSE THAT RACE HAS GOT A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF COVERAGE HERE.

RACHEL, GIVE US A SENSE OF WHAT THAT ONE LOOKS LIKE.

YEAH.

THAT'S THE ONE I'M REALLY WATCHING OTHER THAN THE MAYOR'S RACE.

WE HAVE GOT A LOT OF CANDIDATES, AND THIS IS NOT RANKED CHOICE.

IT IS A STATE OFFICE.

ACTUALLY PEOPLE DON'T THINK OF IT THAT WAY.

THIS IS ONE OF THE ONES WE MAY KNOW RESULTS FOR TOMORROW.

AND, AGAIN, WE HAVE THIS PROGRESSIVE/MODERATE SPLIT.

THERE HAS BEEN A CANDIDATE WHO CAME INTO THE RACE A LITTLE LATER THAN SOME OF THE OTHERS.

SHE HAS AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF MONEY, AND SHE IS POSITIONING HERSELF AS A MORE MODERATE CANDIDATE.

MOST RECENTLY SHE GAVE HERSELF $8.2 MILLION OF HER OWN MONEY TO FUND HER CAMPAIGN.

THAT IS MORE MONEY THAN SOME OF THE MAY I DON'OR CANDIDATES HAV.

SHE HAS A LOT OF PERSONAL WEALTH HERSELF.

THAT STIRRED UP THE RACE A LOT.

THEN WE HAVE A LONG-TIME CAREER PROSECUTOR WHO WORKED IN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE.

HE WAS REALLY A SENIOR PERSON THERE.

AND HE IS WALKING THE LINE OF, YOU KNOW, SAYING HE'S A REFORMER.

HE'S DEFINITELY PUSHING FOR REFORMS IN THE WAY PROSECUTIONS HAPPEN AND THE WAY THAT THAT OFFICE IS RUN.

BUT HE'S ALSO SAYING I'M NOT GOING TO COMPLETELY ERRATICALLY CHANGE THE OFFICE.

AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO SAY I WANT TO RADICALLY CHANGE THIS OFFICE.

A PUBLIC DEFENDER WHO IS RUNNING WHO IS A CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY, THEY BOTH SAY I WANT TO CUT THIS BUDGET OF THE PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE BY 50%. SO, YOU KNOW, MORE OF THE MIND OF LET'S TEAR IT DOWN AND REBUILD RATHER THAN LET'S REFORM WHAT'S THERE.

AND, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE IT'S NOT RANKED CHOICE AND THERE IS VERY LITTLE POLLING, I WOULDN'T EVEN SITE THE POLLING THAT'S BEEN DONE HERE BECAUSE IT'S NOT WORTH MENTIONING, BUT WE REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

WE CAN KIND OF GO BY THE NUMBERS.

TALLY HAS A LOT OF MONEY, IS BUYING A LOT OF ADS.

ALVIN ALSO HAD A LOT OF MONEY.

HE'S BLANKETING THE AIR WAVES AS WELL.

AND I COULDN'T GUESS WHO WILL WIN.

THIS WILL BE AN INTERESTING ONE.

AS A FORMER PROSECUTOR, I'M PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN ONE.

WE HAVE A LOT OF ISSUES, A LOT OF CANDIDATES, ESPECIALLY INDEED HOW TO VOTE AND RACHEL, SAMAR, THE TWO OF YOU BEEN MARVELOUSLY HELPFUL IN HELPING GUIDE US.

AGAIN, EVERYBODY GET OUT THERE AND VOTE.

AND WE'LL TALK WITH THE TWO OF YOU SOME TIME AFTERWARDS TO ASSESS ALL OF THIS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

YOU BOTH BE WELL.

> MADE POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY JODI AND JOHN ARNHOLD, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON.

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