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September 7, 2017

NYC primary elections 2017
Posted by Avram Grumer at 09:03 PM *

NYC primary elections are coming up next Tuesday, and there’s actually some interesting action going on in the normally dull and opaque civil court judge elections. What usually happens is there are five positions available, and the party machine picks five candidates, and those are your choices.

This year, a journalist named Gary Tilzer has decided to shake things up a bit by proposing his own slate of five candidates as rivals to the Democratic machine slate. In addition, an eleventh candidate is running, on neither slate. That link up there has details about all eleven candidates; I’m leaning towards the Tilzer slate (Patrick Hayes, Isiris Isella Isaac, Thomas Kennedy, Sandra Roper, and John O’Hara).

Those are county-wide positions, affecting all of Brooklyn. In addition, there’s a district-level municipal civil court system, and something odd going on here in the 6th Municipal District. The machine seems to be siding with Rupert Barry; I’ve received two different full-color glossy cardstock flyers promoting him. But I see here that he was fired from a previous position for poor evaluations. Also, he’s a former homicide prosecutor, so the heck with him. I’m leaning towards Hemalee Patel for that spot.

I also like Anne Swern for Kings County DA, and will probably vote for the incumbents for Mayor (DeBlasio) and Public Advocate (Letitia James) unless anyone can give me good reasons not to.

NYC voters can check Who’s on the Ballot to find out what choices you’ll see on your ballot.

Update: One of our commenters has drawn my attention to this newsletter by Jen Abrams, who’s done a whole bunch of research that I didn’t bother to do, including sending out her own questionnaires to candidates. She’s changed my mind on a few of the races; I’m gonna vote her recommendations on the wacky county-wide Civil Court race (C Melendez, II Isaac, EE Edwards, F Arriaga, P Frias-Colon), and my district’s City Council member (Ede Fox). And I’m now leaning towards Elena Baron for the 6th District Municipal Civil Court position, though I won’t cry if Barry or Patel get it.

Comments on NYC primary elections 2017:
#1 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2017, 09:53 PM:

Have any of the candidates been defense lawyers, or have they mostly been prosecutors? Or is this court sufficiently civil-only that that really doesn't matter?

#2 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2017, 10:11 PM:

Ellen Edwards has been a criminal defense lawyer. I can’t always tell from the career summaries who’s been working defense and who prosecution.

#3 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: September 07, 2017, 11:53 PM:

I will be interested to see whether the slates get split. There are some good people (AFAICT) on each of the slates, and it would be fun to see what happens if the Democratic Party loses some control but gains better judges!

#4 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: September 08, 2017, 06:04 PM:

@2: I wonder if that's the sort of question an inquiry to the appropriate bar associations would answer?

#5 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2017, 11:01 AM:

A neighbor of mine in Brooklyn does a round-up of all down-ballot candidates. I particularly rely on her review of the judicial ballot, which, as you point out, is especially nuts this year. She even contacted the individual judicial candidates with questions (and received only one response).

Her write-up is here, in case it is of interest to you:

#6 ::: Sumana Harihareswara ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2017, 08:32 AM:

When can we expect official results?

#7 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: September 13, 2017, 02:48 PM:

The NY Daily News had results up last night, but they don’t include that Brooklyn-wide five-slot civil court race.

For that, you have to go to WNYC. Looks like the top five vote-getters were C Melendez, R Sheares, P Frias-Colon, S Roper, and E Edwards, three of whom were on Jen Abrams’s list. Of the remaining two, there’s one each from the machine slate and the indie slate.

And today I learned that the Manhattan District Attorney (who was running uncontested) is named Cyrus Vance. I assume he’s related to Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State, and not the swashbuckling sky-pirate from Lady Blackbird.

#8 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2017, 09:42 PM:

I really need to look at this closer here in Kansas City, MO. We do this, but the judges are our county courthouse (not just civil) judges. Unless it's people I know about, which has happened occasionally, I have been fairly lax about it. (I alternate yes/no, there are usually about 20 or so judges on the ballot when we do this voting).

#9 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: September 23, 2017, 10:04 PM:

We've got city council elections coming up in Boulder, and I'm all "yes, I know I should pay attention but I don't waaaaannnaaaaa...."

A hack may have offered itself up, however. One of my coworkers is the offspring of a local elected official, who is in turn a member of a local political family. Coworker has spent quite a lot of time around various aspects of the political process, from local all the way to national.

I thinks maybe I'm going to see if coworker would be up for doing some coaching on Political Awareness.

#10 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: October 11, 2017, 12:08 AM:

So Cyrus Vance seems to have had some issues of late. He's running unopposed for Manhattan DA.

There now appears to be a guy running a write-in campaign. Marc Fliedner, who I don't know anything about, but HuffPo will tell you about him at length.

Just, you know, FYI. (November 7th. Etc.)

#11 ::: Dave Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2017, 09:55 PM:

So, the Democrats did pretty well in Virginia (and elsewhere).

Yay, but not relaxing just yet, we'll see now things go this year.

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