NYC Elections 2010: Last Minute Voter Guide To Crucial Races

Last Minute NYC Voter Guide

All of the punditry, mudslinging and sanity rallying has come down to this: The 2010 midterm elections.

We've got your New York City guide to the candidates and issues in the most important races this year.


The biggest race in New York this year pits Democrat Attorney General Andrew Cuomo against Republican Real Estate tycoon Carl Paladino.

Cuomo has mostly been able to kickback and watch Paladino's campaign self-destruct.

Paladino's populist-tinged anger made him a Tea Party darling, which helped him beat establishment pick Rick Lazio in the Republican Primary. The gleefully politically incorrect Paladino says he wants to cut taxes by ten percent and spending by 20 percent, though he doesn't get into too many specifics about what parts of the budget would be sliced.

Cuomo has earned a reputation for fighting corruption as attorney general, where he has brought cases against Wall Streeters and members of both major parties. His calls to cleanup Albany have lead some to believe he would likely clash with the powers that be in the state legislature, primarily Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.

Cuomo's campaign talking points include cutting spending, taking on unions and bringing down unemployment, specifically by providing tax cuts to businesses that hire out-of-work New Yorkers.

And, of course, don't forget the other guys.

Attorney General

In what has turned out to be an unexpectedly close race, State Senator and early favorite, Eric Schneiderman is struggling to hold off Republican Dan Donovan in a battle to become Attorney General.

Both candidates say they want to fight corruption in Albany (does any politician think Albany is clean enough?) but Donovan takes a softer tone than his Democratic opponent when it comes to taking on Wall Street greed. Donovan declared in September that he is in fact, no sheriff of Wall Street.

This might seem an odd tact in a year where the financial industry has become a frequent punching bag, but polls suggest his strategy is working.

Schneiderman has struggled to make a case to voters that he's not an Albany insider, probably because he's been working inside Albany as a legislator for more than ten years.

State Comptroller

The man charged with overseeing the state's $129 billion retirement fund for public workers will either be Democrat incumbent Thomas DiNapoli or Republican challenger Harry Wilson.

For, HuffPost's New York Editor-At-Large Dan Collins, the election doesn't get any sexier than this.

DiNapoli pledges that he'll continue to curb wasteful government spending, hold schools accountable and work to "transform the way budgets are proposed, negotiated and implemented in New York State."

Wilson contends that his experience working in the financial industry with companies like Goldman Sachs and The Blackstone Group gives him the expertise necessary to take on the job.

The Westchester-based Harvard alum has a series of policy documents on his website detailing his plans for ridding the Comptroller's office of corruption, navigating the state out of a financial shortfall and holding government agencies accountable.

DiNapoli has been endorsed by the major labor unions while Wilson has received support from the city's major print outlets including the New York Times, Daily News, and Post.


Many state's are in the midst of nail-bitingly-close senate races, but New York isn't one of them. Both sitting Democratic Senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer are expected to coast to victory on Tuesday.

Gillibrand's opponent, Joe DioGuardi, wants to implement pay-as-you-go budgetary policy, to make sure deficits don't continue to mount. He's also in favor of imposing 12 year term limits on senators and representatives.

Gillibrand's big issues include promoting job growth, specifically through infrastructure improvements, and tax credits for businesses who hire the unemployed. She also wants to increase health care access and promises to fight for gay marriage.

Schumer's opponent, Republican Jay Townsend, wants to repeal the health care overhaul passed by Democrats this year, block the cap-and-trade energy bill that's already stalled in Congress and slash government spending.

Schumer touts his support of the stimulus bill and his efforts to secure billions of dollars in Medicaid and homeland security funding.

If the Democrats maintain control of the Senate, there's a decent chance Schumer could become the majority leader.

Congress-13th Congressional District
In the only truly competitive congressional race in the city, center-left Democrat incumbent Michael McMahon is in a dog fight with hard-right leaning Michael Grimm

In his first term in Congress, McMahon supported the stimulus bill, and stands by his vote, asserting that it saved the jobs of thousands in his district.

McMahon did not vote for President Obama's other landmark piece of legislation, the health care reform bill. That put him at odds with members of his own party.

Grimm wants to cut taxes and slash spending, repeal health care reform and strengthen ties with Israel.

Congress-15th Congressional District

Charlie Rangel weathered the storm of an ethics scandal, and now appears poised to defeat his opponent, Republican Michael Faulkner.

Rangel has secured millions of dollars for Harlem, and has been instrumental in creating the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, refurbishing the Apollo Theatre and opening the National Jazz Museum.

Faulkner wants to prop up the economy by using "Jobenomics," a program in which businesses are given easier access to micro-loans and business incubators are set up to foster growth and creativity in the private sector.

Congress-8th Congressional District
Democrat Jerry Nadler is expected to steam roll Republican Susan Kone in a left-leaning district.

Nadler's passion is health care, which he said will improve significantly after the passage of health care reform. He cautions that there is still more to be done to achieve "universal coverage" for all Americans and he would also like to make it easier for immigrants to gain access to care.

Kone says Nadler's been too hard on financial industry folks. She's also strongly opposed to the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero and she would like to repeal the "government takeover of our health care system." That's the very same piece of legislation Nadler says was too weak.

Make sure to look on the back of your ballot, as there is a pair of referendum questions. The first will decide once and for all if elected officials are bound by a two-term term limit or not. Also on the ballot is whether or not corporations can secretly flood campaigns with cash.

So there you have it. If you want to know if you're still registered, click here. Now go out and try to make sense of these newfangled voting machines!

Popular in the Community