It’s been a long and stormy election season in New York, one which (believe it or not) stands only to intensify between now and November 5 as the city narrows down its candidates to replace Michael Bloomberg. And, of course, there is unprecedented focus on the comptroller race, featuring Scott Stringer and Eliot Spitzer, which is apparently in a dead heat as of the last pre-primary poll.
Here’s what we know. The briefly-if-ever-held hopes for a Anthony Weiner/Eliot Spitzer Jewish power duo in New York–known ominously as SpitzerWeiner–will end this evening as Weiner’s rise and fall keep him far from making the run-off. (For more on that, check out this fascinating short documentary on the Weiner campaign.)
Meanwhile, the battle for Democratic nomination could be secured tonight if Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s recent surge in the polls helps him net the 40% needed. Meanwhile, Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson are hoping to make a run-off of it and extend their dreams another few weeks. On the Republican side, former chairman of the MTA (New York’s semi-beloved subway system) is expected to lock down the nomination.
Over at the Forward, Josh Nathan-Kazis chronicles how leaders in the Satmar communities in Brooklyn are working to mobilize their bases.
The Satmar bloc vote is legendary in New York City politics for its discipline and its power. But ever since the Hasidic sect split in 2006 amidst a succession dispute, leaders of the resulting Satmar factions have jockeyed to demonstrate that their mini-bloc is the more important of the two.
This year, endorsements and political winds aligned for an epic clash between the factions over the crowded mayoral primary. The Zalis — followers of Satmar Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum — who dominate the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, are backing former City Comptroller Bill Thompson. The Aronis — followers of Zalman Teitelbaum’s brother, Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum — who are weaker in Williamsburg but have schools and synagogues in Boro Park, are backing New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
We’ll keep you posted on the results.
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.