Mayoral primary guide


As the clock ticks closer to city primaries on Tuesday, September 10, The Courier would like to provide you, the reader and the voter, with a fair, detailed guide of who is running. Here is a list of the mayoral primary candidates, who they are, what they stand for and what they want to continue to do if they go on to the general election in November.


Name: Sal Albanese

Party: Democrat

Current Position: Former New York City Councilmember

Personal: Born in Italy, Sal Albanese grew up in a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn, where his mother raised him on a garment worker’s salary. The public schools, libraries, and CUNY system—all services provided by the city—helped elevate his family to the middle class. He spent 11 years as a New York City public school teacher and 15 years as a reformer on the City Council, where he authored the city’s first living wage and campaign finance laws.

Issues/Platform: Albanese is running for mayor because he believes we need a clean break from a political class that has lost touch with regular New Yorkers. As mayor, his top priority will be keeping the city affordable for those who grew up here and came to make a new life here. That starts with a new approach to our schools, focused on working with kids from birth to ensure they are ready to succeed in school from day one. He will launch an unprecedented expansion of affordable housing, building 210,000 new units over eight years. Most importantly, he’ll create jobs that actually pay the bills by expanding living wage laws and giving small businesses the room they need to grow.

Name: Randy Credico

Party: Democrat

Current Position: Political satirist-impressionist, voice over specialist, civil rights activist

Personal: Credico has been in show business for 40 years, appearing on the “The Tonight Show, “Larry King Live,” “Charlie Rose” and countless others. In 1997 he became the director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice, fighting against stop-and-frisk and NY’s racist drug laws. He won four awards for his work and numerous profiles. There are two documentaries on his life including the award winning “60 Spins Around the Sun” by actor Jack Black and writer Laura Kightlinger.

Issues/Platform: As mayor, Credico would make wholesale changes in the NYPD, including replacing Commissioner Raymond Kelly with Frank Serpico and eliminating the special narcotics office. He would provide free CUNY education, free health care and free transportation and create a massive FDR jobs program. He would also eliminate the 56,000 homeless people on the streets of New York. Credico would do this by imposing a half percent sales tax on all of Wall Street, which would engender enough to cover all of the above and more.

Name: Bill de Blasio

Party: Democrat

Current Position: New York City Public Advocate

Personal: As a former City Hall staffer, school board member, city councilmember, and now as the city’s Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio has spent his life fighting to ensure that New Yorkers across all five boroughs get a fair shot. As mayor, de Blasio will continue that fight and work to end the inequality crisis gripping our city.

De Blasio and his wife, Chirlane, are the proud public school parents of Chiara, a college freshman, and Dante, a high school junior.

Issues/Platform: Currently, 46 percent of city residents are living at or near the poverty line, while 400,000 millionaires also call New York home. de Blasio is committed to ending this “Tale of Two Cities” with a plan to create jobs in all ?ve boroughs; dramatically expand affordable housing; end the overuse and abuse of stop-and-frisk; and fund Universal Pre-K and after-school programs for all middle school students by asking the wealthy to pay a little more.

Having lived in Brooklyn with his family for the last 20 years, de Blasio has a firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing New York City families and outer borough residents, including soaring water bill rates and the unprecedented rise in fines on small businesses. As mayor, he will address these challenges and work to build one New York, where everyone rises together.

Name: Neil Grimaldi

Party: Democrat

Editor’s Note: Request for information from the candidate’s campaign was not received as of press time. No additional information on the candidate was available from an official campaign website.

Name: John Liu

Party: Democrat

Current Position: New York City Comptroller

Personal: The first Asian-American to be elected to the City Council and citywide office in New York, Liu has served as comptroller since 2010 and represented Queens’ Council District 20 from 2001 to 2009, according to his campaign website. Before serving in the City Council, he worked in the private sector for 14 years, including as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. After immigrating to the U.S. from Taiwan as a young child,

Liu attended P.S. 20 in Queens, later graduating from the Bronx High School of Science. He currently lives in Flushing with his wife and son.

Issues/Platform: In a sit down with The Courier’s editorial board, Liu said if elected, he would seek to “bring back a level of attention to [Queens] that we have not seen for many years.” He said he plans to overhaul the school system by starting children in school earlier, at age three, giving students better access to computers and the Internet to close the digital divide and better preparing them for post-secondary education. Liu also said as mayor he would not keep Ray Kelly as NYPD Commissioner, and would like to greatly reduce fines and penalties for small businesses and reduce their taxes. Additionally, Liu recently proposed legalizing marijuana in the city for adults 21 and over as a way to generate millions in annual revenue.

Name: Christine Quinn

Party: Democrat

Current Position: New York City Council Speaker

Personal: The daughter of a union electrical worker and a social worker, Christine Quinn understands the struggles of New York’s middle-class. As City Council Speaker, the city’s second most powerful position, she has fought tirelessly for the middle class and those struggling to make it there.

Quinn passed eight on-time, balanced budgets protecting critical social services, firehouses and libraries. She saved 4,100 teachers from layoffs, fought overcrowding and empowered parents in our schools. She created thousands of jobs, cracked down on bad landlords and built thousands of units of affordable housing. Quinn helped protect our neighborhoods by putting more cops on the street, funding bulletproof vests for every officer, and working to improve police-community relations. She wrote the law banning smoking in bars and the workplace, and passed the Climate Protection Act, requiring the city to reduce greenhouse emissions 30 percent by 2030.

Issues/Platform: As mayor, Quinn will continue to fight for the middle class. She’ll focus our schools on college and career-readiness, not test prep. She’ll bring high-tech and manufacturing jobs to every borough and launch the most ambitious middle-class housing program in the city’s history. And she’ll ensure New York City remains the safest big city in America.

Name: Erick Salgado

Party: Democrat

Current Position: Reverend

Personal: Having worked with the residents of New York City’s diverse communities for almost a quarter century, created and grown a small bookstore into a four borough chain employing many New Yorkers, and started a radio network broadcasting on five stations, Erick Salgado knows and understands the issues of this city. A married father of six, with a doctorate in theology, Erick lives on Staten Island. He combines the business acumen of an entrepreneur with the compassion and insight into what New Yorkers face daily as they live their lives, gained from his work in many of the neighborhoods comprising this city.

Issues/Platform: Safety is Erick Salgado’s highest priority. He will increase the ranks of the NYPD to 37,000 and bring back community policing which will allow officers to know and understand the community they patrol. Since small businesses are collectively the city’s largest employer he will remove the obstacles City Hall places on them to help them thrive and create more jobs for New Yorkers. Because New Yorkers will need an excellent education to be qualified for those jobs he will make the Department of Education more responsive to the needs of all its students by increasing parental involvement and working to bring back the community school boards.

Name: Bill Thompson

Party: Democrat

Current Position: Former New York City Comptroller

Personal: Bill Thompson was born in Brooklyn and has lived and worked in New York City his entire life. His father was born in Harlem and his grandparents were Caribbean immigrants. He worked to bring our communities closer together as deputy borough president, lift up our children as president of the Board of Education, and manage our finances as comptroller. As president of the Board of Education, he fought for after-school programs, art classes and higher teaching standards.

Issues/Platform: As mayor, Bill plans to give parents a meaningful voice in our system, end the practice of teaching to the test, place greater emphasis on critical thinking skills, and appoint a chancellor who is an educator. Bill also understands the city needs to be affordable, and as comptroller he made crucial investments in affordable housing for lower and middle class families. If elected, he also plans to overhaul NYCHA and preserve and create 120,000 affordable housing units. Bill knows nothing is more important than our city’s safety, but we can protect our city and people’s constitutional rights at the same time. As mayor he plans to launch a new era of community policing, put over 2,000 new officers on the streets, and end the abuse of stop-and-frisk.

Name: Anthony Weiner

Party: Democrat

Current Position: Former U.S. Congressmember

Personal: Anthony Weiner is a fighter for the middle class and those struggling to make it. He grew up a middle class kid in Brooklyn. He went to public schools his whole life. Anthony’s mom was a public school teacher for 31 years. He got his start working for Chuck Schumer and went on to represent Brooklyn and Queens in Congress. The New York Times praised Weiner for his “command of the issues, coupled with his tireless devotion to constituent concerns, underscores a genuine devotion to and eagerness to fight for his native city.”

Issues/Platform: When he launched his campaign, Weiner offered “64 Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class,” which discusses his ideas for tackling education, transportation, small business, health care, safety and crime prevention, housing and other issues. “It’s not that those living at the top and bottom of New York’s economic ladder should suffer at the expense of the middle class. It’s that maintaining the city’s claim as the capital of the middle class is an investment that will benefit New Yorkers at all points on the spectrum,” he says in 64 Ideas. To read more about Weiner’s 64 Ideas, visit, www.anthonyweiner.com/keys-city.

Editor’s Note: Request for some information from the candidate’s campaign was not received as of press time therefore information on the candidate’s issues/platform was retrieved from the campaign website.


Name: John Catsimatidis

Party: Republican

Current Position: CEO of Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods

Personal: John Catsimatidis immigrated to New York City from Greece as a young child, settling in Harlem. After graduating from Brooklyn Tech, he enrolled at NYU, working at a small grocery store on nights and weekends to help his parents with the bills, but dropped out to work full time. By the time he was 25, he had 10 Red Apple Supermarkets along Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper Westside. Forty years later the Red Apple Group has holdings in the retail, energy, aviation and real estate sectors. He currently serves on the Board of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund.

Issues/Platform: As mayor, Catsimatidis would like to reduce the dropout rate by increasing career and technical education in the New York City public school system. Funding for these programs, he says, can be done through “partnerships with the private sector that can ‘adopt’ a school or sponsor programs.”

Catsimatidis believes that “small businesses are the life-blood of every city neighborhood, providing jobs and economic advancement.” If elected, one way he would help small businesses would be by creating a Small Business Advocate for the city that would act as an “ombudsman” for the small business community and answer directly to the mayor.

Editor’s Note: Request for information from the candidate’s campaign was not received as of press time therefore this information was retrieved from the candidate’s campaign website.

Name: Joe Lhota

Party: Republican

Current Position: Former CEO and chair of the MTA

Personal: Joe Lhota served as the city’s budget director during Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s first term and deputy mayor for operations during his second term. He also worked as an investment banker for 15 years, held executive positions in the Cablevision Systems Corporation and the Madison Square Garden Company, and most recently was the CEO and chair of the MTA. He is currently a trustee of the City University of New York.

Born in the Bronx, he is the son a New York City police lieutenant and grandson of a city firefighter and taxi driver. Lhota and his family live in Brooklyn.

Issues/Platform: As mayor, Lhota would like to elevate the standard of living in the city, encouraging and sustaining job growth and “reducing burdensome regulations and taxes that stifle private sector growth.” He wants to make sure the city’s children are prepared for college, and promotes reform in education, which includes support for choice and charter schools. He believes in making our government “more transparent, less intrusive, more efficient and not bureaucratic – a government that provides effective services every day while approaching the city’s budget and its debt with discipline.” Lhota is also committed to ensuring New York City continues to remain the safest big city in America and would like to develop new ways to enhance the reduction in crime.

Editor’s Note: Request for information from the candidate’s campaign was not received as of press time therefore this information was retrieved from the candidate’s campaign website.

Name: George McDonald

Party: Republican

Current Position: Founder and President of The Doe Fund

Personal: After working as an apparel industry executive for two decades, George McDonald for the last 27 years has dedicated himself to “employing innovative business models to create jobs and economic opportunities for low-income New Yorkers.” In 1985, McDonald founded The Doe Fund, a nonprofit that helps formerly homeless people achieve independence and self-sufficiency by providing jobs. Today it has grown into a $50 million operation serving 1,000 individuals each day.

Issues/Platform: McDonald believes “every New York City resident who wants a job should have one.” For that reason a promise of his campaign is a 100 percent employment rate for the city. He says this can be achieved by supporting local businesses, both large and small, and creating jobs at every level; making, selling, and buying locally; promoting a local tax and regulatory structure that creates jobs, and attracts and keeps employers in the city; moving people off of welfare and out of homelessness, reducing taxpayer burden; requiring city employees to contribute to fringe benefit costs; and expanding job opportunities through nonprofit intermediaries.

Editor’s Note: Request for information from the candidate’s campaign was not received as of press time therefore this information was retrieved from the candidate’s campaign website.