By Robert Pozarycki
Everybody’s been talking about it for weeks, and the big day is finally in sight. Election Day is here and it’s your chance to vote for your representatives in Albany and Washington.
The polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. You can find your polling place through the Poll Site Locator on the NYC Board of Elections website, vote.nyc.ny.us, or for more information, call 212-VOTE-NYC.
Topping the ballot, is the gubernatorial contest in which incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo is seeking his third term as head of the Empire State. He’s again teaming up with Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul in his re-election campaign.
The candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run as a single ticket. The Cuomo-Hochul ticket faces its fiercest challenge from the Republican party, led by Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and his running mate, former Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian.
The third-party gubernatorial tickets include Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee for the Green Party; Stephanie Miner and Michael Volpe of the Serve America Movement (SAM); and Larry Sharpe and Andrew Hollister for the Libertarian Party.
New Yorkers will also elect a new attorney general. New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, the Democratic nominee, is squaring off against businessman Keith Wofford, the Republican candidate. Third-party choices are Michael Sussman for the Green Party; Nancy Sliwa for the Reform Party; and Christopher Garvey for the Libertarian Party.
Incumbent State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is seeking his second full term in office. The Democrat is being challenged by Republican businessman Jonathan Trichter. There are also two third-party candidates for the seat: Mark Dunlea for the Green Party and Cruger Gallaudet for the Libertarian Party.
The last of the statewide races is for United States senator, as incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is seeking her second full term in office. She’s being challenged by Republican businesswoman Chele Farley.
Races to watch
In Queens, there are a handful of competitive races for legislative seats.
The biggest Congressional race is centered on the 3rd Congressional District, which includes the northeast Queens neighborhoods of Bay Terrace, Bellerose, Douglaston, Glen Oaks, Little Neck, North Shore Towers and Whitestone, along with northern Nassau and northwest Suffolk counties. Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi is seeking his second term in office and is facing off against the Republican nominee, Dan DeBono.
Another intriguing contest is the four-way race for the 11th State Senate District seat, which covers Bayside, Bay Terrace, College Point, Douglaston, Little Neck, Fresh Meadows and Whitestone. Former City Comptroller John Liu defeated incumbent state Sen. Tony Avella in the September primary, but Avella is continuing his re-election campaign on third-party lines. They’re on the ballot, along with Republican nominee Vickie Paladino and Conservative party nominee Simon Minching, who lost the Republican primary to Paladino.
State Sen. Joe Addabbo is seeking his sixth term in Albany as representative of the 15th Senatorial District, which includes all or parts of Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Forest Hills Rego Park, Woodhaven, Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Richmond Hill and the Rockaways. He’s facing Republican nominee Tom Sullivan, a Breezy Point businessman and former Navy SEAL.
State Assemblyman Brian Barnwell is looking for his second term in office representing the 30th Assembly District, which includes all or parts of Long Island City, Maspeth, Middle Village and Woodside. Republican activist Eric Butkiewicz is challenging the Democrat.
Another Assembly race to watch is the 23rd Assembly District race, in which state Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato is seeking another term in office against Republican activist Matthew Pecorino. The 23rd District includes Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Broad Channel and much of the Rockaways.
The 26th Assembly District race pits the Democratic incumbent Ed Braunstein against Republican nominee David Bressler. The district covers Auburndale, Bayside, Bay Terrace, College Point, Flushing, Glen Oaks, Little Neck, North Shore Towers, Murray Hill and Whitestone.
A particularly odd contest
The 14th Congressional District race, which includes much of Corona, College Point, East Elmhurst, Flushing, Jackson Heights, Woodside and the Bronx, might be one of the oddest races in the country. Democratic nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — who stunned the political establishment with her upset win over 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in the June primary — is favored to win the heavily Democratic seat.
Crowley, however, remains on the ballot as the Working Families party nominee, even though he is no longer campaigning for the office and the party itself has withdrawn support of his candidacy. By law, his name could not be removed from the ballot merely for suspending his campaign. Nevertheless, there’s a shadow campaign underway among Crowley supporters to re-elect him.
Then there’s the Republican nominee, Anthony Pappas, who no longer has the support of his own party after domestic violence allegations surfaced against him. Conservative Party nominee Elizabeth Perri could pick up Republican votes as a result.
Incumbent Congresswoman Grace Meng is facing Green Party challenger Thomas Hillgardner in the Sixth Congressional District race, which includes areas of Ridgewood, Forest Hills, Middle Village, Glendale and Maspeth.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the 12th Congressional District is seeking re-election against Republican businessman Eliot Rabin. The district covers Astoria, Long Island City and a part of Woodside, and stretches into Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Jessica Ramos, who defeated state Sen. Jose Peralta in the September Democratic primary, is expected to win the 13th Senatorial District seat outright on Tuesday. Peralta, however, remains on the ballot as a third-party candidate. The 13th District includes Corona, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Willets Point and Woodside.
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky is expected to cruise to victory in the 16th Senatorial District seat, which covers all or parts of Bayside, Elmhurst, Flushing, Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok and Woodside. Her lone challenger is Reform Party candidate Vincent Pazienza.
State Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi is facing a challenge from perennial Republican candidate Danniel Maio for the 28th Assembly District seat, which covers all or parts of Glendale, Forest Hills, Middle Village and Rego Park.
State Assemblyman Clyde Vanel is expected to win his second term in office as the representative of the 33rd Assembly District, which covers Bellerose, Cambria Heights, Hollis, Queens Village and St. Albans. He’s facing Republican nominee Lalita Etwaroo.
Catalina Cruz, who defeated incumbent state Assemblywoman Ari Espinal in the September Democratic primary, is on track to become the new representative of the 39th Assembly District covering Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Espinal is on the ballot as a third-party candidate along with Reform Party nominee Bobby Kalotee.
Finally, state Assemblyman Ron Kim is expected to win another term in office as the representative of Flushing’s 40th Assembly District. His only challenger is Reform Party candidate Jon Sandalios.
Flip the ballot
Don’t forget to turn the paper ballot over and vote on three New York City ballot questions affecting the city charter. Question 1 focuses on increasing public financing of campaigns; Question 2 centers on the establishment of a new commission to boost civic engagement; and Question 3 considers term limits for community board members.