In both races, the challengers barely have enough money to print up campaign literature much less to do the kind of direct-mail and get-out-the vote operations that would give them a prayer of victory.
But Joseph Thompson, who is challenging incumbent Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, and Jessica Flagg, who is challenging veteran Congressman Eliot Engel, are nonetheless contributing to the health of our democracy. By raising important issues, having conversations with voters, and forcing the incumbents to do the same, they are exercising the muscles of our body politic. If they didn’t run, even fewer people would know what our representatives’ names are, what they do and what their records are.
None of our other elected officials – Congressman Jose Serrano and Assemblymen Jose Rivera and Jeffrey Dinowitz – face a Democratic primary challenger. Some have nominal challengers in the general election (most often these are placeholders for parties who do not campaign) but in reality they get to skip the election and the accountability that democracy thrives on.
Primary elections are especially critical in New York City, where in most cases, securing the Democratic nomination in September is akin to victory in November.
So, we thank Jessica Flagg and Joseph Thompson for waging their campaigns despite the long odds. They are doing their part for democracy and for the people of their respective Assembly and Congressional districts.
We urge you to do yours. Vote on Sept. 12. If you have questions about your registration or where to vote, call (212) VOTE-NYC.
We hope that we can stop the Armory Clock in our Sept. 21 issue. For now, the clock keeps ticking …
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