NEW YORK—Immense political change is on the horizon in November 2013 as local elections will usher in new faces from the top down. For the first time in 12 years, New York City will have a new mayor, as Michael Bloomberg’s three-term tenure concludes. Other positions up for grabs include the 51-member city council, comptroller, public advocate, and borough presidents.
Building on changes made by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the Bloomberg administration has guided the economic growth and development of New York City, bringing the city out of the post-9/11 blues and pushing the tourism and tech-sector industries into the financial capital of the world.
The next mayor will be tasked with building on that economic growth and development. The job will be tricky, as the city is expected to have a $2.5 billion budget shortfall for fiscal year 2014, which runs from July 2013 through June 2014. The surplus money from the rainy day fund as well as money won from litigation is gone, leaving the city without a safety net as in years past. Whatever the outcome of the fiscal cliff situation in Washington, D.C., New York City is expected to take a hit, giving the city very few bailout options. With budgets already stretched thin from past years’ budget cuts, the term “doing more with less” will be taken to new heights.
The next mayor will also be expected to continue rebuilding the city after Hurricane Sandy.
Current City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is one of the most widely talked about potential Democratic candidates. Despite not formally announcing her candidacy, she has raised $5.7 million, more than any other potential candidate. Mayor Bloomberg has not formally backed Speaker Quinn, but he has been outspoken in his praise for her.
Current Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who has also not formally declared as a Democratic candidate, is second in funds raised with $2.8 million. Unlike Quinn, de Blasio has been openly critical of Bloomberg on a broad range of topics, including stop and frisk, paid sick days, and small business fines.
William “Bill” Thompson Jr., the city’s former comptroller, lost to Bloomberg in 2009 by 4.5 percent. Thompson has officially declared for the Democratic Party, raising $1.4 million in campaign funds. He is hoping to use his finance and business knowledge to lead the city.
Current City Comptroller and undeclared Democratic candidate John Liu has also been making the rounds in the early mayoral debates. His campaign has $2.6 million, but a federal investigation led to his campaign treasurer being indicted earlier this year. The investigation is ongoing and has left a stain that will be difficult to overcome.
Newspaper publisher Tom Allon formally declared his candidacy as a Republican, changing from Democrat in October. As a former teacher, he has a strong stance on education reform, but has garnered little financial support, with only $273,321 in donations thus far.
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