Third-Party Mayoral Candidates Driven By Strong Causes
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and William Thompson may dominate the airwaves, but eight other mayoral candidates will be on the ballot on Tuesday. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report on the lesser-known mayoral hopefuls.
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Jimmy McMillan is what you might call a single-issue candidate. "Rent Is Too Damn High" is not only his campaign slogan, it's also the name of the party line on which he is running. With a campaigning style that evokes pro wrestling, McMillan, above, may be the most colorful of the third-party mayoral candidates.
He’s got competition from the Billy Talen, the Green Party candidate. A self-styled evangelist, Reverend Billy preaches against over-commercialization and crusades for environmental issues. On Thursday, he led a march through Lower Manhattan against the city’s use of tropical hardwood.
“You got people up and down the streets in every neighborhood. They don’t want chain stores and luxury condos and big-box stores and gentrification," said Talen.
Not all third-party candidates skew to the left, but rather span the political spectrum. The third-party candidate likely to perform best on Tuesday is the most conservative of them all, Conservative Party candidate Stephen Christopher, who scored three percentage points in a recent poll.
A pastor at Memorial Baptist Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Christopher is the only candidate who's against abortion and gay marriage, though his number-one issue is smaller government.
“I look at government totally different than the two big guys," said Christopher. "They see government as the answer. I see government as often part of the problem.”
That view is shared by Libertarian Party candidate Joseph Dobrian, who wants to roll back what he sees as excessive regulations on private behavior, like bans on smoking and transfats. He also seeks to decriminalize other behaviors.
“I’m talking about recreational drug use. I’m talking about private contracts involving prostitution. Things of that sort,” said Dobrian.
On the far left is Socialist Workers Party candidate Daniel Fein, a sewing machine operator who advocates upending the capitalist system.
"The army, the courts, the police -- everything is designed to defend the private-profit system at the expense of working people,” said Fein.
Socialism and Liberation Party candidate Frances Villar, a Dominican immigrant and working mother of two, attends school and says she represents the poor and working people.
“We might not have the billions of dollars that the Republican or the Democratic party have, but we will have equivalent to that -- the power of the people standing behind us,” said Villar.
It may not translate into victory Tuesday, but it won’t be for lack of effort.
The website for the eight mayoral candidates, in alphabetical order, are:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Independent and Republican Party
Stephen Christopher, Conservative Party
Joseph Dobrian, Libertarian Party
Daniel Fein, Socialist Workers Party
Jimmy McMillan, Rent Is Too Damn High Party
Billy Talen, Green Party
William Thompson, Democratic Party
Frances Villar, Party for Socialism and Liberation