Political Strategist Helped Shape Koch's Mayor Campaign
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It might be hard to imagine now, but when Mayor Ed Koch ran for City Hall in 1977, he was a longshot candidate.
Mayor Koch was a Congressman from Greenwich Village when he ran for mayor in 1977. Several of his opponents in the Democratic primary were much more well known than him: the incumbent Mayor Abe Beame, New York's Secretary of State Mario Cuomo, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug, Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton and former Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo.
But Koch had a secret weapon on his side: political strategist David Garth. Garth helped Koch craft his public image and produced campaign ads that showcased Koch's sharp sense of humor and introduced him to New York City voters.
The ads were a fascinating look at Koch before he became mayor, and they played a key role in Koch's campaign. Koch himself even said that he would not have become mayor without the help of his aide, David Garth.