Manhattan council candidates cross-endorse to strengthen odds as early voting begins

Editorial on strength of early voting
Photo by Dean Moses

Candidates in two competitive Manhattan City Council contests cross-endorsed each other last week right before the start of early voting this weekend.

Taking advantage of the city’s ranked-choice voting system — where voters have the option to rank up to five candidates in their order of preference — sets of competitors for both the council’s 9th and 1st Districts announced they’d rank one another second and encouraged voters to do the same.

In the central Harlem seat of District 9, Assembly Member Al Taylor (D-Manhattan) and Yussef Salaam — a member of the “Exonerated Five” who’s a newcomer to electoral politics — told voters to rank each other second over their rival Assembly Member Inez Dickens (D-Manhattan). Dickens, who’s leading both her competitors in backers and fundraising, scored her own major endorsement last week from Mayor Eric Adams.

And in the 1st District, which covers lower Manhattan neighborhoods like Chinatown and the Financial District, candidates Susan Lee and Ursila Jung are also encouraging voters to rank one another number two, as a strategy to overcome the incumbent council member, Christopher Marte. Lee and Jung are both moderates who align on many issues.

“If we agree on many of the issues, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t rank the other person second choice,” Lee said, during a PoliticsNY debate for the 1st District last week. “So when I go to the ballot box … on Primary Day, I will rank Ursila Jung second choice.”

Early voting continues through next Sunday, June 25, and Election Day is June 27. Visit vote.nyc to find your early voting site and regular polling location.