Voters to decide NYC mayor, New Jersey governor at polls today

MANHATTAN (PIX11) – It’s Election Day and everything from some City Council seats to Mayor to governor of New Jersey to the highest office in Nassau County are ups for grabs.  But first, New York voters have to navigate the voting booth.  Number 1 problem, you can’t read the dang ballot.  Written in eight point font, viewers will be waiting in lines as those in front of them struggle to find their candidates.  And struggle further to get through the referendum issues as well.  Why would anyone think it’s a good idea to have teeny-tiny print in a voting booth?!  Ask the New York State Election’s Board and your legislators who can’t manage to get laws in lockstep with our new technology that put the ballot on an electronic screen. Don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

So if you’re ready for some actual politics on your election day, let’s start with mayor.  The presumptive winner for the past several weeks has been the New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.  Some pinpoint his meteoric rise in the polls to the appearance of his perfectly multi-ethnic family, so eloquently illustrated by 15 year old son Dante and his ubiquitous ‘fro’.  Republican candidate Joe Lhota, schlepping around the pedigree of being the former head of the MTA (that group of individuals best known for consistently raising subway and bus fares and tolls that allow hard-working, underpaid commuters to drag themselves to work each day) has been campaigning hard with former mayor Rudy Giuliani.  Not political pundit has gone out on a limb to say Lhota has a chance to come in as underdog and take the race.

But here’s your spoiler alert, according to political analyst Jeanne Zaino, a Professor at Iona and NYU.  All those great points that have New Yorker’s embracing DeBlasio as their shining knight on a white horse about income inequity are fairly moot.  Because as Mayor the most DeBlasio can do is ask, really nicely, that Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders tax all those wealthy New Yorkers more to give some of the dough to the poorer New Yorkers in the form of social programs.  And Zaino says those taxes probably won’t fly.  “It’s going to be a tall order for him, for him to have the ability to narrow that income gap.  And it was an issue that he ran so effectively on,” sums up Zaino.

And what about the race in New Jersey for Governor?  Again, a few, teeny details may have been glossed over.  Like a vote for Chris Christie could be a vote for Kim Guadagno.  Who is this Kim we speak of?  She’s New Jersey’s very first Lieutenant Governor.  Elected back in November of 2009 after the Jim McGreevey resignation debacle put Senate President Richard Codey in the Governor’s office.  Christie widely expected to make a run for the Republican presidential nomination.  Which MAY have him giving up his governor’s office.  Hence, a vote for Christie today, and more voters expected to pull the lever for him than his challenger Democrat Barbara Buono, is a vote to see Guadagno in office in two years.

Who else wants the big jobs?  In Nassau County they’re still in a dogfight.  Democrat Tom Suozzi used to be the Nassau County Executive, until Republican Ed Mangano beat him for the gig four years ago.  Now Suozzi wants it back, zigzagging the county today in a big ole RV to scoop up the undecided.  But he’s going to have to burn a lot of gas to catch up to Mangano, who has a double digit lead.  Suozzi lost to Mangano in the last election by fewer than 400 votes the last time around.  You can be sure that’s put a lot of fuel in his tank.

And in Westchester County the race also a hotly contested one.  Voters there very aware they pay the highest property taxes in the nation.  And that may drive a vote one way or another.  Current Republican County Executive Rob Astorino has trumpted that he’s kept taxes flat.  But upstart Democrat Noam Bramson, who’s been mayor of New Rochelle countered that with an endorsement from The Former President, Bill Clinton.  And he’s hitting the issues hard.  Like saying he’s for responsible gun control, and a woman’s right to choose.

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