In a crowded election, mayoral long shots try to stand out

With the likes of former congressman Anthony Weiner on the ballot, mayoral long shots like Randy Credico, left, try to stand out. Credit: Aaron Adler/Metro
With the likes of former congressman Anthony Weiner on the ballot, mayoral long shots like Randy Credico, left, try to stand out.
Credit: Aaron Adler/Metro

With over 20 people vying for Gracie Mansion, the race for mayor has a few superstars—and a lot of underdogs.

Having years of experience (or even a scandal or two) under their belts, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, ex-MTA chairman Joe Lhota and former congressman Anthony Weiner dominate the headlines, leaving other candidates to scramble for name recognition and votes come election day.

Metro spoke with a handful of these long-shot candidates about how they set themselves apart from the pack.

Jimmy McMillan

Jimmy McMillan attends the premiere of "Damn!", a documentary about his campaign for governor. Credit: Getty Images
Jimmy McMillan attends the premiere of “Damn!”, a documentary about his campaign for governor.
Credit: Getty Images

For now, Jimmy McMillan is comfortable out of the spotlight.

“They’ll fight each other like cats and dogs and I’m sitting on the sidelines eating popcorn,” said the 66-year-old founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party.

Though McMillan is a registered Republican, he’s running on the unique party that made him an Internet sensation “because, the rent is still too damn high.”

Everything—unemployment, high crime—can be attributed to increasing rent in the city, McMillan said. If elected, McMillan would immediately halt all evictions.

“New York City has a right to make sure rent is stabilized for the people,” he said.

McMillan has unsuccessfully run for president, governor and mayor several times in the last 20 years, but he’s still confident.

“You going to be surprised how it’s going to turn out,” McMillan said.

Jack Hidary

Jack Hidary at his first campaign fundraiser.  Credit: Jack Hidary for NYC Mayor
Jack Hidary at his first campaign fundraiser.
Credit: Jack Hidary for NYC Mayor

Tech entrepreneur Jack Hidary says he would be the “jobs mayor.”

“I’m talking about taking some of the economic growth that you see in downtown Manhattan and taking it to all five boroughs,” said Hidary, 45, who officially launched his campaign two weeks ago.

Hidary grew up in Brooklyn before co-founding Dice.com, a tech job search site. He also formed a nonprofit to encourage hybrid taxicab use in the city.

“I am well known in the streets among many people,” Hidary said.

If elected, Hidary said more companies like Google would come to the city.

Hidary is a registered Independent, but petitioning for his own Jobs and Education party.

Confident of his chances, Hidary said contenders running on major party lines don’t represent voters anymore.

“They want someone who is going to get the job done,” he said.

Ceceilia Berkowitz 

NY_Berkowitz5
Ceceilia Berkowitz, right, shakes current-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s hand.
Credit: Ceceilia Berkowitz for NYC Mayor 2013

A professor in New Jersey and Long Island, Ceceilia Berkowitz said she doesn’t think those already holding office, on City Council for instance, are “well qualified” to be mayor.

“I come from a different background,” said Berkowitz, 35, who acknowledged she’s somewhat of an outsider in city politics.

Berkowitz is currently petitioning to run as an Independent, but announced her candidacy over Twitter in January.

She likes to remind people she’s friends with current-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“He offers advice when I see him,” Berkowitz said, noting the mayor has schooled her on how to deal with the press.

If elected, Berkowitz said she would make any city initiative be open for public comment and approval. Her promise contrasts sharply with Bloomberg, who consistently rolled out new initiatives—like the so-called “soda ban”—that angered the public.

“I’m also not Mayor Bloomberg,” Berkowitz said. “I’m interested in more helping businesses, helping individuals with working wages.”

The Rev. Erick Salgado

The Rev. Erick Salgado campaigns from the back of a truck in the Bronx with State Sen. Ruben Diaz. Credit: Aaron Adler/Metro
The Rev. Erick Salgado campaigns from the back of a truck in the Bronx with State Sen. Ruben Diaz.
Credit: Aaron Adler/Metro

The Rev. Erick Salgado considers himself the only candidate in the Democratic primary with a shot at the Latino vote, partially for his conservative views.

“Without a doubt, in the Spanish community, I’m the number one,” said Salgado, 43, noting many Latino voters are more conservative.

Born to Peutro Rican parents in the Bronx, Salgado has founded three churches in Brooklyn, including two in Bensonhurst with over 1,100 members.

Salgado, who now lives in Staten Island with his wife and kids, said he would push for community safety and increase the police force by some 2,500 officers if elected. He would also expand outreach to undocumented immigrants.

Though he remains confident, Salgado acknowledged he’s fighting a losing battle against sensationalized headlines.

“I cannot tweet myself in the underwear,” he said.

Randy Credico

Randy Credico, right, runs into his friend Chris Rock while campaigning in Manhattan. Credit: Aaron Adler/Metro
Randy Credico, right, runs into his friend Chris Rock while campaigning in Manhattan.
Credit: Aaron Adler/Metro

Political satirist Randy Credico doesn’t have anything good to say about his opponents.

“You have eight dull people and a guy like me,” said Credico, a comedian well known in New York political circles.

Credico is on the Democratic primary ballot, but, anticipating a loss, he’s also going to petition on his own Tax Wall Street party to secure a spot in the general election.

“I have to let people know there is someone with a point of view that’s not being controlled by Wall Street,” he said.

Credcico uses his stand-up experience when speaking to voters but has a history of fighting for civil rights causes.

“I’m speaking on behalf of a constituency who can’t vote,” he said.

With this strategy, Credico admits he probably won’t win.

“But I’m not going to count myself out yet,” he added.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.