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Election Day on the Lower East Side

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It’s Election Day! There might not be any high profile races stirring passions on the Lower East Side, but you should exercise your right to vote anyway!

There are a few district leader contests we’re watching in today’s Democratic Primary, which in Lower Manhattan is usually more important than the General Election. What is a district leader, you ask?  In a nutshell, he/she is an intermediary between the community and the political parties. The district leaders (there’s a male and female in each community) help organize polling stations and are important to higher ranking elected officials during re-election campaigns.

In the 64th Assembly District (Part C), Paul Newell (incumbent) and newcomer Jenifer Rajkumar are taking on Linda Belfer (incumbent) and Jeff Galloway.  Newell, who ran against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver three years ago, and Rajkumar have been endorsed by Downtown Independent Democrats.  Balfer and Galloway have been endorsed by Lower Manhattan Democrats, a rival political club.

There’s another contentious race in Chinatown. Dr. Herbert Kee and Jenny Low are being challenged by Paul Lee and Jin Mei Chen in the 64th Assembly District (Part D).  Some political observers are looking at both of these races for signs that Silver’s influence could be waning. Newell is obviously not a big fan of the Speaker. An upset victory by Paul Lee would, likewise, be viewed as a setback for Silver, in a neighborhood increasingly important to the electoral math in his diverse district.

Polls are open until 9 p.m. Need to know where to vote? Check out the poll finder tool from the Board of Elections.


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