March 7, 2018
by: Adam Roberts
Credit: Tim Evanson.
Credit: Tim Evanson.

2018 is shaping up to have a very busy political calendar. While the general election is getting the most press, due to talks of a “Democratic wave,” there are many other noteworthy elections occurring. For many New Yorkers, there will be four separate elections:

  • Tuesday, April 24: State Special Elections
  • Tuesday, June 26: Federal Primary
  • Tuesday, September 11: State Primary (tentative)
  • Tuesday, November 6: General Election

Tuesday, April 24: State Special Elections
Special elections for vacant State legislative seats are being held throughout New York. In NYC, these include the 39th Assembly District (Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst), 74th Assembly District (Midtown East, East Village), 80th Assembly District (East Bronx), and 32nd Senate District (Central Bronx). A Democrat is expected to win each of these; as there are no primaries for special elections, Democratic nominees are selected by elected party officials.

Tuesday, June 26: Federal Primary
These are contested primaries for the US House and US Senate. In NYC, some longtime Democratic incumbents are facing their first seriously contested primaries in years. Carolyn Maloney (12th District—East Side of Manhattan, Western Queens, Greenpoint) faces a challenge from developer Suraj Patel. In Brooklyn, Yvette Clarke (9th District—Park Slope, Crown Heights, Flatbush) is being challenged by non-profit worker Adem Bunkeddeko.

Meanwhile, there are contested Republican and Democratic primaries for the seat held by Republican Dan Donovan (11th District—Staten Island and South Brooklyn). Convicted felon and former Congressman Michael Grimm is challenging Donovan in the Republican primary. In the Democratic primary, of the numerous candidates, army veteran Max Rose has raised the most money and has the most institutional support.

Tuesday, September 11: State Primary (tentative)
Primaries are being held for all statewide elected positions, state legislative seats, and party positions. So far, Governor Cuomo has avoided a serious Democratic opponent; Republicans are also struggling to recruit candidates against him. The most notable races in NYC are challenges to members of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), those Democrats in the State Senate who caucus with Republicans, thus keeping Republicans in control of the body. The actual election date may be moved to Thursday, September 13; September 11 is the second day of Rosh Hashana.

Tuesday, November 6: General Election
Also known as the Midterm Election, this is the general election for all of the aforementioned seats. Control of the US House and State Senate may be decided in the New York City area, with numerous vulnerable Republican incumbents in both bodies. In NYC proper, Republicans are defending a Congressional seat currently held by Dan Donovan (mentioned above) and a State Senate seat held by Marty Golden (South Brooklyn).

As part of AIANY President Guy Geier’s Architect|Activist theme for 2018, AIANY encourages all of our members to become more civically engaged. AIANY has recently hosted both DDC and LPC, while making a strong effort for Community Board recruitment. The chapter also strongly encourages our members to vote in these elections. You may check your voter registration status here. To register to vote and get more information, click here. Voter registration forms are also available at the Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place); if you would like to register or change your party affiliation in person, you can do so here. As a reminder, you must be registered with a party to vote in a primary. Please contact Adam Roberts, Government Affairs Coordinator, at or 212-358-6116 with any questions.

Pulse Points:

  • On 2.16.18 the Department of State published a Request for Proposal in the Federal Register (#2018-03116) for the fundraising, project management, design, construction, operation, and disassembly and removal of a USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. For more information, click here.
  • On 3.2.18, AIANY and the Historic Buildings Committee co-hosted a forum with Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) Chair Srinivasan. Srinivasan discussed various rules changes LPC is seeking to implement in order to give staff more authority and streamline decision-making. LPC will hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments and rules on 3.27.18 at 9:30 AM at 1 Centre Street, 9th Floor. More information can be found here.


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