Other political races in New York City - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Other political races in New York City

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While the candidates for mayor and comptroller dominate the headlines, plenty of other political hopefuls are trying to get your attention before Tuesday's primary.

"We call those down ballot races, not quite mayor but everything sort of under that," said Basil Smikle, a political strategist and former candidate for office.

All 51 City Council seats are up for grabs as is the city wide office position of public advocate.

"The person who is public advocate is next in line to be mayor if the mayor cannot fulfill his or her duty, so it's a key position," said Professor Jeanne Zaino. She added that the public advocate is well positioned to run for mayor down the road. Case in point: Bill de Blasio.

Four candidates are competing in the Democratic primary. A poll from earlier this summer put found Council Member Leticia James with a slight lead over opponents state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Columbia University Professor Catherine Guerriero and former Deputy Public Advocate Reshma Saujani. But most voters were undecided.

Meanwhile, residents in all five boroughs will be voting for their borough president.

The Manhattan race is seen as one the most competitive, with Council Members Gail Brewer, Robert Jackson, Jessica Lapin and former Community Board Chair Julie Menin fighting for the seat.

"It's a very very tight race," Smikle said. He added that the office of "B.P." is not as influential as is once was historically, but still has some important functions.

"They deal with land use," he said. "The one thing we don't make any more is land. Real estate, rezoning, very important role for borough presidents."

Over in Brooklyn, Charles Hynes -- who has been the Kings County district attorney for some 24 years -- is facing the political fight of his life.

"There is a sense this is going to be a really tough race for him to win, and I think there's a lot of momentum on the challenger's side," Zaino said.

That challenger: political newcomer Ken Thomspon, an attorney perhaps best known for representing the housekeeper who accused IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault. He has managed to rally support in his bid to unseat Hynes.

"It would be a huge change in leadership but also it could portend a change really in how people are prosecuted in Brooklyn," Smikle said.

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