Established in 1982 at LaGuardia Community College/ CUNY with a mission to collect, preserve, and make available primary materials documenting the social and political history of New York City. We hold nearly 5,000 cubic feet of archival records and 3,200 reels of microfilm with almost 100,000 photographs and 2,000,000 documents available on our website.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ed Koch Runs for a 4th Term: 1989 Campaign Commercials

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

In 1989 Ed Koch attempted what no other mayor had achieved: election to a fourth term. Koch's commercials were similar to those in 1985: regular New Yorkers saying he wasn't perfect, but was doing a good job. After 12 years as mayor and burdened by a scandal-tainted third term and a perception that he was racially divisive, many New Yorkers were looking for change. 

Most voters who rejected Koch turned to Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins, an African-American, who promised conciliation in contrast to the tumultuous Koch. Building on Rev. Jesse Jackson's success in the 1988 Democratic presidential primary, Dinkins won a majority in the 1989 Democratic mayoral primary and narrowly defeated Rudy Giuliani in the general election. Ed Koch had failed in his quest for an unprecedented fourth term, but when later asked if he would run again he humorously replied, "The people have spoken ... And they must be punished."

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