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.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Primaries Past and Present: Ed Koch 1981 Campaign Commercials

Steven A. Levine
Coordinator for Educational Programs

New Yorkers are waiting on lines today to vote in the Democratic and Republican primaries and they are again using the aging Shoup lever voting machines to cast their ballots.  Given our use of these old, but trustworthy machines, it seemed a good moment to go back in time to 1981 to watch Ed Koch’s campaign commercials
Thirty two years ago, Mayor Koch was up for reelection.  During his first term, he had won congressional approval for loan guarantees, brought the city back to solvency, begun to restore city services and balanced the budget a year ahead of schedule.  His main opponent in the Democratic primary was the liberal State Assembly member Frank Barbaro, who attacked Koch for reducing city services and cutting taxes for the wealthy.  Koch easily defeated Barbaro and also won the Republican primary, making him the only mayoral candidate to win the nominations of both major parties.  He then went on to win the general election in a landslide defeating Barbaro, who ran as an independent and the candidates of the Liberal, Conservative and Right to Life parties.
Elections have consequences and I hope you will take the time to participate in your party’s primary and in the November general election.  Mayor Koch would certainly have wanted you to.

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