Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Primary Power

First of all, I've been reading some amazing comments on the blog over the past few days. Fantastic stuff, everyone. I must give some special attention to the students in 703, many of whom have written some brilliant things. In the words of a favorite rapper, "Clap for 'em."

Eighth graders, I know you well, I know you're full of just as many great opinions, and I can't wait to read more of them too.

Yesterday was the Democratic primary election in New York City. A primary election determines which candidate will have the support of a political party in the general election. Tomorrow’s election determines which candidate will have the support of the Democratic Party in the general election in November.
Because so many people in New York City are Democrats, the Democratic candidate very often wins the general election. So, the winner of tomorrow’s primary election will still need to win the general election, but a win in the primary is a big step in the right direction.

There were some important political races in New York. You probably saw posters for some of these candidates yesterday.

Eric Schneiderman won the race for state attorney general. The attorney general is the top lawyer in New York State. The attorney general is the main legal adviser to the state government. Mr. Schneiderman is currently a state senator, a lawmaker representing our neighborhood and parts of Harlem and the Upper West Side in the state government. He defeated Kathleen Rice, a district attorney from Long Island, among other people.

Adriano Espaillat won the race for state senator in our district. Espaillat has been our assemblyman, another lawmaker representing us at the State Capitol in Albany. He will almost definitely replace Eric Schneiderman in the State Senate (remember, he still has to win in November).

Charlie Rangel won the race for Congress in our district. For forty years, Charlie Rangel has represented Harlem and Washington Heights in the national government, as a lawmaker in Washington, D.C. Congressman Rangel has been accused of seriously abusing his power, and he will go on trial this fall. Many people said he should have retired--he's eighty years old--so the country wouldn't be distracted by his trial this fall. But Congressman Rangel believes he is right and so he decided to run for re-election anyway.

What questions do you have about the primary elections? Let me know what you're wondering and I'll try to answer your questions the best I can.

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