Run-off Election for Mayoral Candidates Seen As Contest Between Jewish, Black and Hispanic Voters
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Run-off Election for Mayoral Candidates Seen As Contest Between Jewish, Black and Hispanic Voters

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Next Tuesday’s run-off election for the Democratic mayoral nomination shapes up as a contest between Jewish voters and Blacks and Puerto Ricans if the results of the June 4 primaries are any indication. And the indications are that after three weeks of intensive campaigning, neither Rep. Herman Badillo nor City Comptroller Abraham Beame has made any serious inroads among the other’s constituency.

A heavy turn-out by Blacks and Puerto Ricans June 4 was credited with placing Badillo-a close second to Beame. The run-off was mandated because neither of the two front-runners received 40 percent of the city-wide vote in the primaries.

Beame, 67, who ran unsuccessfully for Mayor in 1965, finished first in the primaries with 34 percent of the vote. Badillo, 44, got 29 percent, Beame’s first place finish was based on his capture of 40 percent of the Jewish vote while Badillo’s strongest showing was in heavily Black and Hispanic districts. Beame is Jewish and Badillo was born in Puerto Rico.

Beame made some inroads among Irish and Italian voters who tended to favor Rep. Mario Biaggi the Conservative Party nominee who placed third in the race for the Democratic endorsement. He also did better than Badillo in middle class Black districts such as the St. Albans-South Jamaica area of Queens. But Beame’s main strength was clearly among Jews and Badillo’s among poorer Blacks and Puerto Ricans, according to a breakdown of the votes by district.


In the heavily Jewish Borough Park district, for example, Badillo polled 2334 votes to Beame’s 3213. But in the heavily black Brownsville-East New York district, the tally was 2458 for Badillo to 814 for Beame. East Flatbush-Crown Heights which is largely Jewish, favored Beame by a margin of 7442 votes to 2112 for Badillo. But in predominantly black Bedford Stuyvesant-Crown Heights the results were 2495 for Badillo to 1438 for Beame.

Beame far outdistanced Badillo in Jewish areas of Queens where controversies have raged over low income housing projects. In the Rego Park-Forest Hills district, the Comptroller polled 3598 votes to Badillo’s 946. In Howard Beach-South Ozone Park 4186 voted for Beame to 2788 for Badillo. In Broad Channel-Rockaways, Beame captured 8342 votes to Badillo’s 2031.

Of the two run-off contestants, Badillo is regarded as the more liberal. He may appeal to those Jewish voters who would like to see a Jew Mayor but preferred Assemblyman Albert H. Blumenthal to Beame in the June 4 primaries.

Blumenthal, who ran with the endorsement of the Reform Democrats and the Liberal Party, came out a poor fourth in the primaries with only 16 percent of the vote. But he did fairly well in such Jewish strongholds as Sheepshead Bay-Coney Island and Flatbush-Parkville in Brooklyn. Blumenthal himself expressed preference for Badillo after the primaries.

According to some observers, the liberal Jewish vote has no place to go but to Badillo in the run-off. Whoever wins on Tuesday, there will be a four-way race for Mayor in Nov. The Democratic candidate will have to face the Republican nominee, John Marchi;-Biaggi, the Conservative nominee; and Blumenthal who is running on the Liberal Party ticket.

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