Boro Presidents' Fight Extends Beyond Election

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Among the city's five borough presidents, only Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro may have a race on his hands this year. He has the distinction in the city’s most Republican area of being the first “beep” elected from the Conservative party. Yet his Democratic opponent, a commercial real estate lawyer named John Luisi – who’s raised little money but claims the backing of powerful unions and the Working Families Party – may represent the political future in a borough that’s trending Democratic. In the past two years, Democratic registration has soared by 13 percent while Republican enrollment has increased by 3 percent. After 20 years of Republican control of borough hall, Staten Island might be ready to make a change.
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But whatever happens there on Nov. 3, all five of the city's borough presidents may face a more challenging test in 2010, when a commission is expected to be formed to review the New York City Charter, perhaps with a view toward eliminating an office that some argue lost its raison d'