Yes, there are four elected officials in the race to be the city’s No. 3 official. But Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Zach Iscol, Terri Liftin and Reshma Patel are likely to be on the ballot, too.
The 2021 Democratic primary for comptroller could feature the largest field ever, which would be a trivial superlative were it not for the fact that ranked-choice voting introduces a novel dynamic into the race to oversee the city’s billions in contracts, spending, debt and pension investments.
The four elected officials now in the race—State Sen. Brian Benjamin, City Councilmember Brad Lander, State Sen. Kevin Parker and Assemblymember David Weprin—might or might not be joined by Council Speaker Corey Johnson. No matter what Johnson does, those four have company: journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, entrepreneur Zach Iscol, attorney Terri Liftin, college student Alex Pan and Democratic activist Reshma Patel.
This week, the Max & Murphy Show sat down with four of those candidates to discuss their vision for the office that packs a lot of substantive muscle behind its green eye shades and pocket protector.
Some of them might not make the ballot, or make it to the end of the race, or garner more than a handful of votes, but then they’d be in good company: In the last comptroller race anywhere near this crowded, in 1989, one candidate dropped out at the last minute with $100,000 in campaign debt and managed to get just 4 percent of the ballots. Jerrold Nadler is now in his 15th term in Congress and chairs the Judiciary Committee.
Hear our conversations with the candidates below: