By now, many Upper West Siders know which candidates are running for mayor.
They may not like any of them particularly much, but they have heard about who’s out there.
But voters at Artie’s Deli in the West 80s who were chewing on pastrami sandwiches with marble rye are also chewing on candidates running for the down ballot races of public advocate and borough president.
“What’s-her-name’s son is Noah Gotbaum and is running for something,” Manhattan resident Kate Dedelioglu said. “Public advocate. Do I know of him? I’ve met him before and I know of him.”
Artie’s politically engaged customers were likely to support candidates for lower office if they had met them or seen them in the neighborhood.
That bodes well for Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who is hoping to become the next Manhattan borough president.
“I think she’s interesting, but I like her,” Manhattan resident Tina Hansen said. “I like that she’s scrappy and that she worked really hard on this paid sick leave deal and that she didn’t give up on it.”
Dedelioglu was excited to hear that Brewer is running at all.
“I would vote for her… she’s done great things,” she said. “I didn’t know she is running.”
But candidates for City Council will likely face a tough crowd this summer.
Most diners could not identify any candidates running for City Council races and said that it was “premature” to start paying attention to it.
“They’re only starting now to reach out to people,” Upper West Side resident Jonathan Silver said. “I’ve seen them out in the neighborhood but I try to avoid them. I see them at the subway stations at the morning. I haven’t sent them at their floor yet.”
Manhattan resident Alex Schenck said he did not know who was running for the down ballot seats and had not seen any campaign flyers in his neighborhood.
“I can’t say I have seen any advertising in my neighborhood… not since last election,” he said. “The only one I’ve seen posters of and ads on TV for is John Catsimatidis.”
And Harlem resident Jacqui Burwell said she is “not paying much attention” to the races but that she will once it gets closer to the primary.
“I’ll wait until the last minute and go online and Google search it like I usually do and look up some information,” she said.
Not that she or the other diners are that inspired by anyone currently running for office.
“Politicians say good things in the beginning just to get your interest and to get your vote,” she said. “They get the job and all the promises they made go out the window and they become not as important as the campaign to win. My believability in politicians wanes quickly.”
Silver had even nastier things to say about this year’s mayoral crop.
“I don’t regard the current candidates as suitable,” he said. “A lot of them just seem like political hacks who have no vision of the city. They seem far more selfish than visionary.”
And Upper West Side resident Fasil Mogus said he would not vote for anyone because he was shocked that Anthony Weiner, a “pervert candidate,” is running for mayor.
“He took us for fools,” he said. “Because he’s bad, de Blasio looks good. It’s just like the presidential election. That’s why I’m not voting any more. It doesn’t make sense anymore.”
But most diners as well as Artie’s wait staff said they didn’t know the candidates, but still planned to vote in the fall.
“Not at all, to be honest,” said Elizabeth Rodriguez, a waitress and Bronx resident, when asked if she knew who was running. “I don’t know anything about it.”
Her co-worker, George Yturrizaga, was also unsure of the candidates for City Council and Manhattan borough president.
“I don’t even know who’s running at this point,” he said. “I have to read into it more. You don’t hear much about the Manhattan borough president.”
He has heard about Anthony Weiner–and he likes him.
“I think he has a better chance of winning than Christine Quinn,” he said. “It’s just his whole attitude. He knows what he’s done is wrong. He’s taken the punches and goes with it.”
What would Yturrizaga recommend to Weiner if he came to Artie’s to politick?
“Pastrami!” he said. “ It’s the best. I’d give him a weiner with some sauerkraut if he wants it.”