Manhattan’s Top 10 Elected Officials

Manhattan
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The most powerful elected officials in Manhattan

Manhattan’s Top 10 Elected Officials

The most influential leaders in the heart of New York City.
October 20, 2020

1. Scott Stringer

New York City Comptroller

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New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
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New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
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New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
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New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
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New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
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Office of the New York City Comptroller

Scott Stringer launched his mayoral campaign in September by promising to “bring leadership back to City Hall.” Two weeks later, top rival Corey Johnson dropped out of the race, giving Stringer a clear lane to Manhattan’s progressive voters and donors. He’s already snagged endorsements from a diverse coalition of elected officials, including Jessica Ramos, Yuh-Line Niou and Jamaal Bowman, and he remains the only candidate who has already won a citywide office.

2. Brad Hoylman

State Senator

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New York State Senate

The midtown Manhattan state senator isn’t afraid to jump into the crowded Manhattan borough president field that includes two City Council members. State Sen. Brad Hoylman distinguished himself in Albany with legislation that protects tenants facing hardship from eviction, a pied-a-terre tax proposal on pricey second homes, and his idea for the city to collect taxes on vacant storefront properties. He recently chided the NYPD commissioner for officers not wearing face masks.

3. Carlina Rivera

Chair, New York City Council Committee on Hospitals

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New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, one of City & State's 2020 Above & Beyond.
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New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, one of City & State's 2020 Above & Beyond.
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New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, one of City & State's 2020 Above & Beyond.
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New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera.
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New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, one of City & State's 2020 Above & Beyond.
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Guerin Blask

New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera oversees the legislative body’s Committee on Hospitals at a crucial time, with the coronavirus pandemic exposing inadequate capacity in the city’s siloed medical facilities. The Lower East Side lawmaker has also pressed for more community outreach in coronavirus testing. The champion of small businesses and voting rights defender is well positioned to be a top council speaker contender following the 2021 elections. 

4. Liz Krueger

Chair, State Senate Finance Committee

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Liz Krueger
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Liz Krueger
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Liz Krueger
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State Senate

The state Senate Finance Committee chair had the unenviable task of helping put together the state’s $177 billion budget as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged revenues and piled on new expenses. Liz Krueger is pushing to raise the millionaires tax with no sign of state aid from Congress, end fossil fuel-related tax breaks and legalize recreational marijuana. Other measures to tax vacant second homes and storefronts could pass through Krueger’s committee.

5. Brian Benjamin

Chair, State Senate Committee on Revenue and Budget

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State Senator Brian Benjamin is running for New York City Comptroller.
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State Senator Brian Benjamin is running for New York City Comptroller.
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State Senator Brian Benjamin is running for New York City Comptroller.
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State Senator Brian Benjamin is running for New York City Comptroller.
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State Senator Brian Benjamin is running for New York City Comptroller.
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Benjamin 2021

The Upper Manhattan state senator has been eyeing a city comptroller bid for months, potentially pitting him in a battle against New York City Council Member Brad Lander and Assembly Member David Weprin. A criminal justice reform advocate in Albany, Benjamin also wants to allow outdoor dining indefinitely, keep homeless men at an Upper West Side hotel despite local opposition and fine workplaces that violate safety standards during the pandemic.

6. Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President

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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
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Celeste Sloman

The most beloved politician in Manhattan has the energy of a 20-something, simultaneously advocating for the subways to run earlier on Election Day, mediating Lenox Hill Hospital’s contentious expansion plan and demanding that immigration agents halt their deceptive tactics. Gale Brewer will have a planned SoHo/NoHo rezoning on her plate plus the challenge of keeping Manhattan’s restaurants and stores from closing permanently.

7. Jerry Nadler

Chair, House Committee on the Judiciary

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Congressman Jerrold Nadler
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Congressman Jerrold Nadler
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Congressman Jerrold Nadler
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Congressman Jerrold Nadler
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Congressman Jerrold Nadler
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U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Jerry Nadler played a key role in the impeachment of President Donald Trump, serving as an impeachment manager in the U.S. Senate, but he failed to oust his old rival from the White House. Now, he’s warning that Democrats may add seats to the U.S. Supreme Court if Republicans fill a vacancy this month. He easily fended of a spirited primary challenger earlier this year.

8. Adriano Espaillat

Member of Congress

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Rep. Adriano Espaillat speaks during New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address in 2013
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Rep. Adriano Espaillat speaks during New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address in 2013
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Rep. Adriano Espaillat speaks during New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address in 2013
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Rep. Adriano Espaillat speaks during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address in 2013.
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Rep. Adriano Espaillat speaks during Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address in 2013.
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Judy Sanders/Office of the Governor

In his four years in Congress, Rep. Adriano Espaillat has been a forceful advocate on immigration issues, demanding that a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Georgia be shut down and investigated for giving women unwanted hysterectomies. Espaillat has also waded into local politics by endorsing New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer for mayor and calling for city public schools to delay in-person learning until January 2021.

9. Inez Dickens

Chair, Assembly Subcommittee on Micro Business

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Inez Dickens
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Inez Dickens
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Inez Dickens
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Inez Dickens
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Inez Dickens
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M Stan Reaves/Shutterstock

The lifelong Upper Manhattanite made a name for herself as a member of the New York City Council, where she was the first Black woman to ascend to the position of deputy majority leader and also served as vice chair of the state Democratic Committee. While she was eventually term-limited out of the council, she won election to the state Assembly in 2016, where she continues to promote causes like increasing the share of government business for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

10. Margaret Chin

Chair, New York City Council Committee on Aging

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Margaret Chin
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Margaret Chin
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Emily Cohen

Though Margaret Chin will be term-limited out of her downtown Manhattan seat in 2022, she hopes the city moves ahead with a SoHo/NoHo rezoning plan, wants the power to review a megatower development in Two Bridges, and voted for a borough-based jail in her district to help replace Rikers Island. Her district has been deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and Chin doesn’t want the city to forget its elderly. 

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