Winners & Losers

Winners & Losers of 2023: Miscellaneous awards

These are just some of the people who make the New York political world a unique and interesting place.

A notable 2023 rebrand, but not the winner of “Best Personal Brand”

A notable 2023 rebrand, but not the winner of “Best Personal Brand” Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

We made so many memories this year. Remember heart hands? Digi-dog? Not everyone is a clear winner or loser of 2023. Some special people needed bespoke awards for original contributions to our city and state. Presenting City & State’s 2023 Miscellaneous Awards.

Who Runs This City Award


Eric Adams and Jessica Tisch really hate rats. They say that rats don’t run this city so often, it kind of makes us think they’re covering up an office building where thousands of rats are working at tiny desks approving building permits.

Simple Plan’s Welcome to My Life Award

Kathy Hochul

Her first pick for chief judge fell flat, her ambitious housing agenda crashed, her rival Tom Suozzi is running for Congress again and her predecessor Andrew Cuomo is prepping his comeback.

Honorary Fire Marshal

Jamaal Bowman

While rushing to a vote, the former middle school principal apparently got so lost in the Cannon House Office Building that he pulled a fire alarm. He apologized, was charged with a misdemeanor, paid a $1,000 fine and was censured.

Least Likely Fire Marshal

Eric Adams

As federal prosecutors are now learning, the mayor has allegedly leaned on the FDNY to expedite fire safety inspections when Turkey opened a new consulate in Manhattan and other friends of the mayor.

Best-timed Book

“The Fabulist” by Mark Chiusano

The former Newsday columnist spent years chasing the true story of George Santos and released this definitive account of the congressional conman less than a month before Santos was expelled from the House. HBO here he comes.

Chip Off the Old Block Award

Jordan Wright

The son of Manhattan Democratic Party boss Keith Wright steered Yusef Salaam’s groundbreaking City Council campaign. Plus, he was the new “gold standard” for young leaders on City & State’s New York City 40 Under 40 cover.

The Failing Up Award

Louis Molina

The New York City Department of Correction commissioner’s attempts to address violence at Rikers Island backfired so badly that a federal judge is now on the verge of stripping the city of its control of its jails. But the mayor still rewarded him with a cushy job as assistant deputy mayor of public safety.

Please Unmute Award

Adam Sullivan

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that you can truly do your job from anywhere – even if you live in Colorado and your job is to advise Gov. Kathy Hochul to not talk about crime and therefore almost lose an election.

Jay Jacobs Democratic Leadership Award

Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

The Brooklyn Democratic Party boss boosted Republican City Council candidate Ari Kagan’s smears against Democrat Justin Brannan in the final week of the election. Kagan then handed out flyers that reprinted her statement, which she called “fake GOP campaign literature.”

New York’s Golden Bachelor

Bill de Blasio

The former New York City mayor announced he and wife Chirlane McCray would begin dating other people, while continuing to live together. Months later, he was spotted making out with a “mystery woman” at a rooftop bar.

Heart of the Ocean Award

The recoil spring assembly in Inna Vernikov’s gun

Where did it go? We’ll never know. But it helped her avoid criminal charges for possessing an (operable) firearm in a sensitive area.

Best Personal Brand

Jenifer Rajkumar

Whenever there’s a flag to be raised in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams will be there – and the Assembly member will be right next to him, usually in her signature red dress. But we can’t knock it! Rajkumar got Diwali as a school holiday – and her highly recognizable look always stands out.

Comeback of the Year

Alvin Bragg

Until recently, the Manhattan district attorney was primarily known for supporting policies that his critics have called “soft on crime,” but Bragg changed the narrative this year when he brought criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.

Welcome to New York Award

Prince William

You’re a big deal elsewhere, eh? Well, welcome to the show. New York City Mayor Eric Adams didn’t have time to meet with the Prince of Wales in September, canceling at the last minute. Maybe come back when you’re king, kid.