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BY HEATHER DUBIN | In the East Village, voters trickled to the polls at a slow but steady pace on primary day.
At the Boys & Girls Republic poll site on E. Sixth St. near Avenue D., mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio was a popular choice. Weston Clay, 29, an E. Eighth St. resident, voted just for de Blasio because he felt uninformed about the other races.
“He seems to be the most progressive candidate and that’s the reason I chose him,” he said.
Genaro Davila, 66, of E. 10th St., also backed de Blasio.
He seems more honest,” he said. “I was going to vote for Quinn, and I thought about Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Voting for her is like voting for Bloomberg — I never liked him, he’s a dictator.” Davila cast his ballot for City Councilmember Rosie Mendez because she lives in the neighborhood and is “for the community,” he said. And state Senator Daniel Squadron won his vote for public advocate: “He is for my people,” Davila said.
Marilyn Gonzalez, 59, lives across the street from the polling site, and said she thinks de Blasio is fantastic. She also voted for Mendez and appreciates her work for the community.
“She’s opened doors for us, and she’s done lots for the poor,” she said of the councilmember. Gonzalez did not vote in the other races. She abstained from a public advocate vote because, “They only do for the rich and middle class,” she said, “not the poor people.”
Two voters aided Anthony Weiner’s long-shot bid for mayor for very different reasons. Marizel Luciamo, 59, of E. Eighth St. admired the former congressmember’s position on education.
“I just liked the way he talks. You always end up liking one,” she said.
Keith Mackie, 24, who lives on E. Sixth St., chose Weiner for an entirely different reason.
“Because I don’t think he’ll win, and I thought it would be funny,” he said. Mackie admitted that he has friends who planned to vote the same way. He also cast a ballot for Pastor Richard Del Rio — who lost his challenge to Mendez — because he rides a motorcycle. Mackie was unfamiliar with other races and did not vote in any of them.
Del Rio also received a vote from Tony Cuevas, 71, who lives a block from the polling site.
“I think he can do a good job,” he said. Cuevas voted for de Blasio, but did not vote in the other races.
A woman, 34, who lives on E. Seventh St. and did not give her name, also voted for de Blasio.
“Based on the sum total of the issues, he is the best candidate who has a chance to beat Christine Quinn,” she said. For her, the most important issues of the campaign are education, the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy and affordable housing.
She chose many of her other candidates from the Campaign Finance Board voter guide, which was mailed out to voters. Robert Jackson earned her vote for Manhattan borough president because “he’s from Harlem,” she said. “It’s good to have a diverse voice.”
Religion was a turn-off for the woman when it came to Del Rio.
“I voted for Mendez because Del Rio is super-religious,” she said. “I don’t like that. You never know if it’s Jesus influencing someone else’s decision or if it’s logic.”
At the Sirovich Senior Center, on E. 12th St. by First Ave., Arthur Ramee, 39, from Second Ave., said he voted for de Blasio.
“I’m liberal, and he’s the most liberal of the Democrats,” he said. Ramee was disillusioned with Quinn and how close she was to Bloomberg. He chose Borough President Scott Stringer for comptroller over Eliot Spitzer, who he described as “a scumbag.” Jessica Lappin won his vote for borough president, and he went with Squadron for public advocate based on name recognition.
Elliot Harris, 63, an E. 13th St. resident, was the only person polled who voted for former comptroller Bill Thompson for mayor.
“He’s behind the teachers,” he said. However, he departed from Ramee in his opinion of Spitzer, who he did vote for. “Until he got himself tangled up in that mess, he was really good at what he did,” he said.
A man walking out of the center wanted to know how Weiner fared in the exit polls so far. When he heard two votes were in the mix, he laughed out loud and yelled out a couple of New York Post-worthy headlines: “Weiner by a head” and “They’re coming out for Weiner.”
At the polling site on E. Fourth St. near Second Ave., Naomi Rosenblatt, 56, said she voted for de Blasio.
“He will integrate all classes of the city instead of polarizing them,” she said. Rosenblatt thinks strength, compassion and clarity are essential characteristics for a mayor to have.
A mailing for Squadron convinced her to vote for him, and she chose Mendez based on her previous two terms. Rosenblatt likes Lappin’s work in the schools, and found her perky and upbeat. As for Spitzer, he did not win her vote.
“I chose Stringer because I don’t want Spitzer to win,” she said. “I think Stringer has been a good B.P.”