Volume 79, Number 21 | Oct. 28 - Nov. 03, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Koch campaigns for Congress

An article in the Oct. 31, 1968, issue of The Villager, on the congressional race between Democrat Ed Koch and Republican Whitney North Seymour, Jr., reported that the two candidates “amiably agree on most of the issues, differing mainly in personal style. … [B]oth Mr. Koch and Mr. Seymour favor immediate cessation of the bombing of North Vietnam, with Mr. Koch adding that a substantial number of troops should be replaced by Vietnamese and Mr. Seymour recommending an international peace keeping body to see that nobody breaks the ceasefire.

“Both also advocate equal rights for Negroes, school decentralization and curbs on uncontrolled apartment rent increases, which are driving the middle class out of the city.”

Koch, the article noted, had introduced a bill in the City Council capping rent hikes in uncontrolled apartments at 10 percent every two years. Seymour, a state senator, called Koch’s resolution a sham, and said it had been “introduced in the heat of Mr. Koch’s primary fight.”

As for their personal styles, The Villager said Seymour, with his paid staff of six, was a veritable “silk stocking” in the so-called Silk Stocking District, and “more comfortable indoors.” Koch, on the other hand, was “more the boot pavement-pounder, who leads demonstrations and hands out leaflets in subway stations aided by his volunteer staff of 300.”

No Democrat had won the seat in 32 years. The next week, The Villager reported, “Koch Upsets Seymour.”

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