Foldenauer hopes to ride anti-Chin vote on Nov. 7

Aaron Foldenauer spoke next to an empty chair left for Margaret Chin at The Villager’s debate for City Council District 1 candidates two weeks ago after Chin ducked the event. Maybe he will now get another chance to debate her face to face in the race for the Nov. 7 general election. Photo by Tequila Minsky

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Updated Thurs., Sept. 14, 12 a.m.: Even if Margaret Chin prevails in the First Council District primary election, voters who didn’t support her — meaning a majority of the district’s Democrats — will get another chance to unseat her in two months.

The candidates who finished third and fourth in Tuesday’s primary are rejecting the “spoiler” label should Chin be confirmed as the winner. And one of them, Aaron Foldensuer, said he’s raring to take on Chin in the Nov. 7 general election, as he runs on the Liberal Party line.

But one leading Marte supporter said he has another name for Foldenauer — “jerk” — for blowing the primary election in the first place.

As of press time, Chin held a slim, 200-vote lead over Christopher Marte, who was not conceding.

In unofficial results, Foldenauer and Dashia Imperiale took 6 percent and 4 percent of the vote, respectively. Meanwhile Chin registered just shy of 46 percent of the vote to Marte’s 44 percent.

The Villager asked both Imperiale and Foldenauer about being branded as spoilers.

“I was in this race to fight for the people who make this city run, not the people who run this city,” an unapologetic Imperiale responded. “We’re going to continue to fight against greedy, unscrupulous developers and landlords. We’re not going anywhere. We will hold our elected officials’ feet to the fire.”

Foldenauer said, “The claim that any candidate spoiled this election is nonsense. My anti-corruption message resonated with voters, and I turned out hundreds of people who wouldn’t have otherwise showed up at the polls at all.

“The ‘spoiler’ tag is a tool of the political establishment to discourage good citizens from running,” said Foldenauer, who is a litigator.

“In addition, I took away thousands of votes from Margaret Chin, given my effective attacks on her record and the three legal complaints that I filed against her,” he added. “These three pending investigations continue to cast a pall over Margaret Chin’s future.”

He continued, “The results from primary night set up a head-to-head matchup between me and Margaret Chin in the general election. I’ve been endorsed by the Liberal Party of New York, and I’m on their ballot line in November. Anyone who cares about the future of Lower Manhattan should donate to my campaign today as I unlock a war chest via public matching funds to defeat Margaret Chin in November.”

Foldenauer said he would have fared better in the primary election had he had access to public matching funds – as both Chin and Marte did.

“I have saved all of my matching funds from the government to use in my head-to-head battle against Chin,” Foldenauer said. “Margaret Chin has exhausted her matching funds and would have to do fundraising all over again, a tough task to accomplish in a short period of time given her poor performance yesterday.”

Foldenauer didn’t qualify for matching funds because he didn’t meet the bar of raising contributions of at least $10 from at least 75 people living in the district. Under the city’s campaign-finance law, any donation of $175 or less from a city resident is matched by the city six times over. So a $100 donation is matched with $600 from the city.

To get public funds a candidate must also raise at least $5,000 in matchable dollars.

“I’ve already done that,” Foldenauer said. “I’ve raised over $9,000 in matchable dollars. Once I reach the 75-donor threshold, that $9,000 would be worth $54,000 in matching funds — the six-times match. And I’m eligible for more, at that point, as more matching dollars come in.

“As I consolidate the anti-Chin vote, I expect to easily meet this threshold in the general election, which will unlock matching funds with respect to all the money I’ve raised so far. Do the math and you’ll see that I come out on top!”

But hardcore Marte supporters shrugged off the idea. Sean Sweeney of the Downtown Independent Democrats — a club that endorsed Marte in the primary and was one of his biggest support bases — said he had warned Foldenauer he would split the non-Asian vote in the primary.

“The numbers and demographics don’t lie,” Sweeney said. “In his arrogance, he refused to believe me. I would much rather have Margaret Chin for four more years than this jerk.”

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