New York's 5th Congressional District elections, 2012
November 6, 2012
June 26, 2012
Candidates wishing to run were required to file by the signature filing deadline April 16, 2012. On January 27, 2012, Judge Gary Sharpe moved the primary date from September 11, 2012 to June 26, 2012 in order to allow for sufficient time to send absentee ballots to military voters.
Heading into the election the incumbent is Gary Ackerman (D), who was first elected to the House in 1982. He is not seeking re-election in 2012. Instead, due to redistricting, 6th district incumbent Gregory Meeks will run in the 5th.
New York is one of eight states that have "electoral fusion" -- which allows more than one political party to support a common candidate. This creates a situation where one candidate will appear multiple times on the same ballot, for the same position. Electoral fusion was once widespread across the United States, but is now commonly practiced only in New York.
Opponents of fusion voting argue that the process results in dealmarking to ensure that patronage is rampant. Proponents maintain that fusion voting allows for minor parties to actually make a difference during the election, allowing voters the opportunity to vote for a minority party platform but still affect the general election result.
Candidates appearing in the general election will be listed below with colored dots corresponding to any party they will represent on the ballot.
General election candidates
June 26, 2012 primary results
Three candidates challenged incumbent Gregory Meeks in the Democratic primary. Former city councilman Allan Jennings Jr., small-business owner Joseph Marthone, and recent law-school graduate Mike Scala all hoped to be the one to receive the party nod over Meeks.
Jennings also ran in the Republican primary, where he was unopposed. He considers himself to be willing to "work with anybody who’s going to help this district," which he says sets him apart from Meeks.
The 29-year-old Scala graduated from law school on June 1, 2012, just a few weeks before the June 26 primary. He said he was most concerned with helping the lower and middle class.
Marthone said education is the way to solve the nation's problems.
At a forum in early June, the three challengers and a representative of Meeks discussed issues of importance. Jennings called for an end to the NYPD "stop and frisk" policy. Marthone pledged to fight hydrofracking and airplane noise pollution. Scala criticized Meeks for supporting the Budget Control Act, which took away subsidized loans for graduate students. Meeks was busy in Washington at the time of the forum, but his representative said that most of the issues brought up were city and state issues, not national ones -- indicating that the challengers were not prepared for federal politics.
Impact of redistricting
- See also: Redistricting in New York
Following the results of the 2010 Census, New York lost two congressional seats, bringing its total number of representatives down from 29 to 27. According to a report in the Washington Post political blog "The Fix," New York was one of the top 10 redistricting battles in the nation.
On November 2, 2010, Gary Ackerman was re-elected to the United States House for a fifteenth term. He defeated James Milano (R who also ran on the Conservative Party ticket), and Elizabeth Berney (Tax Revolt).
- United States House of Representatives elections in New York, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections, 2012
- United States Senate elections in New York, 2012
- New York Times "Judge Moves Congressional Primary Date to June," January 27, 2012
- Associated Press "Feisty NY Democrat Rep. Gary Ackerman retiring," March 16, 2012
- Electoral fusion ruins elections
- Working Family Party: Fusion voting
- BLS Advocate "Mike Scala, ’12, to Run for U.S. Congress," October 16, 2011
- New York Board of Elections "Filings for June 26, 2012 Federal Primary," April 17, 2012
- New York Board of Elections "List of Filings for June 26, 2012 Federal Primary," accessed May 30, 2012
- Queens Campaigner "Candidates for Congress spar," June 14, 2012
- Queens Chronicle "Scala eyes Meeks’ congressional seat," June 14, 2012
- Long Island Herald "Four seek Democratic nod in 5th Congressional District," June 20, 2012
- Washington Post, "The Fix," "Redistricting battles hit a fever pitch," June 3, 2011
- U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"