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1993 New York City mayoral election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1993 New York City mayoral election

← 1989 November 2, 1993 1997 →
Rudy Giuliani 2000 (cropped).jpg
David dinkins (cropped).jpg
Nominee Rudy Giuliani David Dinkins
Party Republican Democratic
Alliance Liberal
Popular vote 930,236 876,869
Percentage 50.9% 48.0%

NYC Mayoral Election 1993 Results by Borough.svg
Borough results
Giuliani:      60–70%      80–90%
Dinkins:      50–60%      60–70%

Mayor before election

David Dinkins

Elected Mayor

Rudy Giuliani

The 1993 New York City mayoral election was held on Tuesday, November 2. Incumbent Mayor David Dinkins ran for re-election to a second term, but lost in a rematch with Republican Rudy Giuliani.[1]


Dinkins had narrowly defeated Giuliani in the previous election. As in his unsuccessful 1989 campaign, Giuliani also ran on the Liberal Party ballot, while the Conservative Party line was held by activist George Marlin.[2] The city was suffering from a spike in unemployment associated with a nationwide recession, and with a rise in local unemployment rates from 6.7% in 1989 to 11.1% in 1992.[3] Giuliani promised to focus the police department on shutting down petty crimes and nuisances as a way of restoring the quality of life:

It's the street tax paid to drunks and panhandlers. It's the squeegee men shaking down the motorist waiting at a light. It's the trash storms, the swirling mass of garbage left by peddlers and panhandlers, and open-air drug bazaars on unclean streets.[4]

Although crime had begun to fall during the Dinkins administration,[5] the city's crime rate was a key issue in the 1993 election, with Dinkins suffering badly from a perception that crime was uncontrolled in the city, possibly because of events such as the Crown Heights riot, as well as the Family Red Apple boycott.[6][7] The year prior to the election, Giuliani was a key speaker at a Patrolmen's Benevolent Association rally opposing Dinkins, in which Giuliani said “The reason the morale of the police department of the City of New York is so low is one reason and one reason alone: David Dinkins!” The rally quickly devolved into a riot, with nearly 4,000 off-duty police officers storming the City Hall and blocking traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge.[8]

Dinkins and Giuliani never debated during the campaign, unable to agree on how to approach a debate.[2] Dinkins wanted to share the debate stage with third-party candidates, while Giuliani did not.[9]

Jimmy McMillan, the founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, made his first run for political office in this election. In the course of his campaign, McMillan was at one point tied to a tree and doused with gasoline;[10] he would later climb the Brooklyn Bridge and refuse to come down from it unless television stations broadcast his message.[11] He was ultimately disqualified from the ballot for coming 300 petition signatures short of the 7,500 needed to qualify for the general election ballot.

Dinkins was endorsed by The New York Times and Newsday,[12] while Giuliani was endorsed by the New York Post and, in a key switch from 1989, the New York Daily News.[13]

On election day, Giuliani’s campaign hired off-duty cops, firefighters, and corrections officers to monitor polling places in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx for cases of voter fraud.[14] Despite objections from the Dinkins campaign, who claimed that the effort would intimidate Democratic voters, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly assigned an additional 52 police captains and 3,500 officers to monitor the city’s polling places.[8]


Rudy GiulianiRepublican Party (WON)
David Dinkins (incumbent) – Democratic Party
George J. Marlin – Conservative Party


Dinkins earned 48.3 percent of the vote, down from 51 percent in 1989.[1] Although he was a moderate with a substantial history of building coalitions and supporting Jewish causes,[15] one factor in Dinkins' loss was his perceived indifference to the plight of the Jewish community during the Crown Heights riot. Another was a strong turnout for Giuliani in Staten Island; a referendum on Staten Island's secession from New York City was placed on the ballot that year by Governor Mario Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Dinkins defeated Giuliani handily in Manhattan, the Bronx, with a narrow victory in Brooklyn, however Giuliani's margin in the other two boroughs was large enough to win the election. Giuliani won by a margin of 53,367 votes. He became the first Republican elected Mayor of New York City since John Lindsay in 1965.[16]

General Election
Manhattan The Bronx Brooklyn Queens Staten Island Total
change in Giuliani margin   + 21,433 + 8,256 + 27,786 + 16,428 + 26,517 + 100,447
Giuliani – Dinkins, 1989   – 97,600 – 72,471 – 39,071 + 94,670 + 67,392 – 47,080
Giuliani – Dinkins, 1993   – 76,167 64,215 – 11,285 + 111,098 + 93,909 + 53,367
Republican - Liberal Rudolph W. Giuliani 166,357 98,780 258,058 291,625 115,416 930,236
Democratic David N. Dinkins 242,524 162,995 269,343 180,527 21,507 876,869
Conservative - Right to Life George J. Marlin 15,926


  1. ^ a b Purdum, Todd S. (November 3, 1993). "Giuliani ousts Dinkins by a thin margin ..." The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b "Q&A: George Marlin" Archived 2008-03-19 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Sun, March 21, 2007; accessed June 24, 2007
  3. ^ New York State Department of Labor statistics,"Workforce industry data". Archived from the original on October 19, 2005. Retrieved November 18, 2006.
  4. ^ "NYC crime rate cut with penalties" Archived 2012-07-19 at,, November 3, 2005
  5. ^
  6. ^ John H. Mollenkopf, A Phoenix in the Ashes: The Rise and Fall of the Koch Coalition in New York City Politics (Princeton University Press, 1994), p. 218 (Afterword).
  7. ^ Lorch, Donatella (31 December 1990). "Record Year for Killings Jolts Officials in New York". The New York Times.
  8. ^ a b Nahmias, Laura (October 4, 2021). "White Riot In 1992, thousands of furious, drunken cops descended on City Hall — and changed New York history". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  9. ^ Katharine Q. Seeley "In G.O.P. Debate Today, Which Tack for Giuliani?", The New York Times, May 3, 2007. Accessed March 31, 2008.
  10. ^ Parente, Michele (1993-06-25). "A Political Attack? Would-be mayor tied to tree." New York Newsday.
  11. ^ Raftery, Tom and Miguel Garcilazo (1993-10-27). OWNER OF THE FLYEST HAIR ON EARTH "'Rambo' jams up B'klyn Bridge." New York Daily News.
  12. ^ "Why Dinkins Lost" Archived 2012-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, Newsday, November 4, 1993
  13. ^ In an Endorsement, a Search for Signals NY Times, November 1, 1993
  14. ^ Dugger, Celia W. (November 1, 1993). "The 1993 Campaign: Polling Places; 2 Sides Seek More Police to Stymie Intimidation and Fraud at Polls". The New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  15. ^ "Archives Main Page". November 11, 1989. Archived from the original on September 21, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
  16. ^ "Elected Mayors of New York City". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
This page was last edited on 20 May 2022, at 20:20
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