“What time is it?” “Miller time!”.
That is the congratulatory chant that closed out election night and ushered in a new City Councilman, I. Daneek Miller.
“I am looking forward to the work we are going to do together,” he said to supporters at his campaign headquarters during his victory speech.
Miller was one of six candidates vying to replace the term limited and well liked outgoing Councilman Leroy Comrie of the 27th City Council District. Councilman Comrie endorsed Daneek and campaigned on behalf of the candidate.
Miller ran on a platform of labor that included his role as President of Amalgamated Transportation Union (ATU) Local No.1056 and his work as a city bus driver. “Labor is a part of this community,” he stressed during his participation at area candidate forums.
Miller went against Manny Caughman who was backed by the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club and Councilman emeritus Archie Spigner. Caughman received substantial campaign backing from the political action committee (PAC) Jobs for New York. This is the first local election where PACs were allowed to contribute to campaigns. Jobs for New York, spent heavily on City Council races across New York. Caughman's campaign was in the top half of dollar contributions of all the City Council candidates the PAC supported.
Surprisingly, Manny did not finish the race second. Runner up status went to businessman and lawyer Clyde Vanel. Clyde campaigned on his works in the community and made light of his repeated attempts to attain office as someone committed to see change in the community. He was repeatedly vocal about the amount of money being contributed to the race and questioned its influence on candidates.
Lawyer Joan Flowers, spent most of her own money in her efforts to win the seat. She placed third and also received campaign contributions from Jobs for New York. Caughman placed fourth.
At Miller headquarters, political strategist Corey Bearak believed having Councilman Comrie’s endorsement made a difference. “A good candidate and having the support of a great City Councilman was substantial,” he said. He believed the money from Jobs for New York “muddled” and “confused” the campaign.
Jobs for New York raised more that $6.8 million from real estate interest and is led by officials with the city’s real estate industry group. City Councilman Donovan Richards, the incumbent who won his District primary, also received support from the PAC.
Election results reflect 99% of precincts reporting.