Posts Tagged ‘Mailer-Breslin ticket’

When Norman Mailer ran for mayor in 1969

November 9, 2011

In 1969, New York was on a precipice. Crime was going up, teachers headed out on strike, a snowstorm crippled the city, and there was a sense that things could get a lot worse.

Enter pugnacious author and Brooklyn resident Norman Mailer. Using the campaign slogan “no more bullshit,” Mailer threw his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination for mayor.

It wasn’t a joke. Columnist Jimmy Breslin signed on as his running mate, vying to be City Council president.

Their ideas? “I’m running on a platform of ‘Free Huey Newton and floridation,” Mailer told a crowd at the Village Gate. “We’ll have compulsory free love in those neighborhoods that vote for it, and compulsory attendance in church on Sunday in those that vote for that.”

They also advocated that New York City become the 51st state (which wasn’t a novel idea). They pledged the construction of a monorail, a ban on private cars in Manhattan, and monthly vehicle-free Sundays.

When primary day came, Mailer ended up fourth out of five candidates—and John Lindsay won reelection that November.

[Photo: Breslin and Mailer conceding the race, from Dissent magazine]


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