Allon is the Liberal Party’s candidate for mayor, and his candidacy is important since the Liberal Party was bounced out of relevance when Andrew Cuomo dropped his gubernatorial bid in 2002.
A party requires a certain amount of votes in order to stay on the ballot, and when Cuomo stepped aside, the Liberals lost their standing. If Allon’s mayoral bid gets enough votes, the party will regain some heft in New York City politics.
Allon is CEO of publishing company Manhattan Media LLC, which owns various print titles, including City & State. He graduated from Cornell and then went on to get his master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Does he have experience as a public office holder? Has he led a city agency? Has he paid years of dues lingering in a political party? No, but neither did the last two mayors.
The challenge for the next mayor will not be to brandish the lengthiest track record of bureaucratic involvement; it will be to continue a successful pattern of management that the city has enjoyed (for the most part) for the last 20 years.
Until now, the focus of the 2013 mayoral race has been centered on the Democratic Primary, but Allon’s candidacy means that there could be a serious general election.
The Liberal Party has in the last 20 years been to the right of the city’s Democratic Party, while also acting as a sandbar for Rockefeller Republicans who were lost at sea. As Allon explains, he is a liberal in the Lockean (John Locke) sense, which means he sees free markets as an important link to individual freedom.
Why is this important in this race? Well, it means that the candidate on the Liberal Party line is not some fringe candidate. It means that while he might be sensitive to labor, he is not a slam dunk or sure bet with any political entity. Most importantly, however, he can make this a race in November.
Allon sees reducing crime, creating jobs, and overhauling the education system as three top priorities. Most candidates would say that, and in the next year Allon will have to outline specifics. He says he would like the unemployment rate to come down to about 5 percent in his first term. The onus is now on him to develop a conversation with the voters.
The history of the Liberal Party in New York City is interesting. They will most likely return to cross-endorsing candidates – the same way that the Conservative Party often does. Could Allon wind up on the Republican line as well the Liberal line?
Rudy Giuliani ran on both lines. So did Mayor John Lindsay. Allon said that he has talked to some Republican leaders, but at this time there is nothing to report. The GOP should consider a candidate like Tom Allon; he has the institutional knowledge that a mayoral candidate should have. He is pragmatic enough to make this a race.
The Republicans have run successful mayoral candidates for 20 years. They have been competitive in every mayoral election since 1985, when they picked up a paltry 12 percent. The GOP risks going back to those days if it does not consider a realistic candidate in 2013.