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New York City mayoral election, 1981

New York City mayoral election, 1981

November 3, 1981

Candidate Ed Koch Frank J. Barbaro
Party Democratic Unity
Alliance Republican -
Popular vote 912,622 162,719
Percentage 74.64% 13.31%

Candidate John A. Esposito Mary T. Codd
Party Conservative Liberal
Alliance - -
Popular vote 60,100 41,718
Percentage 4.92% 3.41%

Results by Borough

Mayor before election

Ed Koch

Elected Mayor

Ed Koch

The New York City mayoral election of 1981 occurred on Tuesday, November 3, 1981, with Democratic incumbent Mayor Ed Koch being re-elected to a second term by a landslide margin.

Koch, a Democrat, also received the endorsement of and ran on the Republican Party ballot line.

Koch received an overwhelming 74.64% of the vote citywide. Koch also swept all five boroughs by landslide margins, breaking 60% of the vote in Manhattan and breaking 70% of the vote in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. [1]

Koch's closest competitor was the short-lived New York Unity Party nominee Frank J. Barbaro, who received 13.31%.

Finishing in a distant third and fourth were the Conservative Party nominee, John A. Esposito, who received 4.92%, and Liberal Party nominee, Mary T. Codd, who received 3.41%.

Koch defeated his nearest competitor by a landslide 61.35% Democratic margin of victory and was sworn in to his second term in January 1982.


General Election
Manhattan The Bronx Brooklyn Queens Staten Island Total
Democratic - Republican Edward I. Koch 189,631 132,421 261,292 275,812 53,466 912,622
Unity Frank J. Barbaro 56,702 22,074 48,812 31,225 3,906 162,719
Liberal Mary Codd 14,228 5,902 7,958 8,795 4,835 41,718
Conservative John Esposito 6,682 7,634 15,388 26,515 3,881 60,100

Koch had 738,288 Democratic votes and 174,334 Republican votes. Others = 45,485. Jeronimo Dominguez - Right to Life - 32,790 2.7%; Judith Jones - Libertarian - 6,902 0.6%; Wells Todd - Socialist Workers - 5,793 0.5% Koch won the Democratic Primary with 347,351 votes (59.8%), defeating Barbaro who had 209,369 votes (36.0%) and Melvin Klenetsky who had 24,352 votes (4.2%). Koch also won the Republican Primary, defeating Esposito by 44,724 to 22,354.


  1. ^ "New York City Mayoral Election 1981". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
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