As the momentum and intensity of the election season accelerates, the candidates campaigning for public office are seemingly ubiquitous throughout Riverdale, Kingsbridge and Marble Hill.
The Internet, social media and modern electronic devices have provided new opportunities for political contenders to announce their platforms.
Despite these innovations, candidates continue to emphasize the importance of meeting eligible voters in person.
While the locations where communities have traditionally gathered may have changed through the years, the tactics used by candidates to persuade citizens for their votes have altered less; a smile, a handshake and a few kind words are still profoundly meaningful.
Who do you know?
Passing encounters with political aspirants pressing hard for public office can at times leave a bitter taste in the mouths of voters.
But on a recent weekend Cliff Stanton strove to campaign in a more palatable manner — literally.
Mr. Stanton, who is running in the City Council District 11 Democratic Primary, distributed free ice cream and bottles of water on a sultry Sunday afternoon as he introduced himself to potential voters in parks throughout the Northwest Bronx.
“At this level, you’re not yet a household name,” Mr. Stanton said. “It’s a good way to engage parents who come with kids.”
Mr. Stanton, a businessman, worked the crowds alone with just a handful of anonymous volunteers, as is his custom while campaigning.
Mr. Stanton said he learned the value of meeting voters in person while he was chief of staff for Councilman Noach Dear from 1997 to 1999. When Mr. Dear sought election to Congress, he simply sent Mr. Stanton to events and appearances. The opponent in that race, Anthony Weiner, consistently met with the public and won the contest.
Mr. Stanton’s rival in the Sept. 10 primary, Community Board 8 member and attorney Andrew Cohen, commonly campaigns alongside long-serving and familiar Bronx Democrats.
Arguably, none of those politicians is as recognizable as Oliver Koppell; the outgoing term-limited councilman is the elder statesman of Bronx politics.