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This year marks the first municipal elections where the two-term limit, enacted in a 2010 referendum, is resulting in the vacancies of 7 of the 10 open seats in the New York City Council. Because of the political dynamics of the city and state, incumbents face significantly less competition in elections than competitors for vacant seats; this year the 7 vacancies due to term limits have yielded more competitive elections in terms of the number of challengers than contests in which incumbents were challenged. While there are only 7 council members reaching term limits this year, in the municipal elections of 2021 a majority of Council seats will be vacated as a result.

In addition to the 7 term-limited vacancies, there are 3 other open seats where no incumbent is running due to either personal reasons or, in the case of Council Member Ruben Wills (District 28), criminal conviction related to the misuse of public funds. Notably, one open seat – that of Council Member David Greenfield (District 44), who announced plans not to seek reelection after the petition-filing deadline for candidates to get on the ballot had passed – has a Democratic Party primary candidate with no other challengers. This year over both primary and General elections, Citizens Union evaluated candidates in races for 8 of the 10 open seats.


Council District 8
Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) – Term Limit

Council District 13
James Vacca (D) – Term Limit

Council District 18
Anabel Palma (D) – Term Limit


Council District 41
Darlene Mealy (D) – Term Limit

Council District 43
Vincent Gentile (D) – Term Limit

Council District 44
David Greenfield (D) – Personal Reasons


Council District 2
Rosie Mendez (D) – Term Limit

Council District 4
Dan Garodnick (D) – Term Limit


Council District 21
Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D) – Personal Reasons

Council District 28
Ruben W. Wills (D) – Convicted of fraud and grand larceny related to the misuse of public funds

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