Mailer Defeats Lindsay

To the Editor:

The recent Observer editorial on the passing of author Norman Mailer [“Norman Mailer,” Nov. 19] was an amazing trip down memory lane.

In 1969, mayoral candidate Norman Mailer was ahead of his time by advocating New York City becoming the 51st state. Big Apple residents would have been better off financially. Tax dollars sent to Albany would have stayed here. Two New York City U.S. senators in Washington could have fought for a bigger share of federal assistance.

Many mistakenly blame the loss of then-Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo in the 1969 Democratic mayoral primary on the votes won by Norman Mailer. Everyone seems to overlook the late millionaire Congressman James Scheuer, who also ran and divided up the liberal vote.

Scheuer spent far more money than Mailer but came in last. He may have taken just as many votes from Badillo as Mailer did. These factors together resulted in Mayor John Lindsay winning a second term.

Larry Penner
Great Neck, N.Y.