17th Congressional District Candidates

Sunday, October 18, 1964

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Debate between the candidates for the 17th Congressional District. Seymour Siegel moderates the exchange between incumbent John V. Lindsay, Eleanor Clark French, and Kieran O'Doherty.

The first section of the debate consists of each candidate giving a six minute talk:
O'Doherty is the first to speak, attacking Lindsay for canceling an upcoming debate. He says that Lindsay, like Lyndon Johnson, is ducking debate. He also calls him disloyal to the Republican party, saying his record shows that he has crossed party lines 83% of the time, more than any other member of Congress save Seymour Halpern of Queens.
He calls Lindsay duplicitous and a Trojan horse planted by Democrats, and claims they are attempting to sabotage the Goldwater campaign. O'Doherty makes it clear that he supports Goldwater and says that he believes they will win the upcoming presidential election.

Eleanor French speaks next. She speaks on four issues. First, she speaks against the peril the country will face if Goldwater is elected.
Her second point is the threat of unemployment due to mechanization. She states there is a great need to spur private enterprise and accelerated public works. She calls more money for the area redevelopment act. Finally, she sees a need for redistricting so that state legislatures are elected on a one man one vote system.

Lindsay spends his time defending himself against the accusations made by O'Doherty. He denies many of his claims and clarifies his stance on other issues.

During the second section each candidate is allowed to pose questions to the other candidates, answers are to be confined to one minute. At times the discussion is heated, particularly when the individual posing the questions feels the person answering is being evasive.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 70650
Municipal archives id: RT224


Eleanor Clark French, John V. Lindsay, Kieran O'Doherty and Seymour N. Siegel


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About City Close Up

Seymour N. Siegel interviews New York City officials about municipal issues.

City Close Up (1963-1964) offers a more personal context for sweeping issues like urban planning, political campaigns, public safety, and civil rights.  With a strong focus on the function of government, these citizen-centric interviews include both commentary and information. 


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