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Can Local Candidates Ever Defeat the Political Machine?

It’s tough to break in to entrenched political systems, even at the local level. Here’s how four women navigated these dynamics in Queens.
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Rogelio V. Solis/AP

This story was produced in collaboration with WNYC.

Even as the last presidential election ignited a wave of activism across the country, with droves of scientists and other non-politicians vowing to run for office, the September primaries in New York City showed that politics is still an insider’s game. Incumbents won every race they ran, reinforcing a populist sentiment across the political spectrum that the system is rigged.