In 1665, following the surrender of the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam to English invaders, Thomas Willett was appointed the first mayor of the newly renamed New York City. No one could have imagined that the tiny hamlet of 2500 people would become the world's preeminent metropolis.
Fast forward 356 years -- Tuesday week, New York City primary voters will select their party nominees for the race to become the 110th mayor in November's election. Since New York is a heavily Democratic district, the primary will effectively determine the next occupant of Gracie Mansion.
The Democratic ballot will feature 13 candidates, eight of whom are considered genuine contenders. As befits a broad-based coalition party in the most diverse city in America, they reflect the contours of contemporary Democratic politics.