04/24/2013 04:51 pm ET

The Secret Superpowers Of Borough Presidents

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They have grandiose titles, but the city's five borough presidents are actually invested with little power by the city charter. Blame the U.S. Supreme Court, which 24 years ago said it was undemocratic for tiny Staten Island and massive Queens have equal voting power, and forced the end of the once powerful Board of Estimate.

Candidates are nonetheless swirling to replace the four beeps who are being term limited out of office this year, in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. So far they've convinced donors to throw more than $5.3 million their way, and are poised to qualify for nearly $1 million in public matching funds.

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