Donovan Richards declared victory today in the Queens special election to replace his mentor, former Councilman James Sanders, putting to rest fears that the election’s outcome would be unknown for weeks or even months in what had become a racially-charged contest.
With all absentee and affidavit votes counted, Mr. Richards padded his razor-thin 26-vote Election Day margin with another 133 votes, while his main competitor, Pesach Osina, only gathered an additional 80. This brought the unofficial tally to 2,646 for Mr. Richards and 2,567 for Mr. Osina, a wide enough margin to avoid an automatic recount. The results will be certified next week.
With last night’s elections, a number of seats changed hands between the Democratic and Republican parties across New York State, and indeed the entire country. But in the five boroughs of New York City, it was a one-way street.
At the congressional level, for example, the city lost half its Republican representation with the exit of Queens’ Bob Turner, who unsuccessfully ran for his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. GOP Councilman Dan Halloran had his sights on the remnants of Mr. Turner’s district in northeastern part of the borough, but the area’s solidly Democratic tendencies allowed Assemblywoman Grace Meng to easily leap over Mr. Halloran and secure a new gig in Washington D.C.
New York State started off as a key battleground in the Democrats’ battle to retake control of the U.S. House, especially after the courts intervened in the redistricting plan and shook up a lot of traditional boundaries. However, most of these races were focused in areas further Upstate and the suburbs, leaving the heavily Democratic New York City with just two congressional elections of note.
In Queens, Democratic Assemblywoman Grace Meng faced off against GOP Councilman Dan Halloran for a seat crafted from the district remnants of outgoing Congressmen Bob Turner and Gary Ackerman. Despite Mr. Halloran’s polling showing the race a tie, those numbers did not pan out and Ms. Meng is currently ahead by roughly 2-to-1, which matches how Democrats have historically performed within the area.
No surprises here. President Barack Obama and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand both emerged victorious in New York State tonight.
Although countless voters remain in line at New York City precincts, which are required to remain open for all voters who showed up before 9 p.m., the Empire State’s overall preference for Democrats was still enough to overwhelm any ambiguity as to the ultimate victor.
A number of other candidates have won tough races tonight. As the results come trickling in, here are some notable ones:
Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., currently facing federal charges that he solicited bribes to pay his legal bills in an unrelated federal corruption case, won against a slew of challengers. Six opponents split the anti-Boyland vote, allowing him to skate by with a weak plurality.
State Senator Shirley Huntley, indicted a couple weeks ago on charges that she helped deliver member items to a sham non-profit, lost to Councilman James Sanders, who waged an aggressive campaign and managed to turn out his base in a seat made less favorable to Ms. Huntley in redistricting.
State Senator Adriano Espaillat declared victory against his challenger Guillermo Linares tonight, fending off spirited campaign that a reignited rivalries both old and new. The officially reported numbers currently have Mr. Espaillat ahead by a 2-1 margin with many outstanding precincts, indicating that his internal numbers are likely accurate as to who the ultimate victor will be.
“I’m here to acknowledge that we came short two percent, I want to congratulate Congressman Charles B. Rangel for his victory and tell him that I look forward to working with him as we move forward,” State Senator Adriano Espaillat announced at a sunny press conference in Inwood this afternoon.
“Back in 1996 when I first got into politics, I defeated a 16-year incumbent and I ran against the political establishment,” he continued. “I did so again this year, everyone from Nancy Pelosi on down supported the incumbent, so I’m very proud to have run a very strong race.”
it won't end
After 20,000 votes cast in a state senate special election that took place over a month ago, Republican candidate David Storobin still leads by 3 votes.
The legal teams of Mr. Storobin and his Democratic opponent Lew Fidler met in court earlier this afternoon to continue hashing out their arguments over absentee votes and fraud allegations. And, according to the campaigns, not a lot seems to have happened. One or two dozen more ballots challenged by Mr. Storobin got green-lighted to eventually be counted, which benefits Mr. Fidler, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon.
The March 20th special election between Democrat Lew Fidler and Republican David Storobin continued to drag on this afternoon, as a judge heard, but did not rule on, Mr. Storobin’s motion to dismiss Mr. Fidler’s fraud lawsuit against a bit over a hundred of his absentee ballots. Mr. Storobin is currently holding on to a three-vote lead, so obviously this could prove critical in determining the ultimate winner of the Brooklyn State Senate seat.
Democratic State Senate candidate Lew Fidler is locked in a tight process of counting the final absentee and provisional votes from a March 20th special election, and over Facebook, he outlined both his specific path to victory and held out hope that the gerrymandered State Senate lines will still be thrown back to the drawing board. Currently, Mr. Fidler’s Republican opponent, David Storobin, leads by 3 votes.
First, Mr. Fidler articulated why he thinks he’ll ultimately be up in the count when the court opens all of the ballots not alleged to be fraudulent, a process that will begin with another hearing tomorrow.