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.
A number of key New York congressional seats were at stake election day last week. When all the votes were counted, though there were over a half-dozen competitive races only three districts changed partisan hands. One of those belonged to Hudson Valley Rep. Nan Hayworth, a freshman Republican who came in on the Tea Party wave two years ago and narrowly lost her seat this time around to Democratic attorney Sean Patrick Maloney. On Friday, Ms. Hayworth went on Richard French Live to look back on her unsuccessful election, as well as the broader national race.
“Look, Hurricane Sandy did have an effect on the public discourse,” she contended. “There are issues of momentum that affected races like mine. The President had a substantial percentage margin over Governor Romney and we had known if there were a really large margin for the president, above say 5 points, that that would be very hard for us to overcome structurally in the new district that I was running in.”
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.
Mitt Romney bested Rick Santorum in a pair Republican presidential primaries tonight–a widely expected win in Arizona and a close, crucial victory in Michigan. With his wins tonight, Mr. Romney built on his delegate lead and stopped the momentum Mr. Santorum was beginning to enjoy after a trio of victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado earlier this month.