Election Day was Tuesday, Friends, and there were a few surprising results, but only a few.
However, before we get to that, I want to let you know that the ShakingNewsletter is going on a temporary hiatus. It’s been a great experience covering and explaining politics and this year’s elections and I’m glad so many of you have enjoyed these emails. We’re going to take some time to figure out what’s next.
Thank you for being a loyal reader and stay tuned for what’s next.
Thanks for being a subscriber,
– Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein
Quotes of the Week: “We were really quite surprised to see how well the city of Moscow is run.” -IDC Senator Diane Savino (Staten Island) on Sputnik News which is under investigation from the FBI for being a Russian propaganda outlet.
Unsurprisingly, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the other seven top city officials are on track to win re-election after avoiding a primary or cruising to victory. While this election was only a primary, there are only a few seats that will see competitive general elections.
But what about the most contentious races?
Brooklyn District Attorney: Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez won an easy primary and is a lock for the full, four-year District Attorney term. He won with 53% of the vote while his closest competitor, Anne Swern, got less than 12%.
Manhattan District 1 (Tribeca, Financial District, Chinatown): Margaret Chin looks like she just narrowly avoided being the only City Council Member to lose re-election. While the race hasn’t been called, she’s just 200 votes over an unknown opponent, Chris Marte, in a completely unpredicted result.
Manhattan District 2 (Lower East Side, East Village, Kips Bay): Progressive Carlina Rivera won handily to succeed Rosie Mendez.
Manhattan District 4 (Upper East Side, Midtown, and Stuy Town): Progressive-backed Keith Powers won a dominant race over eight other candidates and will succeed Dan Garodnick.
Manhattan/Bronx District 8 (East Harlem, South Bronx): In the other race that still has not been called, Melissa Mark-Viverito’s preferred successor, Diana Ayala, has a 122-vote lead over East Harlem Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez. Ayala is seen as the more progressive candidate and earned an endorsement from Mayor de Blasio while Governor Andrew Cuomo backed Rodriguez, who had been seen as the frontrunner.
Bronx District 13 (Pelham Bay and the Northeast Bronx): The race to succeed term-limited James Vacca saw Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj win a surprisingly narrow victory over progressive activist Marjorie Velazquez even though Gjonaj spent over $700,000, more than any other Council candidate.
Bronx District 18 (Soundview and Parkchester): State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. defeated four other candidates to take Anabel Palma’s seat. Secretly, many progressives are slightly relieved that Diaz, the father of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., will be leaving the State Senate where he made it difficult for Senate Democrats to stand united in support of reproductive rights and LGBT issues.
Queens District 21 (Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona): Assemblyman Francisco Moya won a close but solid win over former Senator Hiram Monserrate, who had been convicted of corruption and domestic violence.
Queens District 32 (Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, and the Rockaways): Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich will face Democrat Mike Scala after Scala won the primary on Tuesday.
Brooklyn District 35 (Fort Greene, Crown Heights, and Bed-Stuy): In a heavily-touted race, incumbent Laurie Cumbo won a solid victory against 2013 opponent Ede Fox, who campaigned against gentrification and development.
Brooklyn District 38 (Red Hook and Sunset Park): Progressive Carlos Menchaca won a strong re-election victory over area Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, seen as a more moderate, establishment choice. Some activists are now said to be plotting against Ortiz.
Brooklyn District 40 (Flatbush and Prospect Lefferts Gardens): Mathieu Eugene won an underwhelming victory over Brian Cunningham and Pia Raymond, who split the vote, allowing Eugene to squeak through.
Brooklyn District 43 (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights): Progressive Justin Brannan, a local activist and former staffer to termed-out Councilman Vincent Gentile, bested Palestinian-American Rev. Khader El-Yateem, who embraced the support of the Democratic Socialists of America. Brannan faces John Quaglione, winner of the Republican primary and aide to local State Senator Marty Golden.
Brooklyn District 44 (Midwood and Borough Park): This wasn’t on the ballot on Tuesday but will be in November. After Councilman David Greenfield announced his retirement, his anointed successor, Kalman Yeger, will be the Democratic nominee against the son of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Yoni Hikind, who will be running as an independent.
Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo: Just like Bill de Blasio, Mayors in three of the state’s largest cities cruised to victory. Byron Brown in Buffalo, Kathy Sheehan in Albany, and Rochester’s Lovely Warren all won solid victories in Democratic primaries.
Syracuse: Juanita Perez Williams, a former Cuomo staffer, won the Democratic primary for Mayor of Syracuse. If she wins in November, she’ll be the first Latina Mayor of the city. Importantly for state politics, Perez Williams is expected to be a Cuomo ally, unlike the current Mayor, Stephanie Miner, who has a strained relationship with the governor.
The New York suburbs
Westchester: State Senator George Latimer won a solid victory in the Democratic primary to take on County Executive Rob Astorino. Astorino ran against Cuomo in 2014 and has talked about running next year so Cuomo has made his defeat a priority.
Nassau: In another race important to control of state government, Laura Currancrushed her Democratic primary for County Executive. She faces former State Senator Jack Martins and the winner will almost instantly become a force in state politics.
Suffolk: State Senator Phil Boyle surprisingly lost his bid to become the Republican nominee for County Sheriff, falling to a political newcomer. While Boyle says he might still run for Sheriff as a Democrat (the Democratic County leadership would have to give him permission), State Republicans are breathing a momentary sigh of relief since they might not have to fight a special election for his swing Senate seat.
Stat of the Week: Fewer than 100 out of 26,000 of NYC bars have Cabaret licenses that permit dancing. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration proposed changes to abolish the license and permit dancing in bars across the city.