By Maitefa Angaza
This election is still capturing our attention. We have about two weeks to go before the final votes are in, before we know the winners of the Ranked Choice voting contests. What we do know, however, is that the vote total was high for a primary, with estimates of more than 25% of the total electorate of 3.7 million registered Democrats participating.
The online nonprofit newsroom THE 19th commented on the significance of ranked choice voting.
“Some voting experts believe ranked-choice voting has lowered barriers for candidates who are women or people of color. The single-winner plurality system that dominates American politics often favors incumbents, can lead to more expensive campaigns and run-offs and, most importantly, can create the narrative that two or more women candidates or candidates of color with similar priorities will split the vote for like-minded voters.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams appears to be ready to occupy a new seat and title as Mayor of the City of New York. With a 10-point lead over civil rights attorney Maya Wiley, it appears he will be the victor when the votes are all counted.
Speaking at a high-energy post-election party, he said, “We know there’s going to be twos and threes and fours. But there’s something else we know. We know that New York City said, ‘Our first choice is Eric Adams.’”
Maya Wiley, upbeat, has not conceded.
“Maya-mentum is strong!” she said. “Although we were outspent, we were not out-organized. I have faith in ranked-choice voting.”
And it never hurts to have loyal supporters who keep the faith despite the odds. From Gothamist: Danny O’Donnell, an Assembly Member who represents the Upper West Side, said that when he campaigned on Tuesday afternoon with Kathryn Garcia in the pouring rain, a group of outdoor diners gave her a standing ovation. “I’m confident that when this is all over, she will be our mayor.”
Councilman Antonio Reynoso emerged as the projected winner of the Brooklyn Borough President seat. His determination was surely a factor.
“I am a poor boy who was on welfare, Section 8, food stamps, ‘said Reynoso. My mother came from Dominican Republic with nothing in her pockets,” Reynoso said. “I just had a son six months ago and have not had any parental leave, I have abandoned my family and it’s one of all the sacrifices I made for this borough, and I am so thankful to my wife, my family and to this borough for everything they’ve given me and I’m ready to continue to give back to Brooklyn.”
Crystal Hudson, candidate for City Council District 35 said, “The initial votes are in, and while we wait for the full ranked-choice voting process to be carried out, we feel good about our victory in this race. I’m so proud of the campaign that we’ve run — always centered in the love of this community, always focused on fighting for a stronger future for all of us — and I want to thank everyone who knocked on doors, talked to voters, and showed up for us at the polls.”
Twenty-three-year-old activist Chi Osse, a newcomer to electoral politics, sailed past his fellow contenders to take first place in the race for the 36th Council District seat. At a recent candidate’s forum, he spoke about one of his priorities, aside from truly affordable housing, is the often overlooked issue of the rat population. He’s researched solutions and has a plan.
Charles Barron will head from his Assembly seat to once again serve as Councilmember for the 42nd CD. Very familiar with the office and the district he and his wife have served for decades, he has the trust of most of East New York, Starrett City and Brownsville voters.
In the first-round results available in the Times Wednesday morning, Brad Lander had 31.4% of the vote and a lead over second-place Corey Johnson. Lander was a cofounder of the City Council’s progressive caucus and endorsed by several other unions, AOC, and senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Johnson is the current speaker of the New York City Council.
As explained by The City, the public advocate is an official watchdog role, an elected position designed to advocate for members of the public as members lodge complaints about city systems and issues like housing. “It’s an interesting position, especially as former NYC public advocates have gone on to higher offices, including current Mayor Bill de Blasio and State Attorney General Letitia James.”
With 84% of the first-round vote reported in the Times Wednesday morning, incumbent Public Advocate Jumaane Williams appears to have cruised to a landslide reelection victory. Williams, who included de Blasio on his list of the city’s worst landlords in 2020, had a lead of over 340,000 votes.
Brian Lehrer spoke on the import of the first major NYC primary utilizing the new voting system. On his eponymous WNYC radio show he agreed that the turnout was impressively high, saying, “From what I’m seeing reported as vote totals for each candidate… I add them up and turnout, by historical standards, may actually have been pretty good. More than 800,000 in-person votes, with possibly another 200,000 to arrive by mail.” He said that although a million votes in a mayoral primary is still really only about a 25% turnout, “it would be strong compared with many other mayoral primaries.”