The residents of District 25 have decisively elected Democrat Daniel Dromm, the openly gay son of Irish immigrants, to the City Council. Election night results show that Dromm defeated his Republican/Independent/Conservative opponent Mujib Rahman by a margin of 75 percent to 25 percent or 9,702 to 3,306 votes.
Dromm, 53, will now represent some of the most diverse neighborhoods – Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Rego Park, Woodside and Lefrak City – in the City Council.
“This win represents a lot to me,” Dromm told The Queens Courier on Election Night as he celebrated his victory. “I want to offer this victory to anyone who has been victimized, not just gays, but immigrants and minorities in the district. This victory is for all of us.”
With this victory, Dromm joins Council Speaker Christine Quinn, as openly gay members of the City Council. Dromm’s homosexuality became a hot-button issue in the campaign.
Rahman, 51, in interviews with The Queens Courier, had said that though he had gay friends and did not consider himself anti-gay, however, he did believe that marriage was between a man and a woman and that voters, specifically religious voters, would vote for him.
Prior to Election Day, Rahman’s campaign, according to Dromm, had been leaving fliers and making phone calls trying to rile up a conservative, possibly anti-gay base. Rahman could not be reached for comments or Election Night reaction before press time.
Councilmember-elect Dromm had a long road ahead of him when he first began his campaign. He ran against two-term incumbent Helen Sears, 80, in the Democratic primary. Sears, according to Dromm, had been unresponsive to the needs of a shifting community because she never spent enough time in the district. Sears accused Dromm of being naïve to the processes of the City Council, particularly in budgetary issues.
In the end, Dromm trounced Sears by nine percentage points, 49 percent to 40 percent or 3,182 votes to 2,561 with a third party receiving the other 11 percent of the vote.
His first order of business will be to open an immigration center in Jackson Heights, and he’s already spoken to some people to make it happen, said Dromm.
“I want to be the Councilmember that brings people together, to celebrate our differences and promote them,” he said. “The way God made us.”