Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Queens developed as many pundits had predicted: Most voters stayed home, and almost all of the key races were lopsided in favor of the incumbents.
Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Letitia James handily won their parties nominations for a second term in office in the two citywide contests on the ballot. Queens voters in nine City Council districts also had to choose their party’s nominee for the November general election.
Across the board, the turnout was absolutely anemic. Not a single candidate in any Queens City Council primary race secured more than 8,000 votes. Just one district (the 27th District in southeast Queens) had slightly more than 10,000 total votes, and less than 5,000 total votes were cast in one race: the 32nd District primary, a district that spans much of southwestern Queens, from Woodhaven to the western Rockaways.
The closest City Council contest turned out to be the three-way primary race in the 28th District covering much of southeast Queens. Community Board 12 Chairperson Adrienne Adams narrowly defeated community activist Richard David and attorney Hettie Powell. Adams secured 3,341 votes (38.8 percent); David had 2,763 (32 percent); and Powell garnered 2,483 (28.9 percent). With 21 write-ins, the total vote count was 8,608.
Adams’ victory came despite her very late entry into the race in August; she was selected by Queens County Democratic Party leaders to fill the ballot slot vacated by former Councilman Ruben Wills, who was expelled from office following his conviction on public corruption charges.
Additional key races, as reported on QNS, included Assemblyman Francisco Moya’s victory over ousted state Senator Hiram Monserrate in the 21st District race; incumbent Councilman Peter Koo’s win over Alison Tan in the 20th District race; and incumbent Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s victory over civic leader and rival Robert Holden in the 30th District race, which will likely continue all the way to November because Holden has the Conservative and Reform Party lines. Click the links above to read more about them.
Here’s a recap of the other City Council contests in Queens:
19th District (Auburndale, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Beechhurst, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck, Malba, Whitestone): Councilman Paul Vallone inched closer to a second term in office by defeating challenger Paul Graziano, an urban planner, in Tuesday’s primary. Vallone tallied 2,991 votes (54.1 percent) while Graziano secured 2,518 (45.6 percent). There were 16 write-ins, bringing the total vote count to 5,525.
23rd District (Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Little Neck, Queens Village): This one was no contest as incumbent Councilman Barry Grodenchik easily defeated engineer Benny A. Itterra, securing 4,346 votes (78.9 percent) to Itterra’s 1,128 (20.5 percent). He’ll move on to face Republican nominee Joe Concannon in November. There were 32 write-ins, bringing the total vote count to 5,506.
24th District (Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica): Another easy winner on Primary Night was Councilman Rory Lancman, who defeated civil servant Mohammad Rahman and captured nearly 62 percent of the vote. Lancman garnered 3,669 votes while Rahman had 2,225. There were 30 write-ins, bringing the total vote count to 5,924.
27th District (Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, St. Albans, Queens Village, and Springfield Gardens): Councilman I. Daneek Miller cruised to victory on Tuesday night in defeating challenger Anthony Rivers, with Miller getting more than 78 percent of the vote (7,797). Rivers secured 2,144 votes and there were 61 write-ins. The vote total was 10,002.
32nd District (Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rockaway Park, Roxbury, South Ozone Park, West Hamilton Beach, Woodhaven): Mike Scala won the right to challenge incumbent Republican City Councilman Eric Ulrich in November. Scala secured 43.7 percent of the vote (2,115) over two rivals: public school teacher Helal Sheikh (1,481, or 30.6 percent) and housing advocate William Ruiz (1,174, or 24.3 percent). Including 67 votes, the total vote count was 4,837.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 7, and there’s still time for you to register to vote. Click here for more information.