Last week’s Democratic primary proved that we are truly in a new age of politics in Queens.
While a handful of incumbent state Senators and Assembly members did not face opponents, those who did may have been surprised at the results, specifically the former IDC members.
State Sens. Tony Avella and Jose Peralta — both former IDC members — lost their respective primaries to challengers John Liu and Jessica Ramos, respectively. And it wasn’t even close.
Liu secured 50.7 percent of the votes to defeat Avella by 1,287 votes, while Ramos also tallied 50.73 percent of the votes compared to Peralta’s 41.7 percent, according to the Board of Elections.
Also proof of a new dawn in Queens politics is Catalina Cruz’s victory over Ari Espinal in the District 39 state Assembly race. Espinal was handpicked by Joe Crowley — before he was stunned himself by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the June 26 primary.
Crowley, the chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, has seen his influence dwindle since his defeat. The fact that Espinal — who won the Assembly seat in an uncontested special election in April — was defeated in her first challenge shows that voters have had enough of the norm and want new blood to lead their districts.
Voter turnout was up across the borough, which saw increased numbers in District 11 — which includes Bayside, Little Neck, Whitestone, College Point and parts of Flushing —and District 30 — which covers Astoria, Long Island City, Maspeth, Middle Village, Sunnyside and Woodside.
Liu bested Avella in District 11, while State Assemblyman Brian Barnwell fended off a challenge from Melissa Sklarz in District 30.
The voting trends in Queens are similar to those of the neighboring boroughs, as well.
While Avella and Peralta were the only former IDC members in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn saw their former IDC members bested in the primary, too.
State Sen. Jeff Klein was defeated by challenger Alessandra Biaggi in the Bronx, while state Sen. Jesse Hamilton fell in Brooklyn and state Sen. Marisol Alcántara was ousted in Manhattan.
The only former IDC member to survive in New York City was state Sen. Diane Savino of Staten Island.
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in June launched a new era of politics: one where voters will demand change and hold elected officials responsible for their actions. We saw it in June and again last week.
There’s no reason to think the Nov. 6 general election will be any different.