By Naeisha Rose
State Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-Queens Village) won Thursday’s Democratic primary in a landslide victory against his challenger, community leader Oster Bryan.
With 100 of the precincts reporting, Vanel compiled 79.7 percent of the votes, while Bryan tallied 20.3 percent, according to unofficial results from NY1.
Vanel will now go on to face Republican opponent Lalita Etwaroo, a 2016 graduate of John Jay College who has a master’s degree in Public Administration and was an intern for state Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R-Westchester), in the Nov. 6 general election.
Vanel represents District 33, which covers St. Albans, Hollis, Bellerose, parts of Floral Park and Queens Village, and campaigned to better educate students, create more jobs, tackle quality-of-life issues and retain and attract small business and new technology to southeast Queens.
“New York is a good place to have block-chain technology oriented businesses,” said Vanel.
Vanel is also focused on local issues important to his constituents such as housing, benefit programs, school choices and preserving the SHSAT.
“African-American and other minorities have the ability to do well such exams, but I believe if I can get into a fight and you put me in a ring with somebody with one hand behind my back, even if I’m strong I will have a tough time winning,” said Vanel. “So if you prepare communities that historically haven’t done well on these exams then that is one of the ways you help them get into these specialized schools.”
Earlier this year he sponsored SHSAT practice exams for students in his district, which would have cost their families up to $2,000.
“I have a vision for my district. Not only do I have a vision, I have a plan and I can implement it,” said Vanel. “It’s very important to help people learn how to fish, not just give them fish, and we’ve been doing that.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose