Richards holds early lead in Queens borough president race; final results likely a week away

QNS file photo

While the Democratic nominee for Queens borough president won’t likely be set in stone until next Tuesday, Councilman Donovan Richards holds the lead in the five-way race with about 96 percent of scanners reported.

Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley trailed behind a close second most of the night, even taking the lead at times. Councilman Costa Constantinides and retired NYPD Sergeant Anthony Miranda held about 15 percent of the vote each as the numbers trickled in throughout the evening. Businessman Dao Yin holds the fewest votes of the five candidates.

“I’m encouraged by the results coming in for our campaign for Queens Borough President and I want to thank all of my supporters who came out yesterday to make their voices heard,” Richards said in a statement Wednesday morning. “I commend my competitors for running a good race that put the issues affecting our borough at the forefront of the campaign. While we want to ensure that every vote is counted, I’m looking forward to the race in November and ultimately serving all of our communities as Queens Borough President.”

Crowley, who enjoyed support from a large number of unions, took to Twitter Wednesday to thank her supporters.

“I want to thank the voters in Queens for coming out and participating in record numbers during what was an unusual pandemic election season,” Crowley said. “I congratulate my opponents on a hard fought race and thank my team for their commitment and dedication. As I remain patient and optimistic until every last vote is counted, I know that no matter what the outcome of this primary, I will continue to fight for the people of Queens.”

Constantinides held a virtual election night party Tuesday night. On the call, the candidate thanked all his supporters, and said he’s recovering well from previously contracting COVID-19, which he said kept him from protesting in the last few weeks during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. But as a councilman, he said he’s “been voting.”

“Queens deserves more. We deserve a deputy borough president for sustainability and resiliency. We deserve solarized and green roofs for every building in Queens. We need to act on climate change with the urgency that it needs. We need to invest in our hospital system,” Constantinides said. “We spent a lot of money. We were outspent by our two major opponents, but I had the one thing that they didn’t have — we had people. And I’m so grateful to each and every one of our volunteers. Queens is the most diverse place in the world, but we can do so much more here.”

The Queens borough president’s race has been ever evolving, beginning with former Borough President Melinda Katz’s election to Queens district attorney in November 2019. A special election was scheduled for late March but was then postponed to June 23 as COVID-19 ravaged the borough and city. 

Soon after the postponement, the election was canceled outright.  The winner of the special election was only to serve until the end of the year. 

The winner of Tuesday’s race will face off against Queens County Republican Chairwoman Joann Ariola in the November general election.

Results of Tuesday’s primary, including the Queens borough president’s race, will likely not be known for some time, as thousands upon thousands of absentee ballots have yet to counted.

Voters were encouraged to vote by absentee ballot this election cycle because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The city’s Board of Elections won’t begin to count absentee ballots until June 30.

For more on early results from Tuesday’s primary, click here.

This story was updated at 3:20 p.m., on Wednesday, June 24.