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Holden leads Ardila in District 30 City Council race

Incumbent Councilman Robert Holden and challenger Juan Ardila.(Photo courtesy of Councilman Robert Holden's office/Photo courtesy of Juan Ardila's campaign)

Voters in City Council District 30 hit the polls on Primary Day to pick between two Democratic candidates, and early results have the incumbent leading.

Councilman Robert Holden has about 53 percent of the vote (4,409 votes) with Juan Ardila trailing behind at 46 percent (3,868 votes), as of Thursday morning, according to unofficial results from the city’s Board of Elections. 

The official results will not be in until the anticipated date of July 12, after all absentee ballots are counted. Since there are only two candidates in the race, if Holden continues to hold more than 50 percent of the vote, he will win the seat outright and there will not be a ranked-choice voting recount.

Holden has represented City Council District 30 — which includes Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale, Middle Village, Woodside and Woodhaven — since 2018.

His campaign has been centered on quality-of-life concerns, such as public safety and excessive noise. 

Some of the work Holden said he is most proud during his time serving on the City Council is the funding he has secured for parks and schools. In 2019, Holden got a record-breaking $11 million in capital funding for the district’s schools, parks and government buildings.

Holden has a large backing from unions, some of which include the NYPD Police Benevolent Association, NYS Court Officers Association and the United Federation of Teachers. 

Meanwhile, this is Ardila’s first run for public office. He ran more of a grassroots movement, garnering support from the progressive side of the party. He received endorsements from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, state Senator Jessica Ramos and Borough President Donovan Richards.

Holden’s Communications Director Kevin Ryan said that since the race has been called by major news outlets, their team is feeling good and is ready to move past the election. 

This is a district of hardworking people who want safe, clean streets and to peacefully enjoy their homes and raise their families,” Ryan said. “They also care deeply about a quality education for their children. Councilman Holden has stood up for those issues like no one else in the Council and will never stop.”

Some of Ardila’s main policy points revolved around affordable housing for all, more public transportation access and investment on education.

“If there’s one thing that all the cities that have implemented affordable housing and reduced their homeless population [have in common], [it’s] that they view homeownership not as a speculative investment, [but] as a human right,” Ardila told QNS in September. “And I think that’s where New York City fails; we view it as an investment.”

Though Ardila is behind, he does not plan to concede the race just yet. 

“[There are] 541 votes [separating] us and we will wait for all the absentee ballots to be counted,” Ardila said. “We ran a very positive race focusing on inclusivity and real representation. This election was very close and shows there is a large part of the district that feels misrepresented and the demographics have changed drastically.”

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