Republican Vickie Paladino declared victory over Democrat Tony Avella in the northeast Queens race to represent City Council District 19, two weeks after Election Day when she held the lead.
The Whitestone community activist and small business owner for more than three decades saw enough on Tuesday, Nov. 16, after the Board of Elections began counting mail-in ballots the day before.
“After two long days at the Board of Elections overseeing the absentee ballot tally, we can confirm that our election night victory will stand, and Vickie Paladino will be the next Council member to represent the people of District 19 on the City Council,” a Paladino campaign spokesman said.
“We would again like to thank all our staff and volunteers who made this possible, as well as the voters who put their faith in our platform. We cannot overstate the magnitude of this accomplishment; this was the toughest and best-run campaign in the city this year,” Paladino’s campaign spokesperson said. “We now look forward to the transition and beginning the hard work of delivering on our agenda to the community.”
District 19 includes Bayside, College Point, Whitestone, Malba, Douglaston, Little Neck, North Flushing and Auburndale.
Paladino ran against Avella, a career politician who represented District 19 in the City Council from 2002 to 2009 before serving eight years in the New York State Senate.
Avella had hoped to regain his seat, and replace term-limited Councilman Paul Vallone, but conceded the race to Paladino in a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 17.
“My wife and I want to thank all of my supporters and volunteers who worked tirelessly on our campaign,” Avella said. “Although we lost, I am proud of the positive and issued-based campaign we waged. A mere 387 votes was the difference in the outcome despite my opponent conducting negative ads and a Trump-like disinformation campaign. In the near future, I will review the election results and what this means for our community. I wish everyone a happy and family Thanksgiving.”
The Board of Elections will certify the results on Nov. 30.