Board Of Elections Releases Preliminary Tally Of City Council And Borough President Races

Preliminary results in contests for all five borough presidents and nearly four-dozen New York City Council seats were finally released late Friday night following a two-day delay and counting snafu earlier this week by the New York City Board of Election.

But the latest tabulation did not incorporate absentee ballots, which may once again shift the rankings and final outcome. Most of those races, save for more than a dozen, will be decided through the city’s new ranked-choice voting system. Ranked-choice voting advocates, including Councilmember Brad Lander, who is running for comptroller, have pushed the BOE to announce preliminary results to ensure the process was working, even if absentee ballots are not included.

Read More: All Eyes On Absentee Ballot Count, As Mayor’s Race And Many Others Hang In The Balance

Even before this first ranked-choice voting tally, some Council races appeared already decided based on the first-choice in-person returns released on Primary night. More than a dozen candidates received 50% or more of the first-place votes to avoid the instant-runoff process, including Gale Brewer, the current Manhattan borough president, who secured 53.74% of first-choice votes in her race for the 6th Council District seat.

Most of the Council races, however, still remain too close to call, with absentee ballots expected to determine their outcome.

Below is a list of preliminary outcomes for some of the races, including those for comptroller, public advocate, and borough president.

COMPTROLLER

On Primary night, Brooklyn City Councilmember Brad Lander led the pack of 10 candidates on the ballot. Now, it looks like Lander’s lead has dropped after ten rounds of ranked-choice voting. Re-tallied figures using all in-person votes (from Primary day and early voting) show Lander with 296,081 votes, or 51.9% of the vote, over City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who has 274,949, or 48.1% of the vote.

With more than 21,000 separating Lander and Johnson, the 125,000 absentee ballots cast for this citywide election will determine a winner. The results of those ballots won’t be released until mid-July following a curing process.

Chris Walsh, Lander’s campaign manager, expressed confidence in the latest results. “We look forward to every vote being counted and continue to be confident that absentee ballots will widen Brad’s lead,” Walsh said in the statement.

Johnson, meanwhile, called the contest “too close to call.”

“Our campaign built a broad, citywide coalition and successfully consolidated support using ranked-choice voting,” Johnson said in his statement. “With tens of thousands of absentee ballots left to be counted and ranked, I’m encouraged to see we are closing the gap and have a path to victory.”

The city’s comptroller is tasked with tracking how monies are being spent at city agencies while also managing the city’s pension fund system.

Read More: $100 Million Dollar Budget And The Power of Oversight — What Is A Comptroller & Why Should You Care?

Lander had long been considered the frontrunner in a race that included state Senator Brian Benjamin, state Senator Kevin Parker, Assemblymember David Weprin, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and former mayoral candidate Zachary Iscol. But a late entry by Johnson appeared to upend Lander’s chances of an easy victory. Even so, Lander maintained his lead, and secured the coveted endorsement of progressive Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

PUBLIC ADVOCATE

Incumbent Democrat Jumaane Williams won 69% of the vote based on Primary night, avoiding an instant-runoff election.

And even if all of the more than 125,000 absentee ballots went with runner-up challenger Anthony Herbert, it won’t be enough to change the outcome.

Williams now enters his second term as the public advocate, considered the official watchdog for New Yorkers.

BOROUGH PRESIDENTS

Manhattan: While it was a tight race on Primary night, this time preliminary results show Councilmember Mark Levine with a sizable lead over state Senator Brad Hoylman. After seven rounds of ranked-choice voting tabulations, preliminary results show Levine with 54.4% of the vote and Hoylman with 45.6% of the vote in the race to succeed Gale Brewer, who is term-limited. Hoylman and Levine separated by 13,862 votes, leaving over 39,000 absentee ballots in Manhattan to decide the outcome.

Bronx: The race to succeed Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is leaning toward Councilmember Vanessa Gibson after the latest tally shows Gibson with 53% of the vote and Cabrera with 47% of the vote after three rounds. Councilmember Fernando Cabrera has 38,365, or 47%, of the vote. The two are separated by 4,893 votes, and there are nearly 13,000 absentee ballots left to count in the Bronx.

Read More: What Does A Borough President Actually Do?

Brooklyn: Councilmember Antonio Reynoso maintained his lead after 11 rounds, with Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon in second place and Councilmember Robert Cornegy Jr. in third. Primary night saw Reynoso with 28.2% of the in-person, first-choice votes. Reynoso currently holds 55.3% of the vote, while Simon has 44.7%. The two are separated by 18,596 votes, and there are over nearly 33,000 absentee ballots yet to be tallied.

Queens: In the extremely tight race for Queens borough president, Donovan Richards maintains an edge over former Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley after three RCV rounds. Crowley previously served the borough as Councilmember for the 30th Council District, covering Glendale, Maspeth, and Middle Village. Tallies show Richards with 78,752, or 51%, of the vote, and Crowley with 75,439, or 49%, of the vote. There are nearly 36,000 absentee votes.

Staten Island (Democratic Primary): Mark Murphy kept his lead in the race to secure the Democratic nomination for borough president, securing 65.4% of preliminary votes after six rounds. Lorraine Honor is behind, securing 7,299 or 34.6%. While the rest of New York City is heavily Democratic, Murphy faces a Republican challenger for the November election. Right now, Councilmember Steven Matteo maintains a slight lead over Vito Fossella after three rounds, with 50.1% of the vote versus Fossella’s 49.9% lead. The two are separated by a mere 25 votes, meaning that the over 5,000 absentee votes will decide the final outcome.

HOTLY CONTESTED COUNCIL RACES

District 7: In the crowded 7th Council District race to succeed Manhattan Councilmember Mark Levine, Shaun Abreu gained a significant number of more votes following ranked-choice voting tabulations compared to the 11 other contenders in the seat. New ranked-choice tallies show Abreu with 62.8% of the vote, and Maria Ordoñez with 37.2% of the vote after 13 rounds. With the two separated by 3,786, it might be a tough climb for Ordoñez to surpass Abreu, given that there are nearly 3,500 absentee ballots submitted for this contest.

District 9: Bill Perkins, the incumbent, is no longer leading in the race to represent Harlem once again. After 13 rounds, results show Kristin Jordan with 51% of the vote, while Perkins holds 49.2% of the vote. Still, the two are separated by only 275 votes and there are roughly 2,700 absentee ballots left to count.

District 14: Pierina Sanchez, a former Obama White House employee and city staffer, gained more votes in the race to succeed Councilmember Fernando Cabrera, who is term-limited. Tallies show Sanchez with 4,435, or 62.4%, vote totals. There are over 1,000 absentee ballots left to count but it doesn’t look like Yudelka Tapia, who has 2,668, or 37.6%, vote totals, may be able to catch up.

Read More: What Does An NYC City Council Member Do?

District 18: In a closely watched election race to succeed Bronx Councilmember Ruben Diaz Sr., Amanda Farias is still ahead of William Rivera, the district manager for Bronx Community Board 9. While Farias has 51.2% of the vote, Rivera has 49% of the vote. The two are separated by 252 votes, meaning that the over 1,500 absentee ballots cast for this contest will decide the final outcome.

District 22: Tiffany Caban is ahead by a wide margin and is inching closer to becoming the next Council Member representing the 22nd Council District once held by Costa Constantinides before he abruptly resigned this year. Caban, who lost her race for Queens District Attorney by a handful of votes, had maintained a comfortable lead on Primary night, securing 49.32% of the vote. This time she has 8,053, or 62.5%, of the vote over the second place finisher Evie Hantzopoulous, who has 4,827, or 37.5% of votes, after three rounds. Figures show 2,040 absentee ballots were submitted to the BOE, which might not be enough for Hantzopoulos to catch up.

District 23: Linda Lee’s lead on Primary night increased after six ranked-choice rounds for the Queens seat, showing her with 53.2% of the vote. Rival Jaslin Kaur stands in second place with 46.8% of the vote. There are nearly 3,500 absentee ballots left to count.

District 42: Brooklyn Assemblymember Charles Barron is vying to reclaim the seat currently held by his wife, Inez. Barron has 53.7% of the vote, while Nikki Lucas has 46.3%. There are nearly 1,500 absentee ballots on the table, which will decide this race.

A full list of who’s leading can be found here.

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