Paul Newell Wins Downtown Independent Democrats’ Endorsement For Assembly Seat

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Newell announced his candidacy in Straus Square last month.

In a crowded race to fill Sheldon Silver’s former seat in the 65th Assembly District, each candidate is looking for any advantage. One of the contenders, Paul Newell, got a boost last night from Downtown Independent Democrats (DID), his home political club.

Eight candidates are planning to participate in the Democratic Primary on Sept. 13. Between June 7-July 13, they’ll be fanning out across the district in a quest for petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. Members of the four political clubs in the 65th AD are key foot soldiers in that process.

Each of the candidates previously appeared before DID to discuss their qualifications and answer questions. Last night, in a meeting held at St. Anthony’s Church on Sullivan Street, club members talked up the pros and cons of Newell and Jenifer Rajkumar, who also calls DID her home club. The two rivals are both district leaders with ardent defenders within the group. In the end, those who spoke for Newell won the day.  He garnered 61% of the votes compared with 33% for Rajkumar and 6% for Yuh-Line Niou. Candidates Alice Cancel, Gigi Li, Don Lee, Chris Marte and John Bal received no votes.

Cancel won an April 19 special election to fill the remainder of Silver’s term. He was ejected from the assembly after being convicted of corruption charges last November.