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CM Margaret Chin Leads in Extremely Close Primary Election; Rivera Cruises to Victory

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(Counter clockwise from upper left) Christopher Marte, Margaret Chin, Aaron Folsenauer, Dashia Imperiale.
(Counter clockwise from upper left) Christopher Marte, Margaret Chin, Aaron Folsenauer, Dashia Imperiale.

News from tonight’s Democratic Primary…

Two-term City Council member Margaret Chin has apparently snuck away with a slim win over challenger Christopher Marte. With almost all of the vote counted (absentee ballots have not been tallied). Chin is ahead of Marte 45.9-44.1 percent, a 200 vote margin. Aaron Foldenauer trailed with 6% and Dashia Imperiale was last with just under 4% of the vote. Tonight there are already calls for a recount. [See updated information about this race here.]

In the District 2 contest to succeed Council member Rosie Mendez, Carlina Rivera won a convincing victory over four rivals. The lifelong Lower East Side resident and former Mendez staffer pulled in 60.9% of the vote. Mary Silver had about 16% of the vote, with Ronnie Cho and Jorge Vasquez each with 8% and Jasmin Sanchez with just shy of 4%.

We’re also following two competitive district leader races. In the 65th Assembly District-Part A, Caroline Laskow and Lee Berman defeated incumbents Karen Blatt and Jacob Goldman. The result is a major blow to the Truman Democratic Club, the longtime political base of operations for former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver. In the 65th Assembly District-Part B, incumbent Alice Cancel lost to Daisy Paez. Ken Paskar came up short in his challenge to incumbent Pedro Cardi.

UPDATE 7:23 a.m. There was a late night press release from Grand Street Democrats, a new political club founded by Laskow and Berman. It stated that the club won 16 of 22 county committee seats that had been contested in yesterday’s election. Grand Street Democrats put up a slate of candidates in opposition to the Truman Club. The press release states, “These victories give this new political organization immediate relevance in the selection of a new State Senator, following Daniel Squadron’s abrupt resignation.”

Laskow said, “(Donald) Trump’s win last year was a call to action for anyone with a political ethical conscience. The Truman Club’s silence in the face of Trump’s campaign and administration signaled not only their apathy but complicity. Our community deserves better, and voters today made clear they are looking for new local leadership ready to organize resistance to Trump’s radical agenda.”

Berman added, “Locally, this is big news. Silver and his allies have acted as gatekeepers to local officials for decades. We are determined to celebrate the diversity of our neighborhood and make sure that everyone has equal access to their elected officials, from City Hall to Albany to Washington DC.”

The group is promising to, “hold regular open meetings, neighborhood events, and forums with elected officials for the entire community.”

UPDATE 11:04 a.m. Here’s a statement from Karen Blatt, via her Facebook page: “Congratulations to my opponents Caroline Laskow and Lee Berman. They ran an impressive campaign and I wish them both much success as District Leaders. Many thanks to all my supporters!”

UPDATE 3:13 p.m. Via Facebook, here’s part of Jacob Goldman’s statement:Thank you all for your support in yesterday’s election. I am most appreciative of, and humbled by, the support and friendship of so many members of the community. Congratulations to the winners, Lee Berman and Caroline Laskow and all of the County Committee members… The task is immense, especially with all the changes happening in our neighborhood, but I am positive they will guide our wonderful community to be an even better version of ourselves. I would like to thank the most amazing running mate, Karen Blatt, who has been on the community board and tirelessly making a difference in our neighborhood for 10+ years. Karen and I will continue to be active and make a difference.”

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