BY JOE MARVILLI
After a week of counting up the ballots, Paul Vallone’s Primary Day victory for City Council District 19 has been confirmed.
The news came on Sept. 17, with Vallone coming in just 193 votes ahead of Austin Shafran, who did not concede last week, preferring to wait until all the ballots were counted. Vallone’s lead held though.
“This was a dream come true. I’m very excited to be the Democratic nominee for District 19,” Vallone said. “When you see it through the eyes of your children on victory night, it’s something you never forget.”
The results led to the end of what had been a crowded and contested Primary, with five Democratic candidates vying for the seat left open by embattled Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone), who is not running for re-election.
“We’re very proud of the campaign we ran to improve the quality of life in our community,” Shafran said. “I’m honored by the support we received and will continue to be a strong voice and relentless advocate for working families across the City.”
Given the crop of issues that popped up at poll sites on Primary Day, Shafran and Vallone said that changes needed to be made.
“We would have liked to see the computer system put in place to handle the primary,” Vallone said. “People were struggling going back to the old system.”
“There’s certainly is a lot of work to be done to reform the electoral process, to make sure everyone’s votes are counted in a fair and timely manner,” Shafran said. “Our poll workers work really hard throughout the day and do the best they can with a difficult situation.”
Vallone will now go on to face Republican Dennis Saffran in the General Election. He mentioned that he has reached out to his former Democratic opponents for their support and he will continue to focus on his campaign’s message.
“We’re going to continue our message of positive leadership with integrity. It’s something our district sorely needs,” Vallone said.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.