BY EDITORIAL STAFF
Tuesday’s primary elections held few surprises during the course of the night as the results rolled in: All of the borough’s incumbents vanquished their opponents, and Queens County-backed Democrats defeated outsiders hoping for upsets.
In the contentious race for District 30, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) defeated Juniper Park Civic Association President Robert Holden, while Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) fended off challenger Alison Tan, who is the wife of Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing), in District 20. Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) held his seat against urban planner Paul Graziano in District 19.
Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D-Jackson Heights) halted former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate’s attempts to return to politics in the race for Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland’s (D-East Elmhurst) District 21 seat. Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) bested challenger Mohammad Rahman in District 24, while Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) defeated Benny Itteera in District 23. District 34 Councilman Antonio Reynoso beat Tommy Torres, and Mike Scala came out on top over Helal Sheikh and William Ruiz in the Democratic primary for District 32 and will face Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) in November.
In Southeast Queens, Community Board 12 Chairwoman Adrienne Adams defeated attorney Hettie Powell and community activist Richard David in the race for former Councilman Ruben Wills’ District 28 seat following his recent conviction. And Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) bested Anthony Rivers in the race for District 27.
Although Crowley took 63 percent of the vote to Holden’s 36 percent, she will still face him in November as he is running on the Conservative, Reform and Dump de Blasio lines.
“It’s not over yet,” she told supporters at Rego Park’s Woodhaven House, where she was joined by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights), who is her cousin. “We gotta make sure we win in November.”
In Middle Village, Holden—whose supporters dropped by his campaign headquarters at his house on Caldwell Avenue—said that he was proud of his grassroots campaign.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” he said, adding that the most “liberal” voters would vote for him. “That’s not my base. I’m the underdog. I believe I have a good shot.”
Koo, who won 58 percent of the vote to Tan’s 41 percent, entered his victory party at Flushing’s Good Kitchen Seafood Restaurant to applause.
“We worked hard to stress what I have done for the community in the past eight years,” he said. “We have to work together to improve it. I don’t think we can solve the problems right away, but we can improve—incremental improvements.”
During her post-election party at the Reception House on Northern Boulevard, Tan said that she had “no regrets” about her campaign.
“I’m so inspired that somebody like me…I’m just an immigrant from China…I’m able to have a full-fledged campaign and participate in democracy,” she said.
Vallone, who defeated Graziano by 54-45 percent, said that his re-election effort was “halfway there.”
“District 19 was so far off the map when we came in office,” he said. “The idea is to continue growing it, continue that coalition of unity and, hopefully, in 2021, when we hand it off, we can say to the next council member who comes in, ‘You better keep this momentum going.’”
But Graziano said that he will be on the ballot as the Reform Party candidate during the Nov. 7 election.
“I’m continuing to run,” he said. “I actually did the best as a challenger to an incumbent in a two-way race in the entire city.”
In the District 21 race, Monserrate’s presence was a source of controversy following his 2009 assault conviction against his girlfriend, for which he was sentenced to three years’ probation, and his 2012 guilty plea in a federal corruption case that landed him with a two-year prison sentence. Moya said that he would provide leadership to the community he will represent in the council.
“Honesty and integrity won this race,” he said. “The fact that we won by 10 points is a big deal. I think we talked about issues that mattered to the community.”
At the polls, voters discussed why they chose their particular candidates.
“I have three daughters and one of them is starting to like politics,” said Corona voter Ana Ramos, 47, who voted for Moya. “I don’t want her to find out that her councilman is a domestic abuser. I don’t want her thinking that is OK.”
In District 20, voter Adriana Zabala said that she cast a vote for Tan.
“I don’t think there’s enough female diversity in the current politicians, so I kind of lean toward that,” she said.
In citywide races, Mayor Bill de Blasio fended off primary challengers Sal Albanese, Robert Gangi and Richard Bashner, while Public Advocate Letitia James bested David Eisenbach.